Book Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts. The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions. Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend. Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?


  • I really related to Carver – how he thought, how he coped, the fact that he’s a writer
  • I enjoyed the lighthearted flashbacks of the Sauce Crew
  • Texting and driving is dangerous, and we need more books like this
  • The stages of grief were all portrayed in this books, even if not all of them were shown through Carver
  • The Goodbye Days show that everyone mourns differently
  • This book was full of raw emotion
  • Carver had the best support system


  • None. This was my favorite fiction read of 2017 so far.

My Thoughts: What a wild ride. This book was full of emotion from start to finish. There were some cliches thrown into the mix, but they weren’t overdone. If anything, they showed that the little things we think and say all the time can apply to all sorts of situations. I loved the idea of Goodbye Days. Everyone grieves in their own way, and it is important to do so in order to move on. The flashbacks of the Sauce Crew, mixed with the lighthearted moments of the Sweat Crew, added a nice balance to an otherwise really sad story. The dangers of texting and driving are very real, and this book does a good job of not over dramatizing that.  Also, the fact that Carver’s therapy sessions were written in such a real, positive way was so spot on and important.

I would recommend this book to fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven.

I laughed, I cried. It moved me, Bob.

Jeff Zentner

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