Monday, January 29, 2018

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner - OPTIONAL

Zentner, Jeff Goodbye Days 399 pages. Crown (Penguin Random House), 2017. $17.99. Language: R (95 swears, 3 “f”), Mature Content: PG, Violence: G

It’s not easy finding friends, but Carver Briggs is lucky. He has three friends. They do everything together, until the fateful night when Carver decides to text his friend Mars while he is driving. The car hits a truck, and all three of Carver’s friends die in the crash. Many people, including two of the boys’ fathers, think Carver should be prosecuted for negligent homicide. Although Carver has the support of his deceased friends’ girlfriend and grandmother, he begins to experience panic attacks. Grandmother Betsy suggests they spend a day saying goodbye to her grandson. Carver feels so much better after his Goodbye Day that he decides to have one with his other friends’ families as well. Things don’t go nearly as well since both fathers blame Carver for the crash. Somehow he must learn to cope with his grief and help the families remember their sons.

This is a sad book. The author effectively evokes emotion when the families get together to remember their sons. It’s a tear-jerker. The plot is current to the lives of teens today. Texting and driving, panic attacks, therapy sessions, family relationships, and first love are themes represented throughout the book. The only frustrating part for me is the constant swearing, which makes the book authentic, but not suitable for libraries with strict collection policies. Going on subject matter and writing quality only, the book can easily be rated as advisable.

HS – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Valerie McEnroe, Media Specialist

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