Goodbye Days

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation. 
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” together to share their memories and say a proper farewell.
Soon the other families are asking for their own 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?

I only had one negative so I’ll get it out of the way. It seemed like way too much emphasis was put on the boy who sent a text, even if he knowingly set it to his friend who was driving because he’d answer quicker than his other friends who were passengers, than the driver. We all know the dangers of texting and driving, there are billboards, commercials, youtube videos, demonstrations, school discussions, police led community activities and in some areas actual laws forbidding texting while driving. Therefore there’s no excuse to claim a driver doesn’t know the dangers of texting while driving. Even if the kid who sent the text also knows those dangers, knew his friend was probably driving when he got it and would respond while driving it is still the ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY of the driver to ignore his/her phone.

 I’m not a saint, I’ve text while driving knowing the dangers of doing so and won’t pretend I won’t be be tempted to do it again even after reading this book although hopefully I’ll pause and rethink that choice. I would hope if I was dumb enough to do that and something happened then whoever I was texting would not feel guilty because it was my choice to text them as they did not put a gun to my head to drive and text instead of waiting until I wasn’t behind the wheel.

 From a psychological point of view, except for not holding the driver responsible part, I thought the author did a great job in how he showcased the various ways people deal with grief and how to push through. He made characters you could feel genuine emotions for and a storyline that had you thinking about how we view texting as a normal part of society in every way – even when behind the wheel.

 The dialogue was well written as well, very conversationalist which went well with the story line. The flashbacks to the Sauce Crew days fit perfectly with the story so that you got a fuller picture of the characters, how they lived and what they meant to each other.

 I truly loved the idea behind having a “Goodbye Day” and would recommend it as a positive source of therapy.

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