Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 7, 2017
What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?
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?
This story broke my heart and put it back together again. It was incredibly moving.
The premise of the story is that Carver texts his friends while they are driving, and they get into a fatal car accident while responding. Carver has to deal with the guilt of potentially causing his three best friends to die, while also moving on with his life. Carver goes on “Goodbye Days” with his friends’ families, in which they do his friends’ favourite things so everyone can say goodbye to them.
It was fascinating to read about this fairly new experience: texting while driving. There is a law, in this story, where a person could be charged with involuntary manslaughter for doing an action which you know could cause someone’s death. In this case, Carver texted his friend, knowing he may respond while driving and cause an accident. In my opinion, Carver shouldn’t have been blamed for this accident since his friend Mars ultimately made the decision to text while driving. However, it was up to the authorities to decide on his fate.
I don’t want to give anything away, because this is an important story with a modern lesson. I really liked the ending! I loved this whole story, and I highly recommend it!
What to read next:
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Have you read Goodbye Days? What did you think of it?