General rating: 3.5 stars
Diversity rating: 3 stars (POC (Filipina), LGTB+ (gay), disability (synesthesia))
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a novel about grief and friendship. It’s a very emotional book, and starts off with Carver (also called Blade) at one of his best friends’ funerals. His three best friends died in a car crash and Carver blames himself for it.
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?
What I loved about this book is the characters. The characters are diverse, original, funny and overall just really amazing. I loved Carver and Jesmyn and Mars, Eli and Blake were great too. I loved to read about the memories they shared and how they were all very different but had great chemistry. I didn’t really like the love story in this book, but at least it wasn’t insta-love. It was okay and quite cute. But I rather have them be friends.
“I wonder if the actions we take and the words we speak are like throwing pebbles into a pond; they send ripples that extend farther out from the center until finally they break on the bank or disappear. I wonder if somewhere in the universe, there’s still a ripple that’s Blake and I sitting in this living room, laughing ourselves silly. Maybe it’ll break on some bank somewhere in the vast sky beyond our sight. Maybe it’ll disappear. Or maybe it’ll keep travelling on for eternity.”
I loved how it addressed topics such as sexuality and especially parents. My relation with my parents is not that amazing but it was really nice to see how different people have different relationships and how that works out.
The writing of this book really made it stood out, the writing is just beautiful. With this Jeff Zentner definitely put himself in the position between the other great contemporary authors.
“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.
There is just one thing, one thing I just can’t understand. I’ve been reading through some amazing reviews about how this book shattered them and how it broke their hearts and left them crying on the ground. Well, that didn’t happen. At all. Not a single tear. Sorry Jeff, your book just didn’t give me any feels. Nothing. It makes me feel so indifferent about this book, even though it was really good. It just didn’t do it for me. And I really don’t know why, it’s a mystery I might never find out.
I’m giving this book 3.5 stars, because it was great, but it just didn’t do much for me. The mystery of why this book didn’t crush me will remain. The lyrical prose and the characters really made this book great. I will definitely recommend this book if you like heavy topics in contemporary. Please let me know whether you cried!
*I have received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a honest review, it will be published April 6th 2017*