Thursday, February 2, 2017

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodbye DaysGoodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Random Houses Children’s and Crown Books for Young Readers for the ARC, Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. I was compelled to read The Serpent King three times and with Zentner’s 2nd book, Goodbye Days, I will certainly be reading this book multiple times. Carver Briggs loses his 3 best friends with just one text, Where are you guys, text me back. With this ripped from the headlines story, a teen loses everything he loved - his best friends known as The Sauce Crew. Teen readers will deeply feel Carver’s palpable grief, his tremendous loss, and also the anger, rage, and unforgiving nature of some of his best friend’s family members. When Nana Betsy asks Carver to help her celebrate her grandson, Blake, in a Goodbye Day, both Nana and Carver learn things they did not know about Blake. It is a deeply moving day but one that Carver needed to deal with the loss of his best friend. Even though we never “meet” Blake, Mars and Eli; Carver’s memories of how they each met, each of their goodbye days, and Carver’s celebrations of their Sauce Crew antics, made these guys real and very exceptional to me. I knew them and loved them like Carver did. Carver navigated his grief and self-hatred by leaning on strong characters: Blake’s sister, Georgia was remarkable and supportive while Jesmyn (dated Eli) was such a new, special friend along with honest psychiatrist, Dr. Mendes. Teens will be passing this book around; there is so much they will relate to with Carver’s loneliness, despair, and turmoil but he is also someone they will root for, love, and hold tight in their hearts. Highly recommended for teens and adults.

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