Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (eArc Review)

UK Publishing: April 6, 2017
Publisher
: Random House
Page Count
: 416

**I was provided with an eArc by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

When I first saw Goodbye Days, I didn’t even know what it was about. However, what I did know was that I needed to read it ASAP! I really enjoyed Zentner’s first book, The Serpent King, so I was over the moon when I got approved for the arc now (even though I pre-ordered it before anyway) and it was even more fun to read because I had Cátia and Cristina along on the ride!

Going into a book written by Jeff Zentner, you have to be prepared for sadness. I knew this, I hardened my heart, but I still cried multiple times. While the Serpent King was more of a punch in the gut, this was like a constant cloud of somberness following you around. There’s such an important message here – don’t text while driving! It’s what starts this mess and then unabashedly portrays the devastating aftermath. It sugarcoats nothing and goes deep into the self-blame, the anxiety, the loneliness and sometimes downright panic of the situation.

“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”

I thought that most of the story was handled in a very realistic way and that it flowed beautifully. No matter how emotional or intense the book gets, it never overwhelms you. The sadness comes in waves and little punches instead, always revealing something new to you about the people Carver cared so much about and he loved those boys so very much. I enjoyed that this was a book about friendship and family, especially the parents or guardians had important roles to play and we all know how rare that is in YA these days. There might be a sort of romantic sub-plot, but it didn’t take up too much of the time and I liked how that was left in the end.

The only reason this book isn’t a complete 5-star-read for me, is that I struggled a bit with the criminal investigation. While I understand the components of guilt and blame, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the legal charges. I think it was explained pretty well, but I just don’t believe that those claims were substantial, which is also why I wasn’t entire happy with the resolution of that part. It’s really only a minor thing though, something that adds to the drama I guess.

Finally, there’s a cameo of someone from The Serpent King and it’s bit of a spoiler if you realise that person is the cameo. So, I would recommend you read the other book first, but it’s completely up to you.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Another crazy emotional ride with Zentner.

Have you read Goodbye Days? Do you want to?

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Book Review)

TGFE

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count
: 443

I received The Girl From Everywhere for my birthday as one of the surprise books from my humangous wishlist. Smart people that my parents are, they chose very well! Just look at the cover, the simplicity of the water and that gorgeous ship, it basically screamed “Kat! Pick me up! *whispers conspicuously* There might be pirates!” (they technically weren’t pirates, but they were super close, so it counts!).

It was really easy for me to dive into Nix’ world, even though I usually need a bit to warm to books with a slow pace. I originally planned on binge-reading this book super quickly before starting the Raven Cycle, but then I simply couldn’t do it. This book is meant to be savoured, every word appreciated and thought through. At first I thought the set up was quite easy, but it turned out to be such an intricate and complicated world that I couldn’t even keep up all the time. I hope to get an ever better understanding of the supernatural workings in the conclusion to the duology.

However, ships, time travel – it was really easy to suck me in. Nix is one of those precious female characters that can be vulnerable and badass at the same time. You instantly understand how precarious her situation is, that eternal struggle of “Should I stay or should I go?”, but I absolutely adored watching her relationships with the other characters. Sometimes, when there’s already a lot that has happened in the past, you don’t understand the connections between people, but that was not the case here at all. You could see the bonds and that they were a family.

I was very angry with Slate a lot of the time, but not so much in the end. The characters, besides Nix, that took the spotlight for me were Kashmir and Blake though. Those two boys are polar opposites, but I couldn’t dislike either one. Kashmir is this grand charmer with a heart of gold, whereas Blake has such a strong moral compass and just seems a downright good guy. Of course I know which one I would like Nix to end up with and I don’t think the other one actually stands a realistic chance. But … maybe I am wrong. Only the second book will be able to prove me wrong or right.

Last but not least, I just want to say that I loved the translations and explanations in the end. I adore books that incorporate tales from all kinds of cultures and different languages. There generally was quite a bit of diversity to the book, so yay for that! If this was any indication of how the series will continue, I say that The Ship Beyond Time will have a great conclusion and a grand finale!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Ships and time travel and paradise and badass characters – why are you even still here? Pick up this book!

4stars

Have you read The Girl From Everywhere? Did you fall in love with it as well?