Thursday, February 23, 2017

Goodbye Days - Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days 
Jeff Zentner
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Alphabet Soup Challenge

They were the "Sauce Crew". A band of talented young men, who shared a bond as thick as brothers. Three of them were lost in a car crash suspected to be due to texting and driving. The other member of the crew being the one who had sent the text.
I watch them lower the third member of Sauce Crew into the ground. I am Sauce Crew now. 
Have you ever lost someone, and wished you had had just one more day? One more day to say "goodbye"? One more day to tell them and show them you loved them? I was really able to relate to this want, this desire to say goodbye.  I lost a very close college friend in a plane crash; we were 31. My last communication with him was a Valentine's Day card he sent me. I never thought I would never see him again. I felt so robbed of the opportunity to make sure he knew I cared, and that I valued him and his friendship. Yes, I could totally relate to this book and the need for a goodbye day.
I guess we'd try to give life to his story for one more day. Pay tribute. Say goodbye.
This book was sad. It really could not have been anything but sad under the circumstances of its premise. I cried so many tears. I cried tears as someone who missed the opportunities to say goodbye. I cried tears as a mother, who couldn't imagine burying her child. I am crying right now as I write this review, because it actually hit me pretty hard.
Penance. Stories. Goodbye days. 
I love Zentner's story telling. The Serpent King was one of my top 2016 reads, and this was one of my top 2017 anticipated reads. He has this ability to craft a story with so much feeling, and  filled with characters that worm their way into your heart and soul. It was so painful being in Carver's head following the accident, and the funerals, and the fallout. I just wanted to reach into the page and hug him so many times. Thank goodness Zentner gave Carver some support in the form of his sister, Georgia (who was pretty awesome), Jesmyn, his very loving parents, Dr. Mendez, and the most awesome character in the book (in my opinion), Nana Betsy.
We build him a monument of words we've written on the walls of our hearts. We make the air vibrate with his life. 
Each goodbye day had a very unique tone, but each was quite painful in its own way. Blake's had some very big reveals for both Nana Betsy and Carver. Eli's was tense and awkward, but it also had one of the most beautiful soliloquies from Eli's dad. I think I was bawling at the end of all that. But, the goodbye day for Mars was the most painful. It was tough getting through them.
I never imagined that my history would include the full history of my son, start to finish. But it does now. 

Overall: Another amazing book by the wonderful Jeff Zentner, made my heart swell and my face wet with tears.

**I would like to thank NetGalley and Crown Books for Young Readers for the advanced copy of this book

Have you ever wanted to have a goodbye day?
Let us know in the comments!

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