I’d like to say a big thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Goodbye Days is released on the 6th of April, 2017.
Goodbye Days is a novel about unfathomable loss. One day, Carver Briggs finds his world turned upside down after his 3 best friends – Eli, Mars and Blake, die in a car crash… a car crash Carver feels responsible for. Carver (or Blade as his friends warmly know him has), was the last person to send Mars, the driver of the car, a text message. Mars’ phone was found at the site of the crash with a half written reply to Carver. We follow Carver’s journey through the grief and the guilt after the passing of his friends, and also experience many flash backs to when the boys were still alive.
This story explores the power of friendship, family, guilt and grief. Jeff Zentner weaves the words so beautifully in this book, depicting what life in Nashville is like, and what I felt to be an accurate representation of being a teenager.
The characters were absolutely glorious. Eli, Mars, Blake and Carver collectively refer to themselves as “The Sauce Crew” and you have no idea how much I wanted to be a member of their group. All the boys are so ridiculously loveable, hilarious and unique. Within their characters we see themes of young love, being a person of colour and being “in the closet”. I also found the families of the boys really believable and amazingly written, especially Nana Betsy!
I loved the concept of the Goodbye Days, which are basically a day in which Carver would join each of his friend’s families to have a final day to say goodbye, share memories and celebrate the uniqueness of each friend. Each Goodbye Day had a different feel to it, which I think was a great reflection of the way different people grieve.
“The world’s reliable absurdity is one of the few things that can distract me”.
I finally would like to talk about the way this book is written. It’s poetic and raw. It’s so honest; so believable. I found myself bawling my eyes out at one moment and laughing the next. I felt like I was experiencing the memories for myself. Carver is beautifully flawed – I hate to use that cliché but it’s true. Read this book guys, you won’t regret it. I know it will stay with me for a long time. I give it 5/5 stars.