C.G. Drews's Reviews > Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, read-2017, young-adult, ya-male-narrators

This book was super super emotional. And excuse me while I handle that like a potato who's been left out in the rain in a bucket of their own tears. I'm a little bit fragile right now DON'T MIND ME. It was a good book. It was also extremely hard to read. The panic attacks were written so so well that it half broke my heart with just seeing a book really get it. But like just the sheer level of intensity + me reading it in like just a few hours because I couldn't stop + how palpable the levels of grief were = actually made for a completely emotionally draining and exhausting read and gahhhhhh. I liked it, but I didn't quite love it as much as I wanted. I also am permanently hungover from The Serpent King. So there is that. 3

There is just so much HEARTBREAK right here omg. The writing is so perfectly incredible that you not only ache for Carver, you ache with Carver. He sent the fated text to his friends to ask when they were coming to pick him up: and his friend got distracted while driving and ended up in a fatal accident. 3 teens = dead instantly. And Carver is basically crippled with the guilt of knowing he might've been the cause. And when a book makes you literally FEEL every heartwrenching twist of the proverbial knife as Carver tries to recover from this??? You know the book is just made of magical wizard powered writing. I also think the book balanced it well with putting in jokes and lighter times too, so you weren't just sucker-punched 100% of the time with depressingness.

I also really felt for ALL the characters. Usually when a book starts off with people being dead, I don't...really care. #heartlessVulcan But we get to know Carver's friends through flashbacks and memories so by the end jafdkslafd thanks for giving me a papercut and pouring lemon juice on it. MY HEART ACHES. The only problem is I found all the flashbacks slightly less engaging than the rest of the story and I wish it'd spent equal time developing the boys. But it felt like it spent 60% on Blake, and then like 10% each on Mars and Eli.

Also the premise did kind of enrage me??? And like this is good and bad. The fact that Carver was being prosecuted for "being the cause of their death" just riled me NO END. Like Mars made the decision to read the text. Carver didn't force him?!? So like that just was super unfair that the investigation and threat of jail time was even happening. IT DIDN'T MAKE SENSE.

And I hated how Carver never stood up for himself. But at the same time I get it. But holy crepes, there is a scene at the end where Carver is with the Judge and (view spoiler) And I get why Carver just took it: guilt. BUT I CRY AND I RAGE AND I HAVE TOO MANY EMOTIONS.

• Carver's big sister, Georgia, is legit the best and most loving and supportive of ever.
• It has a REALLY positive portrayal of therapy and goes into details.
• It doesn't cure anything with romance.
• It has the most accurate and well written anxiety rep of ever.
• Honestly just so so well written.
• It was full of tension, as well as fun and lighter scenes <3
• There was so much food I nearly ate my kindle
• which could've been awkward let me tell you

• okay so this is lame but...the jokes and humour were more on the gross side. Like dumb teenage boy stuff.
• Like Blake's youtube channel where he goes and farts/embarrasses himself in front of people?? That isn't even funny.
• I hated that Carver spent the entire book REFUSING to talk to his parents for no. good. reason. He was just "oh that's just weird you know". No, son, I don't now. Why? They support/love him but he does 0% of trying to connect with them. It's so disheartening.
• Carver was a writer but he didn't do any writing...I mean I GET IT. Because grief and like his entire life was so screwed up with jail looming and all his friends dead and him feeling 100% of the guilt. But when books say "hey this character is a huge bookworm/writer" and then don't have any of that in it??? I get a wee bit annoyed.

ALL IN ALL: basically this book was absolutely heartbreaking and also beautiful. But mostly heartbreaking. OMG. It was a bit anxiety-inducing for me, I admit, and I felt quite upset once I'd finished. It's not a fair book and the unfairness really really got to me and was seriously upsetting. (This in no way is a negative thing! Just an observation.) But I absolutely adored Carver and he was so broken and precious and I just wanted to hug him. <3 Now excuse me while I go have a minor emotional meltdown because: WOW THIS BOOK.

"I sometimes look at my bookshelf now and think about how someday I'm going to die without ever reading a lot of the books there. And one might be life-changingly good and I'll never know."

113 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Goodbye Days.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

October 30, 2016 – Shelved
October 30, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 13, 2017 – Started Reading
May 13, 2017 –
20.0% "I'm really struggling with the idea that Carver "could" be criminally charged for sending a text that his friend read while driving. WTF??! His friend chose to be distracted and read the text. That's like saying whoever invented CDs should be jailed for every driver that's put on a CD and had an accident. >_>"
May 14, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
May 14, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
May 14, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
May 14, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 14, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Sarah Your reviews are like the reason for like 75% of the books on my tbr list

C.G. Drews @Sarah: I'm here to be a terrible influence super helpful to your TBR pile!

Rachel A. I've just started this book, and I'm having a lot of trouble with the whole prosecution premise. How was Carver supposed to know his friends were driving at the time? And even if he did, his friend could have ignored his phone.

C.G. Drews @Rachel: It bothers me so much too...Carver might've guessed they were driving, but ultimately it was the driver's decision to pick up the phone!

Rachel A. Plus I'm pretty sure that's not how the law even works.

Almira A. you summed up everything i feel about this book. particularly about the smol things i dont like that I very much agree with. and what a crybaby i was (not that I regret it!) thankyou for this review!

C.G. Drews @Almira: Aww thank you for this nice comment!

Amelia D’Addieco Great review! Just finished the book and feel 90% the same as you. Only thing I have to add is with Carver’s parents- some kids just feel that lack of wanting to talk to them no matter how supportive they are. I actually kind of liked that. Most books I’ve read to this degree focus on the parents, but what if you can’t bring yourself to go to them?

Lisa Welch Wow! You summed up my thoughts so well with your review! The book is so well done, but you articulated so well the small things that bothered me.

Kelly To answer some of your questions. Yes, it bothered me too that he could even possibly be prosecuted for this. But he did admit to his own attorney that he knew that Mars was likely driving at the time and that he texted him because he knew he would answer the fastest, even if he was driving.

Now as far as the legal part of it. Jeff Zentner was actually a state prosecutor so he confirmed that legally this could happen. (He’s in environmental law now.) I learned this all watching him on Instagram live during the quarantine. First, he read Serpent King and then he read Goodbye Days.

back to top