Reviews

Goodbye Days, by Jeff Zentner

emilyjmead's review against another edition

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3.0

Maybe 3.5 stars?

I don't know, my thoughts on this are very complicated. There are lots of things to love - supportive male friendships, normalisation of therapy, a BIG family influence, coping with grief and guilt, hilarious banter.

But after reading this and The Serpent King, it's like these books are very...draining. There's a lot of sadness to them. And it's been a long time since The Fault in Our Stars has been my favourite book. I no longer think that a book is profound just because it has death and grief. It can be profound in many, many ways - happy ways.

I'm not saying that this book is, like...sadness porn or anything. I mean, my favourite book of the year so far is We Are Okay, which was very melancholy. But this was an exhausting experience and it made me feel really strange. Still working out why, I guess.

ameliakhoo's review against another edition

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3.0

Goodbye Days was an interesting YA read. It had a good-but-predictable plot, but it wasn't overly cliche. It focuses on the story of Carver Briggs, a teenager that sent a text message to his friend. Little did he know, that text message would have caused the deaths of all 3 of his best friends. This was a compelling book, however, I felt like it was too stretched out and could have been more concise. I would recommend this to readers that like YA.

alliehgomez4's review against another edition

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1.0

Lengthy and depressing with no substantial message to the YA audience. Would not recommend; don't waste your time

meganann1310's review against another edition

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5.0

This is unbelievably sad and I absolutely loved it. It’s wonderfully written and so beautiful and sad and I loved the premise of it: a boy whose friends die spends one day with their families, sharing stories and saying goodbye. There’s obvs more to it than that but I don’t want to say anything that will spoil it. But I loved it and I think Zentner does an excellent job presenting the confusing mix of grief, jealousy, guilt, shame and trying to feel whole again. So good but so sad. 13+

megan_alice's review against another edition

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4.0

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Beautifully written, it explores friendship, loss, grief, panic attacks and guilt in a realistic and engaging manner. I found the boys' sense of humour a little immature and silly in places but it did convey the carefree attitude of teenage friends.

emanem's review against another edition

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4.0

When I first started this book, I thought that I wished Carver's friends hadn't died. I know that sounds terrible but anyways. If you are reading this, I hope very much that you don't want this to make sense because I will guarantee it will not.

Carver thinks that he was the cause of his friend's car accident that killed all three of them. This is because he sent them a text while he knew they were driving. Then their car smashed into a stopped semi truck. Truth be told, his text probably was a factor in the crash.

My thoughts on this book were that some of it didn't need to be there and some of what needed to be there wasn't. I still gave this a 4 out of 5 starts though because I enjoyed . In the blurb, it says I probably didn't kill my best friends at least not on purpose and I didn't sneak out in the middle of the night and sever the brakes. That made me very confused because to me it felt like that was hinting that he did. But he didn't all he did was send a text. Next thing was that there were some parts that didn't sound like they would be the thoughts of a seven teen year old boy. Like these thoughts were very adult and mature and other times they were very childish.

At the beginning of the book Carver is trying to apply for collage and has to write an essay so throughout the book, he writes and rewrites that essay. But what I would like to know is that did he ever finish the essay? Because to me it just seemed like his world stopped at the end of the book. I would have liked an epilogue about if he got into collage and where and if he is still hurt by the accident and made new friends (which would show that people can heal from tragic losses).

I know that it was called goodbye days but it seemed like there was a little too much going on. Such as the fact that this seventeen year old kid is sad from the sudden loss of all his friends; is almost prosecuted for murder; has to hang out with all of his dead friend's family's; is getting into collage; getting panic attacks; and trying to figure out if he is allowed to like Eli's girlfriend (Eli was a friend who is now dead). One thing this book could have done without is the collage application essay or if the author had let us read what happened - like let us read the essay, and tell us how his future looks, like is Carver going to make friends again?

ainslieslibrary's review against another edition

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4.0

This. book. was. phenomenal. It touched on something that everyone does; texting. It also mentions a big problem in our digital age; texting while driving. Did you know that texting while driving causes more wrecks than drunk driving does?

With that being said, Jeff Zentner, took this world problem and gave it to a teenager. He sent one text, that resulted in the loss of his closest friends. If that can't get any worse, his friend's parents want him to be put on trial because he caused the deaths. He sent a text, that could have been sent at a different time, but it was sent. Mars, who was driving and texting, should have waited. This accident was no one person's fault, but the blame has to fall to the one still breathing. That part frustrated me. This teenage boy is fighting the grieving process, but also may face life in prison? no. Other than that, I loved the book. I really took my time on it.

shorttleowoman's review against another edition

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5.0

Oh my god this book literally will make you sad, happy you will laugh and cry. I loved the story or the ‘plot’ of the book. I was very excited to know what would have to *blade*.
This has spoilers
So the story starts when Carver send a message to elli, mars, Blake “where are you guys text me back” mars tries to reply but while he is he crashes into a truck and all the 3 of them die since carver or *blade send a text message, after the accident carver went to 3 funerals of his best friends. Blake grandma nana Betsy was very kind and gentle to carver even though he could’ve been the one who sort of killed her grandson, elli’s parents are kind of angry but they end up having a ‘conversation’ about the accident and carver ends up having a panic attack, Mars father is a judge and he was the one to choose if they should let carver free or not and he let him free, but he had to pay for what he did so mars father decided he should have an end day with carver too!
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The end days of the 3. The first one was for Blake, carver and nana Betsy went fishing and ate in the Waffle House, lini which I believe her name was asked where Blake was but nana Betsy didn’t wanna hurt her feeling so she said that he was busy so his best friend came. After that she told carver that she was way too nice to them so she didn’t wanna break Lini’s heart.
The end day of Eli, Eli’s parents invited jesmyn too but Eli’s twin sister didn’t come since she and carver aren’t on good terms. They *threw Eli’s spirit into the ocean, and after that his parents told jes and carver they were filing divorce. Once they were done from the ocean they all went to the bathroom so while they were in ,,Eli’s father told him he believed that carver really killed his son but he didn’t want to file anything. After that he also ended up telling him she shouldn’t be hooking up with his dead son’s girlfriend and carver endes up having a panic attack in the bathroom
The end day of mars, oh my god this was one of the ones I didn’t really like so you should just read the book😂
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Carver had many panic attacks so his sister Georgia recommend him a therapist or physiatrist so he went to doctor Mendez. Jesmyn or Eli’s girlfriend or widowed girlfriend was there for carver she was even with him in his second panic attacks but once he decided to tell her the truth about what he really feels about him she stops talking to him for about two weeks.

wildfire's review against another edition

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4.0

Goodbye Days deals with with grief and loss. It shows the power of friendship and how healing can be a different experience for everyone. All of it starts because it shows how one decision can change so many lives.

Carver Briggs, Blade, sent a text to his friend Mars that changed everything. One moment, he had a group of friends and suddenly they were all dead and he felt it was all because of him. His three closest friends were now dead because of a car crash.

This was such an interesting and emotional read. Readers get Blade's POV throughout the story and see him struggle with the choice he made and coming to terms that his friends are gone. I loved getting to see his journey. Blade was really shown at his highs and lows. He went through periods of grief that over took everything, but was also shown through periods of happiness that allowed us to see more of Blade's personality that wasn't surrounded in grief.

Blade doesn't suffer in his grief alone. His sister is incredibly supportive of him and pushes him to seek help. He spends time with Jesmyn, Eli's girlfriend, and together they are supportive of one another as they wade through this new world without someone who was important to them. The relationships were special to watch as Blade leaned on other people and those relationships grew in a way that not many relationships can grow.

The goodbye days were special. Not only did we get to see the people close to those use died heal a little bit, but we got to see through their eyes little moments that they remembered about their loved one, the moment that was special to them that maybe no one else would have thought was special. It showed just how a simple moment can be special to someone. It was beautiful.

Goodbye Days is full of emotion. It's a read that will stick with you for a while and one that I recommend.

lilacblossom's review

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dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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