Book Reviews

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days

by Jeff Zentner

PBT Review #74

Click here to purchase your copy from Amazon

GR 3 star


I want to start this review by saying I have so many CONFLICTING EMOTIONS and thoughts about this book. I will not give any spoilers away, but I will be talking about things that you can find out from the synopsis on Goodreads.

Goodbye days deals with some very heavy topics from survivors guilt to texting while driving. I found myself constantly feeling sorry for the main character Carver or Blade. Like my heart was literally breaking for him. I didn’t feel it was fair everything he was going through.

The one thing that was done very well was that there was no victim blaming at all. Which surprised me, I’m surprised that it didn’t even come up ONE TIME. Typically I am NOT for victim blaming, but this might be the only situation where I feel it would have been ok to at least have been brought up once. Someone should have mentioned the fact that Mars was ANSWERING a text message while driving, thus putting himself and his friends in danger. But NOPE.

This book had the potential to be GREAT and drive home and AWESOME MESSAGE to the YA audience, but the execution of it fell a little flat for me. Just considering how prevalent an issue texting will driving is and how the rate of fatal car accidents are due to texting, this book was so important. I’m not sure teens will take away what they could have from this book.

There were a few things in the book that bothered me (some may say they were even problematic). I had a HUGE ISSUE with the fact that the accident was being investigated and Carver was facing possible jail time due to a text message he sent. That was just a little extreme to me. Like how could he be to blame for someone ANSWERING a text while driving. Idk, that just really bothering me throughout the book.

Then we have the fact that some of the remaining family really has it in for Carver. Some are understandable, such as Eli’s sister Adair. She’s a teenager and because of that I will give her a pass for holding onto so much hatred. But Mars’ and Eli’s fathers are grown men. They both go to different extremes when blaming Carver, but the way they acted towards a child was kind of infuriating.

I mean, my goodness, Carver was already punishing himself enough for sending the text that killed his 3 best friends. That should have been enough, but then you have these adults acting childish. Which I can understand, they buried their children and that’s something no parent should have to do. And I also understand they needed to blame someone, but giving the poor child panic attacks was just wrong.

Now I don’t want to give you the wrong idea, this book was really really good. The content and topics are very important. I was just very let down by the execution of the message. Everything played out exactly how it should have, but I just had some issues with it.

The panic attack and anxiety rep in this book was absolutely phenomenal! Given the fact that I have both of these myself, the descriptions and details on Carver’s episodes were spot on and it was FREAKING AMAZING to see that represented so well in a book!

The title of the book Goodbye Days comes from a very heartfelt place. It represents Carver and the families of his best friends gaining some closure from their untimely deaths. Some of the Goodbye Days were better than others, but I think it was a very clever title and definitely gives it a deeper meaning.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves to read YA contemporary novels because it was a really great read. Maybe they won’t find it as troublesome as I did.

I’d like to say thank you to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my completely honest review!

Have you had the chance to read this book? What were your thoughts? Did you see any of the same issues that I saw while reading? Let me know in the comments below!


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5 thoughts on “Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

  1. This seems completely off the mark if I am understanding correctly. The young man who sent the text is being looked at as at fault? While I can understand how he would have some guilt, that makes little sense. We all send and receive text. It is our own responsibility to know when to pick up our phones and when to leave them be. I feel (like you mentioned) that the author must have missed a great opportunity here to address a serious problem. Seems like the execution was backwards?

    Liked by 1 person

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