Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

31575528Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Anderson Press
Pages: 400
Format: ARC Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Dammit, Jeff Zentner, I’m crying again and it’s all your fault.

Goodbye Days took me a while to get into. I was worried I wouldn’t like it as much as I did The Serpent King, and I thought it was because I already knew the main plot hook, whereas for TSK, I was going in blind. The thought of reading about Carver, dealing with the simultaneous loss of all three of his best friends sounded heartbreaking and I had to prepare myself for the second-hand pain.

But apart from the tragedy that remained a constant, there were so many diamonds hidden throughout that makes this book a worthy sibling to TSK:

1. Supportive Sibling Relationship – It was so lovely to read about boy/girl siblings with an age gap who had each other’s backs.
2. Parents. Everywhere. – Mars, Eli and Blake all have people who care about them and, boy, was it hard to watch them come to terms with their losses. The Judge was just next-level upsetting, and Blake’s grandma had my heart from the very first sentence.
3. Religion – It felt more prominent that it did in TSK, but it led to some extremely interesting discussions on the afterlife and forgiveness that enriched the book no end.
4. Jesmyn – Loved her.
5. Carver and Jesmyn’s relationship – Oh, it was complicated but sensitive and not too let’s-perpetuate-the-friendzone-thing. It was a really interesting dynamic, and I was definitely a fan of them forming a friendship in the aftermath of something so tragic.
6. Adair – She’s sort of posed as the villain in this story, as Blake’s twin sister who thinks Carver deserves to go to prison, but I couldn’t feel anything towards her but sympathy. If my twin sister died, I’d be just as vengeful, and I hope other reader’s are just as forgiving of her behaviour.
7. Friendship Squad Vibes – Through the flashbacks, I got a sense of how much the boys loved each other, and their sentimentality was refreshing. The inside jokes, the deep and meaningful chats, it was great. Although I didn’t always understand their humour, I understood that, to them, chasing squirrels in a park meant more than just a good time.

Will you cry and laugh? Most likely. Would I recommend? Heck yes.

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Do you enjoy reading books that are sadder than usual? Do you cry easily at books?

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