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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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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Book Review: The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey

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Title: The Homecoming
Author: Stacie Ramey
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date:
November 1st 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5
Summary:

A new, emotional novel from Stacie Ramey, the author of The Sister Pact

They say you can never go home—and John’s about to find out just how true that is.
John’s mother kicked him out of the house when she couldn’t handle his anger, and John’s spent the last few years bouncing between relatives. But after his last scrape with the law, there’s nowhere for him to go but home.

Starting senior year at a new high school and fitting into the family that shut him out is a challenge. And it’s all that John can do to keep from turning back to bad habits. Lacrosse training helps him focus. As does Emily, the girl next door. She’s sweet and smart, and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. Maybe he’s ready to trust again. But tragedy has a way of finding John, and he must decide between saving his family or saving himself.

I received The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon
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Book Review: Of Pens and Swords by Rena Rocford (with Spoilers)

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Title: Of Pens and Swords
Author: Rena Rocford
Genre: Teens & Young Adult, Romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Published: 21st March 2016
Available Edition(s): Paperback
ISBN: 9781620071656
Source:
Netgalley
Date read: 28th April – 22nd June 2016
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

I received the digital copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Cyra Berque wants two things in life: a date with Rochan and a chance to fence at the Olympics. But people with one hand don’t normally fence, and girls with big thighs don’t get the boy. Knowing that she wants to make the Olympics, Cyra’s coach sets her up with another coach, one who could take her all the way to the top, but the new coach costs more. Feeling her dreams slipping out of reach, Cyra agrees to tutor a ballerina with a rich father and a D minus in English. It’s triple the pay and triple the pain. The ballerina isn’t interested in passing classes―she wants Rochan, and she’s promised she’ll turn her D minus into a full-fledged F if Cyra doesn’t help her win the heart of Rochan.

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