FRIDAY BOOK SHARING!
So I have to be honest. I loved The Serpent King so much that I cried, and then I reread and cried again. And when Jeff Zenter published a second book, I was a little hesitant. I loved Lydia, Dill and Travis. Part of me just couldn’t wait to read the new book, and part of me was worried that I just couldn’t love it like I loved Lydia, Dill, and Travis. I waited. Then I requested Goodbye Days from the library (yay for some time to read during summer) and decided to be optimistic. And honestly, as soon as I started reading Carver’s story, I was hooked. Really. Truly. Hooked. As in….I stayed up past 1am even though I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before because I HAD TO FINISH. And this story was absolutely, one hundred percent different from The Serpent King. Yet after finishing it, I found some similar themes and ideas floating around in my head. Friendship. Being okay with yourself, mistakes and all. Grief. Figuring out who you are. Making sense of the world. Nana Betsy (a lovely character) tells Carver, “Funny how people move through this world leaving little pieces of their story with the people they meet, for them to carry. Makes you wonder what’d happen if all those people put their puzzle pieces together.” And so begins the idea behind Goodbye Days. Through this process of spending time with Carver’s friends’ families and sharing stories, we see the grieving process through the power of storytelling. Perhaps what I loved most about this book (and what I think teenagers will appreciate). Stories have power. While Carver’s life will never be the same and he will always live with his actions, it is through stories that his friends remain and he finds strength. “All of this ending and beginning is the only thing that’s infinite” — and in between all of the endings and beginnings are stories.