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

 

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief by Rosie Somers

Title: Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief

Author: Rosie Somers

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary:

Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.

Will could be the next target.


book-review

Badass teens with secret life is one of my soft spots when it comes to books. It doesn’t matter if it’s as a secret spy, thief, assassin— I love them all. Which is why I immediately jumped onto the wagon when I saw this book.

I have to admit that my focus was divided when I started reading. But once I had my head on straight, nothing could make me put this book down aside from the time I did my chores.

While I’m not in love with the characters, but I do love their interactions with each other. And gosh, the puns. I love bad puns, it always made me laugh. Another thing I like is how Marisol’s mom is not just a prop like some other books.

I wished there’s more action side of the story though. It always give me a second hand adrenaline rush. But the pace of the story as it is is great too.

I think readers who enjoyed reading Also Known As by Robin Benway, and Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott would enjoy this book.

I rate this book 4 over 5 stars.


About the Author:

Rosie Somers is a beach-going book addict who’s been crafting stories since before she learned her ABCs. When she’s not busy trying to bring the characters in her head to life on paper, she can be found volunteering with local animal rescues, crocheting funky hats for her friends, or eating herself into the poorhouse at Chipotle. Her fondest dream is to one day own a goat.

Author Blog: rosiesomers.blogspot.com

Author Twitter: @prosyrosie

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProsyRosie/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8281027.Rosie_Somers


Teasers:

Paragraph Teaser Excerpts from DIARY OF A TEENAGE JEWEL THIEF by Rosie Somers

1.

When his tongue darts out to wet his lips, I unconsciously

mirror the action, and he sucks in a deep breath in response.

A little thrill shoots through me at the realization that he’s

reacting to me that way because he wants to kiss me. And

if I’m honest with myself, I want to kiss him. I can almost

feel his lips pressing against mine. Every fiber of my being is

caught in his gravitational pull, aching to be near him.

2.

Heat surges through me. I lean into Will, memorizing

the feel of his body leveled against mine. The life of a thief

is a solitary one; I’ve never been this close to a guy before,

and the situation is made all the more complicated by the

strength of my attraction to him.

3.

My phone rings. The tinny chime splits the silence and

cuts through the romance of the moment, but I don’t move

to answer it. Maybe if I stay just like I am, he’ll still kiss me.

“You gonna answer that?” Will’s voice is a breathy

almost-whisper against my lips.

“No.”


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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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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb

Title: The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Author: Marnie Lamb
Publication date: May 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Summary:

Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being -cool, – Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary’s obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Year of Four (Phoebe Pope #1) and The Blood of Kings (Phoebe Pope #2)

Title: The Year of Four (Phoebe Pope, #1)
Author: Nya Jade
Publication date: October 28th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Summary:

The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.

The Blood of Kings
Nya Jade
(Phoebe Pope, #2)
Publication date: April 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

According to the press, Phoebe Pope and teen movie star Colten Chase are no longer an item—which is just how the happy new couple like it. And yet there’s trouble in paradise . . .

Phoebe is haunted by dreams that show her things she can’t possibly know about—including a pact between Colten and a wanted assassin. In the daylight, she struggles to keep a newly emerging power hidden, even as her hands itch to wield it.

Meanwhile, in the wake of their escape from a Vigo crèche, Phoebe and her fellow Hyphas study under lock and key at the Campus Below. As the foursome wait to see who among them will fulfill the prophecy, someone dear to Phoebe is kidnapped by a powerful Vigo determined to use her to spy on the Shaper royalty. When the Hyphas are called to the Royal Court, Phoebe refuses to heed warnings of imminent danger for she will do whatever it takes to rescue her loved one.

But once at court, nothing is as it first appears. A sinister force controls some royals, while others whisper behind closed doors about forbidden alliances. And as Phoebe draws on her courage to complete the task set by her enemy, she makes a startling discovery—one that upends her father’s memory.

With dangerous conspiracies surfacing, Phoebe must uncover what the Royal Shapers really want from her, and decide whether there’s room for Colten in her unraveling life.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Excerpt:

THE YEAR OF FOUR (Phoebe Pope #1)
by NYA JADE

The students moved their right hands to their lips in unison, and then crossed both arms in an X over their chests—one fist placed over each heart.

“Welcome back, Cadets.” Professor Yori gestured for them to be seated. “And a special welcome to our newest Hastati class. Your decision to train for the Shaper Intelligence Service is an admirable one, and a decision that I know was not made without long and careful thought. It is why we mark the beginning of the year with a grand Conversion Ceremony in the tradition of the Old Country. It reminds us of what we serve to protect. And now, as is our custom, the Principes class will swear in the new Hastati class.”

Phoebe stood with her classmates as everyone in the middle row of tables rose and turned to face them. Together the second-years said, “We, the Principes class, candidates for advancement to Triarii class, bid you welcome.”

“We are happy to be welcomed,” Phoebe replied with her class, reciting the response they’d been given in their trainee handbook.

The Principes continued: “Please give your enrollment statement.”

“We are here to gain physical toughness. Develop strength of character. And sharpen our mental acumen.”

“Why do you fight?”

“Loyalty to each other. Service to the Royal Court. And in honor of Pompeii.”

“And when called to the task?”

Phoebe’s stomach lurched. Her palms suddenly felt clammy. With a shallow breath she answered timidly, “We will kill Vigos, no questions asked.”

Then Phoebe shook hands with the Principes boy in front of her, who looked at her with concern. Embarrassed, she composed her face into a picture of calm. She pulled her hand from his grasp and sat slowly, caught up in the meaning of the oath. Doubt, sharp and unwanted, coiled in her stomach. What if she couldn’t make her father’s career her own?

“The start of a new moonester,” Professor Yori said, “brings with it a few quick announcements. First, and of most importance, recent reports indicate a spike in Vigo activity in the area—” Gasps and murmurs broke out as every student turned to address his or her neighbor.

Professor Yori’s whistle cut through the noise. The dome fell silent. Maintaining his composure, the headmaster looked out at the sea of students. “In the one hundred years of the Campus Below, Vigos have never once found the school. We remain perfectly cloaked by the presence of humans.”

Phoebe knew that Professor Yori was right. Her father had once explained that because of the warm physical energy that radiated from Shapers, a gathering as large as a school would be a beacon for Vigos to track. Luckily, the presence of a greater mass of cold energy humans, like the Green Lane Academy population, could shield them. This truth failed to stop the shiver that swept through Phoebe.


Books in the Phoebe Pope Series:

The Year of Four (Book 1)

The Blood of Kings (Book 2)

Web: http://www.PhoebePope.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhoebePopeBooks


Author bio:

Nya Jade has enjoyed a fun career as a singer-songwriter. Her music videos have aired on the Vh1, BET and MTV networks and she’s opened for some of the biggest names in music. Nya’s music has also received recognition in major publications, including USA Today and the LA Times. She took a break from writing and performing music to write The Year of Four, her first YA novel. When she isn’t writing, Nya can be found hanging out with family and friends, reading or bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes. Nya lives with her family in California.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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