Monday, June 3, 2019

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days is a YA realistic fiction book about one text message that took three lives. When Carter's friends Eli, Mars, and Blake were running late to pick him up from work, he asks them where they are- but when Mars goes to answer the text, he gets into a car accident, resulting in the boys dead. Carter begins having panic attacks and massive feelings of guilt and shame. To make matters worse, he could potentially be going to jail for negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter. 

I enjoyed many parts of the book, like the very strong lesson of not texting and driving. Usually something that we can think be so obvious, but in the moment you can just forget and make a mistake, like what happened to Carter. He didn't stop to think before he texted his friends, and while it was Mars' fault that he chose to respond, Carter did have a role. It is one of those books that teaches a major lesson in the worst case scenario. Carter's panic attacks were also extremely realistic. The book overall was written very well, but I had some issues with the characters.

I felt no sadness for Eli, Mars, and Blake. They were extremely irresponsible people with little to no compassion for others. Some of the jokes they made are just plain mean and borderline inappropriate. I’m not happy that they’re dead, but I saw no reason to care for those boys. They were just classic teenage boys and class clowns. I think they were a bad influence on Carter. This is one of the most masculine books I've read. While I felt like there was nothing to connect to and shake my head in exasperation at the boys' ridiculous behavior, it would make a lot more sense to a male reader. I will say that the audience for this book is definitely teenage boys, not girls.

I do recommend that you read the book, but don't get your hopes up on the characters.

Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 399
Series: No
Rating: 3 Stars

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