Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner


‘Can a text message destroy your life? Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths. Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?’

This book is stunning. Zentner writes teenage friendship so beautifully. He perfectly portrays the feeling of freedom and sense of invincibility that young people feel. He aces their playful language and the relationships are immensely believable.

Goodbye Days is an exploration of the grieving process, alternating Carver’s grieving in the present with memories of the times the friends spent together, building up a picture of their friendship and then crashing it with a hit of reality. You learn just what he’s lost as you watch him coping.

There’s some brilliant diversity within these pages, including a beautiful post-death coming-out scene that will have you sobbing but leave you feeling that there is hope in the world. And that’s what Zentner does best – destroys you but gives you hope.

The writing is beautiful and perceptive. Every page has a truth; something that chimes as a revelation of life. The idea of a goodbye day as a celebration of life and relationships is something I’d love to see filter into life. Overall Goodbye Days is a beautifully written celebration of friendship; of the closeness that enables you to tell each other everything and support each other with laughter and love.

You can get your copy here.

Source – kindly sent for review by the publisher.

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