4 star reads - Courtney

(Arc) Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner


What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy of the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

This book was good and I enjoyed it, but I had an issue with one scene. We will get to that later. You have the MC Carver (Blade) who just lost his three best friends to a car accident. He is dealing with guilt because he sent the text that his friend was trying to reply to when he crashed the car.

Carver struggles with his guilt and pending prosecution on whether or not he is guilty of playing any part in the accident. You see him end up in therapy and dealing with panic attacks.  Shortly after Blades funeral, Blades grandmother suggest they have a goodbye day. They have one last day to remember Blade and say goodbye.

You see Carver struggle throughout the story, he truly thinks it is all his fault that his best friends are dead. Soon, from family members of his friends, he friends out that maybe his part was just one action on the part that made the accident happen.

I loved the writing and the anxiety rep. I did, however, have a problem with one scene in the book. The scene to me basically mocked suicide, it shows the boys making gestures and mocking killing themselves over having to listen to the teacher’s lecture.

Overall I did enjoy this novel and it does a good job of showing guilt and how others may deal with grief differently. In Carver’s instance, he has severe anxiety and panic attacks over feeling responsible for his friend’s death. You see carver grow and make progress to heal and move on.

I truly enjoyed this novel and I will still recommend it to everyone. Have you picked up this novel yet? What did you think of it? Let’s chat in the comments!

Courtney 💛

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