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Goodbye Days  By  cover art

Goodbye Days

By: Jeff Zentner
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
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Publisher's summary

Lincoln Prize

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can't stop blaming himself for the accident, and, even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation.

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" together to share their memories and say a proper farewell.

Soon the other families are asking for their own goodbye days 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?

Includes the song "The Motion of the Earth" by Jeff Zentner, performed by Jeff Zentner and Elin Palmer.

©2017 Jeff Zentner (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

An Indie Next List Selection

"Jeff Zentner, you perfectly fill the John-Green-sized hole in our heart."—Justine Magazine

“Evocative, heartbreaking, and beautifully written."—Buzzfeed

“Tender, honest, moving, and lyrical. Zentner is the real thing.”Benjamin Alire Sáenz, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and Printz Honor winner

What listeners say about Goodbye Days

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Text "car accident"

While this maybe unnerving for whether coping with the loss of friends or a grieving mom and Dad.
This book was phenomenal from to finish. Sad,funny at times, and thought provoking.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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That’s not how that works...

That’s not how any of this works. Why doesn’t any one character say to Carver that it wasn’t his fault. That Mars was driving and texting and he couldn’t have truly know if Mars was driving at that moment. Since the question he asked was, “Where are you guys?” Texting someone as they drive isn’t the senders responsibility. It is the receivers. The story would have been better if Carver was actually driving the car and was the only survivor. Not even Carver’s therapist or lawyer tell him this. If negligent homicide is on the table, Mars’ father got his son a car and cellphone, knowing full well that those two things together could kill him. I read Zentner’s first book and this one seems like it’s a repeat of all the similar themes which was tiresome.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Book

I work as a grief counselor and hospice chaplain and one of my colleagues selected this book for a book group that we hold on a regular basis. I both read the book and listened to the book. As always, I picked up different things in reading and in hearing the book. I think it’s a great book for adults, as well as for teens and young adults. Loved how real it was.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully written, very sad

I really enjoyed the writing style, the characters, the references to artists and authors... very well-written book. But boy was it heavy. I kept waiting for a comedic interlude and it just never came. I'm still glad I listened to it, but now I need a book that is pure fluff as a "palate cleanser".

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Intense; real; & emotionally captivating

this is a powerful story of deep friendship, loss, grief, accountability, & responsibility. my only qualm is the language; but, as it's aimed at teens, I can understand it...
Michael Crouch's narrative gives the story depth, breadth & feeling. not for the faint of heart;-)

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Gorgeous and Heartbreaking

I feel wrung out, but in the best way. This book was gorgeous, heartbreaking, and yet had me laughing out loud several times. But most of the time I was holding back tears or letting them flow. The narration was outstanding, and just perfect for this story and these characters (as is always the case with Michael Crouch).

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Heartbreakingly written and voiced

This is the 2nd book I've read by this author, but the first I've listened to. His language is imaginitive, his characters lovable and imperfect. You feel you know them by the end of the story. The premise--the guilt of maybe being responsible for your best friends' deaths by texting the driver--is instantly gripping, but I was worried it would fall flat when developed. It did not. I was invested from beginning to end and the plot was heartbreaking and cathartic in turns. Carver deals with so much pain and confusion, and the adults & young people in his life help or hurt him in extremely realistic ways. I'll be recommending this to teens and adults alike because anyone who reads this will be emotionally challenged and matured by it.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Read this one before Zentner's debut novel.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Well, it's not one of those books that leaves me wishing I could get those hours of my life back, but it's also not one that I will remember ever happened.

What does Michael Crouch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't think that the narration was anything remarkable, but I think the narration was better than the story.

Do you think Goodbye Days needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, this is a stand alone story.

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