Goodbye Days I Review #65

“Our memories of our loved ones are the pearl we form around the grain of grief that causes us pain.”

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Goodbye Days

Title: Goodbye Days

Author: Jeff Zentner

Pages: 416

Publisher: Anderson Press


Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?


I think my rating for this is more of a 3.5.

Goodbye Days was a good book. There were loads of amazing aspects and parts of it: the supportive and emotional male friendships (which are a rarity in YA), the way that grief was explored and characterization was amazing.

It tells the story of a boy called Carver who (in a way) somewhat causes his friends death. This book is essentially Carver’s ‘journey’ through living with his grief, the impact it has on his mental health and how he has to learn to live in a world without his three best (and only) friends.

I think that the idea of a ‘Goodbye Day’ was what made this book. It could have fallen very flat, and although it did actually take a while to get to them when they did come, the Goodbye Days were intriguing if anything. They provided a way to both learn more about who had once been Carver’s best friends, while also seeing a wide spectrum of grief.

Carver as a character was slightly annoying if anything. I appreciated a lot of the things he said and did – and to me, he was a somewhat accurate representation of a teenager. However, at times, he did seem a bit pretentious and far fetched for me. I really liked his friendship with Jesmyn and what came later on – he really did grow as a character as the book went on.

I’d also just like to point out that I really don’t think there was any need for the extent that this book took suicide jokes. Of course, as a teenager myself, I know that loads of people do actually use them – it’s not uncommon. But there was literally no reason for them here to be completely honest.

Overall, I did quite enjoy this (it did make me tear up once or twice) but I think I just felt like there was something missing from the story. There could’ve been more but it just fell a little flat for me.


Strange The Dreamer I Review #64

“Like nightmares, dreams were insidious things, and didn’t like being locked away.”

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Strange the Dreamer

Title: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Pages: 523

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.


Strange the Dreamer – if anything – is a peculiar book. Not in the sense of unusual characterization, plot or world building. The way that Laini Taylor writes is just, uniquely entrancing. Laini Taylor certainly has a way with words which I found myself completely engrossed with.

Strange the Dreamer is told from two perspectives. Lazlo – the librarian who is completely and utterly infatuated with the Unseen City – Weep; and, Sarai, a girl from Weep who has a special affinity with dreams.

This novel is what I would call an ideal fantasy novel. A magical world filled with wonders and magic; characters who give so much life and excitement to the story and a well written, fast paced plot. All of this paired with Taylor’s mystical prose made for a magical read.

It was nice to see a male protagonist in a fantasy novel who wasn’t the insane alpha male that felt the need to solve everything with a sword fight. Lazlo’s personality allowed for a perspective of this story that was intellectual and altogether a lot more interesting.

Overall, I think that this book was a whimsical and fun read and honestly, a very very very good book. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!