Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodbye DaysTitle: Goodbye Days 

Author: Jeff Zentner

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: March 7, 2107

“Pareidola … It’s when your mind sees a pattern you recognize where there isn’t one. Like seeing a face in the moon. Or shapes in clouds.
What a beautiful word.
For something that isn’t always beautiful.”

What a beautiful story of loss, grief, and healing. Carver Briggs life changes after he sent simple text to his three best friends right before all three die in a car accident. Now facing prosecution for their deaths, and blame from his friends families, Carver begins healing through new friends, therapy, and Goodbye Days – celebrating his friends memories with their loved ones. Goodbye Days showcases the many forms of grief and the long and hard process of healing after your world changes in an instant.

Things I Liked 
I loved seeing grief in it’s many forms. This story does such a great job of exploring the pain, anger, resentment, hopeless, and many other facets of grief and loss. I love that not only do we get to see such a wide range of emotions from different characters, but Carver’s emotional journey is shown as a complex process.

I really feel like I get to know Blake, Eli, and Mars not only through their goodbye days, but in their friendship with Carver. They were each such vibrant personalities and I loved learning more about them through their loved ones.

This book was FILLED with supportive families. Each family, while dealing with immense grief, clearly shows their love and care for their children. I loved seeing Carver’s family being so supportive of his healing process, and encourage therapy. And we get a very positive portrayal of therapy. Also, Nana Betsy, Blake’s grandmother, was the absolute greatest.

The flow of the story was just really beautiful. There’s a natural rhythm that makes the story really easy to read, even when some chapters are on the long side – they never feel flat.

Things I Didn’t Like 
How Blake’s goodbye day was phrased was weird, even though what was happening was meaningful and beautiful. Just the way they were talking about it was making it weird, when what was happening was completely normal.

I honestly could have done without the romantic feeling in the story. I understand the connection after loss and think it was written well, but I just really didn’t want it.

This was such an emotional story – which I LOVE. And it was so easy to become completely invested in the characters. This story is so raw and honest – it grips your heart. Goodbye Days is a standout story of loss, healing, and what happens in between.


2 thoughts on “Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

  1. Kelly says:

    I was super excited for this book (and even bought a copy) but haven’t read it because of how everyone keeps saying how emotional it is. I like emotional books, sure, but not books that make me cry like a baby. Just for the record, The Serpent King did just that, haha. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life of a Literary Nerd says:

      I thought that Goodbye Days was definitely emotional, but not ‘make me cry’ emotional. It was really about grief and healing. And there was this hopeful looking forward feel, while celebrating the past. It was really excellent!


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