Book Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

516-WZ4BhsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Goodbye Days
Author:  Jeff Zentner
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published date: 7th March 2017
Published by: Crown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Summary:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

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 with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day 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?


book-review

Every time there was an accident caused by texting while driving and someone died, people immediately tend to blame the person driving. But they rarely talk about the person sending the text. Goodbye Days explored that—Mars’ dad, and Adair blaming Carver because he sent the text that led to his three best friends’ death, as well as the guilt felt by Carver for sending that text message.

It always makes me sad reading about children, teens and young adults who lost their life too soon, before they get to grow up and live their life the fullest. before they could realize their dreams and do great things. It also makes me sad when the what-ifs game was played, like when Carver made up the stories where he didn’t send the text message. But I love torturing myself and breaking my heart when I read, which is why I love this book so much.

“I imagine what Eli saw in the split second before the trailer of that truck grew in his field of vision until it was all he saw.” — Pierce Bauer

This is a quote from Eli’s dad, when he and his wife were having their goodbye day for Eli with Carver and Jesmyn. I think this sentence is the reason why I’m so fascinated with stories with tragedies. I like to imagine what they feel that split second, knowing that they were going to die. I did that with this book too, playing that what-ifs game in their point of view instead of Carver’s.

I think what I love the most about this book is the goodbye days, when they get to know pieces of Blake, Eli and Mars that they didn’t know before. I enjoyed the flashbacks Carver had about the “Sauce Crew” as well as the imagined scenes he came up with sometimes. The friendship that Carver had with Blake, Eli, and Mars was so beautiful, it made me choke up and wish I get to have that kind of friendship. I also love the moments with Dr. Mendez, and Carver’s journey to get through that tragedy, to forgive himself and ease his guilt. At least, that’s what I’d like to think about the final chapter.

To sum it up, I love this book a lot and I think it was a masterpiece. It has everything I love, and made me cry and have this melancholic feeling from page one till the end. Even though the book didn’t really focus on diversity, I like the fact that it has diverse characters; Jesmyn was a Filipino adopted by American family, Mars was a POC, and Blake was gay. And one major thing I like is that Jesmyn and Carver didn’t end up together. It always turned me off when that happens, especially if the girl was the girlfriend of one of the people that died. I might have to take away one star if that happened. I would recommend this book to fans of History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, and I’ll Give You the Sun, and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, based on the melancholic vibe the books gave me, and how much it made me cry.

I rate the book 5 out of 5 stars.


So, have you ever read Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner before? What are your thoughts on the book? Do you like tragedies, and thinking about things like “What if the person did things differently?” and imagine different scenarios before crying because the characters are still dead in the end?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Ann, Not Annie by Sage Steadman

Title: Ann, Not Annie
Author: Sage Steadman
Publication date: September 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Summary:

Ann, not Annie, is tired of her nominal existence and has vowed to turn things around by dating the hottest guy in school, Jacob Waters. Easier said than done since Jacob isn’t even aware she exists. The truth is, due to Ann’s lively temper she spends more time in detention with the rest of the school rejects than she does fantasizing about Jacob Waters wearing spandex.

Her best friend and devout alien believer, Lisa, doesn’t like the changes she’s seeing in her BFF. Neither does Danny Feller, a fellow detention inmate and resident lost boy who has started keeping an extra watchful and unwanted eye on Ann.

When a chance encounter in an empty hallway changes everything, Ann finds all her dreams coming true and she is well on her way to living the perfect life she’s always wanted. But appearances aren’t always what they seem and Ann is going to have to face not just cold hard facts, but also her past.

Goodreads / Amazon

**The book is on sale at only $1.99 for the duration of the blog tour (4th September – 22nd September). Then, it’ll go up to $9.99


Excerpt:

From Chapter Four

Jacob looked back in Ann’s direction, smiled, and gave a head nod. Ann tried to smile, but it felt more like a scowl, so instead she gave a little wave. Suddenly she saw Bryce Singleton out of the corner of her eye. Jacob wasn’t nodding to her after all. Ann’s wave quickly turned into a wrist/arm stretch. She even yawned with disinterest for good measure.

“Lesbian,” Bryce leaned and whispered in her ear as he passed.

“Shut up, Bryce!” Ann said punching him in the arm.

“Ow!” Bryce laughed and grabbed his arm. “Watch it, Miss Firecracker.” He turned and sauntered off.

Ann sighed. “Shit.” She stomped over to Lisa’s car and climbed on the hood feeling skittish. The thing is, Ann had a thing for Jacob. I mean, every girl had a thing for Jacob, but for Ann it was different. She thought about him often. It was her secret shame, but she let it live because it was the only thing that connected her to the life she had before the accident, when she actually believed in the impossible. Her fantasies made her life bearable no matter how bizarre, embarrassing, or dark (in this case I’d say disturbing) they were.

Ann shamefully admitted to me one day that she did have a sort of boy fantasy involving the lead singer and occasionally the drummer of a rock band. I’m going to relay it to you here and add in a few of my own facetious details.

Scene: The lights dim, the steady thud of a drumbeat falls over the crowd, silencing them as searchlights fall upon a metallic drum set. Jacob Waters plays, the crowd screams (it’s her fantasy, not mine), he’s shirtless and wearing…spandex tights? (Maybe it’s a Bowie thing.) His fists grip the drumsticks as he pounds on the drumhead; his heart pounds with every beat; his body pours with sweat; his hair becomes wild as he bangs his head with the music. The set ends and Jacob jumps onto his chair, leaps over his drum set and launches into the crowd.

If you’re anything like me, at this point you might be wondering what this fantasy has to do with Ann. Well, you see, Ann is in the crowd. She’s screaming and singing and dancing as the drummer plays, and when he jumps into the crowd, he finds her. He chooses her. Every girl in that room wants the rock star, and the only person the rock star wants is Ann.

Yes, she’s embarrassed by this fantasy. Yes, she’s going to kill me when she reads this. Yes, she finds the fantasy shameful and has already undergone extensive psychoanalytical analysis over why she has it (although the analysis was done by Lisa, who eventually summed up her analysis by saying, “Yeah, that’s hot”).


Author Bio:

Sage Steadman was awarded a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. While pursuing her passion for writing, she worked as a licensed mental health therapist. She published her debut novel, “Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a Cutter,” in 2010 under her pen name, The Hippie, and since, re-released the second edition under her real name. The novel has been deemed an “idyllic” read, filled with love, humor, romance and heart. She is also the co-author of the gritty and inspiring historical fiction novel, “Upon Destiny’s Song,” alongside classical guitarist, Mike Ericksen, and has penned an article on teen cutting for Canadian Magazine, “Edmonton’s Child.” She has recently produced a stunning and thought-reflecting novella entitled, “The Waking Dream.” Sage is heralded as a talented writer who tackles her novels with a witty, raw and honest approach. She currently lives near Salt Lake City, Utah with family.

Website / Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Funeral Flower by Michelle Jester

Title: The Funeral Flower
Author: Michelle Jester
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary:

Devastated by the death of her grandfather, six-year-old Kelly Rodgers barely manages to cope with the profound loss. Already facing issues at school, she finds herself spiraling deeper into despair, when a fateful interaction through the fence in her backyard gives her hope. In the years following, Kelly realizes that life’s tragedies can be dealt with through acceptance; until another series of agonizing events leaves her heart in pieces.

Finding herself thrown into new surroundings, Kelly embraces her life and resolves to never fall in love. That decision is easy to keep until her junior year when she is drawn by an unavoidable attraction to the new guy, tormented James Delaney. The moment he looks up at her and smiles, her body betrays her. And he notices. She is determined to avoid him, but soon Kelly is forced to face the inevitable truth: She doesn’t want to avoid James… and he won’t let her.

Even though tragedy always follows love.

This book is intended for mature audiences due to critical subject matter.

Note: Due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


 

book-review

God, I love this book so much.

The Funeral Flower has all the tropes that I love in one book. It has the dysfunctional family, the sibling bond, the friendship that spans over years… basically what I always search for in books. That is also probably why I couldn’t stop reading once I started. I read everything in one sitting.

It was so hard write this review without giving too much away or give people spoilers.

In the beginning, I thought something magical was going to happen in this book. Well, something magical did happen, but not the way I thought it would be. This book gave me so much heartache, melancholic and angst-y feelings, but it also made smile and laugh. Some people might not like the book or thinks it progresses slowly, because it is the kind of book that covers pretty much Kelly’s life from when she’s 6 years old until she’s 20 years old.

I would recommend this to people who loves YA as well as NA. I think YA readers would enjoy this too because the majority of the book was when Kelly was in her teenage years. I know I used this book as a reference a lot lately—oh well—but this book really give me the same vibe I get when reading Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. (I took away 1 star because the people I shipped didn’t end up together) but I still love how it ended though. I love the true love concept.


Author Bio:

I am a hopeless romantic (I think this is the most important thing to know about me). In addition, I live in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with my husband and high school sweetheart. Together we have a son and daughter.

Throughout my life writing and photography have been my main creative outlets. Especially when I am stressed, I know I can go to either of those things and pour out that anxiety into something good and productive.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Book Review: NemeSIS by Susan Marshall

33828534._UY648_SS648_Title: NemeSIS
Author: Susan Marshall
Published date: 4th April 2017
Published by: Blue Moon Publishers
Genre: YA, Middle Grade, Contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Summary:

Dad has moved out and Mom has checked out, leaving the door wide open for the beautiful, erratic Rachel to torment her “loser, loner” younger sister, Nadine. With her family in full meltdown mode, Nadine is alone, trying to cope with Rachel’s increasingly unpredictable moods. Friendless, but determined to turn her life around, Nadine meets Anne, who introduces her to field hockey and to her hot twin brothers, Matt and Cameron.

As Nadine’s star begins to rise, however, Rachel plots to bring her back down, and the tension ratchets up when Rachel starts dating Matt just as Nadine is getting to know Cameron better. When Matt’s interest starts to fade, Rachel goes into overdrive. Is Nadine ready to risk it all in a final showdown with her sister?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman Book Review

30285632Title: Someone Else’s Summer
Author: Rachel Bateman
Published date: 9th May 2017
Published by: Running Press Kids
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary:

Anna’s always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm’s summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm’s list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm’s dream summer would eventually lead to Anna’s own self-discovery?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Book Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride

29241215Title: One Moment
Author: Kristina McBride
Published date: 17th January 2017
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers
Date read: 7th June 2017
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Summary:

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below–dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

Thank you Netgalley, and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

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Book Review: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

51MBmjWq-AL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: I’ll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Walker Books
Published date: 2nd April 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Realistic Fiction
Date read: 4th May 2017
Rating: 5 / 5
Summary:

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

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