Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on March 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA Romance, Young Adult
What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?Amazon •
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?
Mature-Content Rating: Language, Crude Language, Death, Depression
“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”
Unfortunately the blurb was misleading, as a lot of YA blurbs are tending to do lately. I was expecting (as the blurb explains) a teenage boy working through the shock of the death of his friends and his involvement via sending a text message. What it ended up being instead was a teenage boy wondering if it was too early to start dating his dead best friend’s girlfriend just a week or two after the funeral. Really YA authors? Again with adding completely unnecessary romanic relationships? *sigh*
The plot for the book (if you can get over the mumbo jumbo romance) was pretty good. Carver sent a text to his friends, knowing they were driving, and was filled with guilt over their deaths; not to mention some of their family also blamed him and their deaths were being investigated (which also seemed a bit fishy to me, since he wasn’t even in the car, but I just chalked that up to ‘fiction’ and moved along).
Through the story the reader is given glimpses of the boys’ past; when they first met, lazy days in the park, first days of school, etc. to give them a bigger presence and more emotional ties to Carver. Blake is really the only character that stood out and made an impact, but that might just be because his character is so demanding of attention and it seemed like he would have been the ‘leader’ of the group.
The story really starts when Blake’s grandma (possibly my FAVORITE character in the book) asks Carver for a goodbye day with him so she could learn the side of Blake that only his friends knew, and in turn Carver could learn the side of Blake that his family knew. Once the other families were told of this they also started wanting their “Goodbye Days”, each in completely different ways then the first.
It was leaning toward a good story, then again there are also points in the book where the boys crack jokes about suicide and gays. I’m not easily offended, but this is not okay. Even if the author is trying to be accurate about teenage boys, adding these kinds of jokes to books just makes it even more of a social norm.
Overall, “Goodbye Days” wasn’t the story I was hoping for. It could have been a great read if it stuck to its original plot and didn’t try to venture out and add unnecessary romance that kind of just made me cringe reading it.
I picked up this book because of the title, “Goodbye Days” is a song from a Japanese movie called Midnight Sun that’s being remade in Hollywood and is supposed to be out in July (I’m fairly sure it’s not coming out till 2018 now). I know, bad for me for picking a book for the title alone!
***On a stranger note, I was supposed to post this review last week but became too busy and delayed it till this week, and this morning going to work I was hit by a truck while the driver was replying to a text! Please put your phone away while driving!***