Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodread’s Summary

If you died today would your loved ones be able to tell your story?

Sure your parents would be able to tell a million stories from when you were a baby, but their stories of you would be different from the ones your friends would tell. Does any one person, other than you, know who you truly are? In this book, Goodbye Days, Jeff Zentner wants his readers to know that the days are numbered so you should cherish the time you have with the people around you.

The first thing I will tell you about this book is that it is SAD! Like S. A. D. sad that requires a constant supply of tissues. I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop reading because tears were blurring my vision.

The second thing I’ll tell you about this book is that it deals with texting and driving. This is a serious threat to people now more than ever and I’m glad this book addresses it. BUT if this is a sensitive subject for you I recommend looking more into the book before it becomes a trigger while reading. This book also tackles therapy, which I think is great. The more we talk about how it is okay to get help the less of a stigmatism it becomes. The author also seemed to do a good job on his research on the therapy, mental health, and legal system.

This book just completely guts you emotionally and mentally. Not just because of all the tragic things that happen in the book, but the author presents some topics to think about. With a theme like death and the after life there are a lot of directions that a story can be taken in, and I think Zentner tries to present different viewpoints through his different characters.

Since this book is dark at times and heavy I’m glad the author broke the gloom up a bit with some funny parts. But he also didn’t gloss over the dark parts, he made sure the reader would know just how bad the main character’s situation is. And of course with all of this comes some talk about mental health in the book, which does a good job of connecting everything and making it all seem real. Because lets face it, most people struggle with something everyday.

When it comes to characters you really dive deep into their emotions and thoughts, even if they only have a small role in the book. In my opinion none of the characters fall flat and every one of them has their own way of dealing with things. You read about them bonding to each other through tough times. This makes you feel really connected and invested in them. My favorite character was Nana Betsy by the way if you’ve read the story!

The one thing I know as a fact about Jeff Zentner is that you can always count on him for beautiful writing. He’s only written two novels but I can tell you that he can create magic and feeling with words, it is truly an art. I never feel as if I’m stuck in the writing, and the way he structures his stories flow perfectly so I’m never really pulled out of the story. I will say that it does take a while in the story to actually get to the goodbye days but he fills the beginning with so many important things to the story that I don’t mind it took me some time to get there.

Overall, this was a lovely, heartbreaking story that I highly recommend, but only if you are in the mood for a sad story. If you aren’t ready to cry it might ruin your experience of the book!

What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!


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