Goodbye Days

· Sold by Crown Books for Young Readers
6 reviews

About this ebook

“Gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately life-affirming.” Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything.

Perfect for fans of Turtles All the Way Down,Thirteen Reasons Why, and Zentner's own The Serpent King, one of the most highly acclaimed YA novels of 2016, Goodbye Days asks what you would do if you could spend one last day with someone you lost.

Where are you guys? Text me back. That's the last message Carver Briggs will ever send his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. He never thought that it would lead to their death.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation. 
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” together to share their memories and say a proper farewell.
Soon the other families are asking for their own 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?

"Jeff Zentner, you perfectly fill the John-Green-sized hole in our heart." Justine Magazine

“Evocative, heartbreaking, and beautifully written." 

"Masterful." —

“Hold on to your heart: this book will wreck you, fix you, and most definitely change you.” —Becky Albertalli, Morris Award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Ratings and reviews

6 reviews
Ritu Nair
March 13, 2017
A realistic and poignant portrayal of grief, Goodbye Days takes us into the life of Carver, a young man who loses his best friends - Mars, Blake and Eli - in a car accident, and who blames himself for possibly causing it. At the time of the accident, one of his best friends Mars (who was driving) was texting him back. Now, in the aftermath of that accident, Carver is stuck in a whirlpool of grief, fear and guilt. The grief because he lost his closest and only friends in the world, the fear because one of the parents wants a criminal investigation into the accident with the purpose of seeing him in prison, and guilt because moving on feels like he is being stabbed over and over with their loss. My only experience with such a kind of grief has been distant (a family member dying) so I wouldn't know how to even imagine losing someone who has been a part of your life so closely and who have brought light into your life. Now, in his Sauce Crew-less world, his support system is his sister and Eli's girlfriend, Jesmyn. Coping with loss and trying to survive through it are the main arcs of this story. Emotion-wise, Goodbye Days is raw - it will make you laugh along with the shenanigans of the Sauce Crew, the witty quips between Carver and his sister or Carver and Jesmyn, and make you cry at every part where he remembers them or when their loss hits him hard. Trying to get closure, he agrees to a 'goodbye day' with Blake's grandmother - a day where they would hang out like Blake would with his grandmother, and they can tell each other stories about Blake. What really made me cry in these moments was the fact that it is a wound that you open again and again, to remember the person, but also to let yourself heal. But all of his goodbye days are not the same - because not all people process grief in the same manner. His goodbye days with the other parents are not beautiful and light, but they also show the varied ways in which people mourn. What I liked in this novel is the presence of a positive support system and a good therapy doctor who help Carver come to terms with this loss. It is not that he is happy and healed at the end of the book, but he is in a place where he can process through the grief of his friends in a better way. I loved the characters in the book, especially his sister, and I also loved how they were open with one another, be it the love or the hatred. I mean, I expected it because it I read The Serpent King, but the writing blew me over again. Zentner crafted an emotional, beautiful piece of art with this novel. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Random House, via Netgalley.
2 people found this review helpful
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August 25, 2020
Cool book. But the story not convinced me. 4 stars, but if you have the opportunity, read this!
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aesha waheed
October 6, 2017
I hate it!
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About the author

Jeff Zentner is the acclaimed author of The Serpent King. In addition to writing, he is also a singer-songwriter and guitarist who has recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. Goodbye Days is his love letter to the city of Nashville and the talented people who populate it. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son. You can follow him on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter at @jeffzentner.

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