After reading The Serpent King, I knew that I would definitely be following Jeff Zentner’s work. So as soon as I could, I picked up Goodbye Days. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary, but Zentner’s characters have a way of burrowing into your heart immediately and leaving you aching when it’s over. So, if they’re that painful, why should you read them? Read on and I’ll tell you why!
The main event (the car accident) happens before the book even starts. I enjoyed that approach because that meant you only got to know the other members of the Sauce Crew through Blade. Plus, there’s a very unexpected plot twist in the last third that I loved. I was expecting the climax of the story to be about the lawsuit and I liked that it was more focused on all the emotions going through people. The plot sounds like it should be slow, but I couldn’t put it down. Where The Serpent King was a slow build to the big heartbreak, this one starts with the heartbreak and twists the knife all the way through the book. It was hard to read, but I appreciated it. Anyone with grief knows this process and watching Blade go through it, the reader feels it too.
I’m not going to go through each one individually, because I have some easy things to say about them all. Jeff Zentner is so good at diverse characters. It doesn’t feel like an agenda, the characters are all just unique and diverse, like in real life. That made me so happy! I also liked the differences in the families. They all are unique, both in their way of life and how they deal with death. I also appreciated that Blade had panic attacks and visits a therapist. That is something that needs to be more normalized in books. It’s normal in real life and I loved that it was represented here. I especially liked Nana, Blake’s Grandma.
Shoutout to Georgia who was my favorite side character!
A fantastic read. Though your heart is broken the entire way through, it draws you in. The writing is excellent! There is plenty of comedy, especially in the flashbacks, that keep you from being too depressed. Have you read The Serpent King or Goodbye Days? Let me know in the comments what you think of them!! If you have any recommendations for me, based on this, let me know in the comments!