Book Review: Goodbye Days

Book Review: Goodbye Days

Meleah York, Staff Writer

The newest book by YA author Jeff Zentner, entitled Goodbye Days, takes you through the emotional journey of a senior named Carver Briggs after he loses his three best friends in a car accident. The worst part? Carver blames himself for it, sending a text to his friend Mars, who was the one driving, and finding out that his phone at the scene of the accident contained an unfinished message he was going to send.

Goodbye Days contains the gut-wrenching and raw feelings of Carver, from his many panic attacks to growing feelings for the girlfriend of one of his dead friends, Eli. And to make matters worse, Eli’s twin sister, Adair, blames Carver completely for Eli’s death. With the threat of Mars’s dad pushing legal action for negligent homicide and the anxiety caused by Adair and her father, Carver is forced by his sister to attend therapy sessions in an effort to control his growing depression but is supported by his only friend, Eli’s girlfriend, Jesmyn. Together they go through grief and the pain of losing people close to you.

At the same time, Carver and his third friend, Blake’s grandmother plan to have a “goodbye day” for Blake, doing all of his favorite things and talking about their fondest memories of him. After the very therapeutic and emotionally raw day, Eli’s and Mars’s families find out about the goodbye days and decide to have Carver participate in one of their own. With the threat of prison and having a panic attack in front of Jesmyn or the families of his friends, Carver has to juggle overwhelming grief along with the guilt of killing the three most important people in his life.

Overall, this book was brilliantly written and portrayed beautifully through revealing raw emotions and feelings of loss. Following Carver through the darkest point of his young life was like having your heart tied to a rope being dragged on the ground, but its realness and absolutely vulnerable point of view made it one of the best books I have ever read.