Cover Image: Goodbye Earl

Goodbye Earl

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Member Reviews

The friendship of these four friends spans decades, and even the supporting characters are so well written they are all believable and interesting. Abuse can be a very hard subject to read, but this novel did it very carefully and sensitively.
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I thought this book would be right up my alley, but unfortunately it was a bit of a miss for me. I loved "This Close to Okay," and I haven't had a change to read "Half-Blown Rose," but I still have high hopes for this author. The flow of "Goodbye Earl" was just disjointed, and while I don't mind an unsympathetic or unlikeable character, there were too many of them for me to root for anyone. Moments of brilliant writing and emotional connection still shone through, and if someone was looking for a little bit of catharsis, I'm sure they'd find it in this book. Lots of nostalgia for those of us who grew up in the "Goodbye, Earl" era! I could easily have gone to high school with this group of girls. I just don't think we'd have been friends.
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Leesa Cross Smith does it again. A slow burn novel about friendships and growing up. I liked the dual timelines in this novel. I have enjoyed her writing over the years.
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This book had great promise for me with a title based on a much loved country song. However, just from the first third of the book I can tell the choice of storytelling style does not sit well with me. I like dual timeline stories, when they're done well. Multi-pov can also read well to keep the story moving and provide different perspectives about events, attitudes, and motivations. Here there are 4 main characters, Rosemarie, Ada, Caroline, and Kasey. We hear from each of them in turn. We even hear from each of them consecutively in BOTH 2019 and then 2004. That quickly became too much for me to remember, and I love books that have complex world building. The povs seem to be on a cycle that alternates years as well as character povs. Keeping track of what each character deals with when is confusing.

Other random elements lack sense. The band's name was not changed from Dixie Chicks to The Chicks until 2020 due to public pressure of the political and societal climate as well as (supposedly) the band making the change they've wanted for a long time. Narration and characters still refer to the band as The Chicks, though, which makes zero sense. Also, how does a character who's written as financially struggling wearing Doc Martens? Those were not for the lower class in the early 2000s.

One last qualm I have with this book is the exposition. 29% into it, and I felt like the exposition was at least first quarter of the book. I sadly cannot push myself to read further.

Thank you to Netgalley & Grand Central Publishing for giving me a chance to read this book with an e-Arc.
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Love this writer and this story! Four high school besties living in the south are looking forward to graduation and starting their lives.  15 years later rhe four are reunited for a wedding. Kasey hasn’t been home since - she has a dark secret about something that happened that summer. One of the friends is in a bad marriage. Will the women resort to murder to save her? Loved the intrigue and the solid complex relationships - the yearning and ache of teenage girls and unfulfilled women
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I absolutely adored Leesa Cross-Smith’s book “This Close to Ok,” so when @netgalley approved me for her newest book “Goodbye Earl,” I was stoked! And I’m happy to say this did not disappoint.

If you’ve ever heard that infamous song “Goodbye Earl,” by @thechicks you already know where this story is headed.  Kasey returns to her mall, southern hometown of Goldie for the first time since she graduated high school fifteen years ago. While she loves and misses her beloved friend group aka “RACK” short for the first letter of each of their names, an unspeakable tragedy from her past has kept her from wanting to revisit old wounds. 

As it turns out, you can only run from your past for so long. An unfortunate turn of events involving one of her best friends from “RACK” forces her to confront her demons and take matters into her own hands. 

I love how Leesa Cross-Smith unfolds the depth of the relationships in this friend group and just how far we will go for the people we love. She also perfectly describes the intricacies of navigating small town politics and how this plays a role in how justice is served…or not. 

This book had me from page one. It was deeply satisfying from chapter one, and I couldn’t recommend it more. 

Make sure you grab “Goodbye Earl” when it hits shelves on July 3, 2023. And a big thank you to @netgalley and @grandcentralpub for granting me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review
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I knew I had to read this book when I saw the title and that it was a revenge novel. I think a lot of us girls/women in the south loved that song because domestic violence is really bad here. 

So to see an entire book made from it was amazing. But this isn't a light-hearted book. It is heavy. Really heavy. Please check all the warning before reading it. 

I really enjoyed it. It was hard to put down. I love a good book about found family and a village of women looking out for each other. Cross-Smith adds Christianity to her books which is usually a deterrent for me. But it isn't overwhelming and the characters are respectful to other beliefs. 

There were a few things I didn't like but overall I thought it was a fantastic book and will be buying a copy for my shelves.
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This book ended with more emotion than I was really prepared for. I knew it was coming, it was obvious from early on this was going to be an emotional roller coaster, but I’m never prepared for that. 

With a title like Goodbye Earl, I’d say most people know exactly what happens in this story so it isn’t the main points that make this a great read, it’s the journey told that brings it to life. In the spirit of The Chicks song of the same title, we have a group of friends that were inseparable throughout high school and then life happens and they’re separated for awhile. When they reunite in Goldie for a wedding, it’s clear something is going on in each of their lives that they haven’t shared with each other yet - but not to fear, their stories unfold through a series of flashbacks along with the present day. 

Like I said this is incredibly emotional especially toward the end. I still really enjoyed it and it’s definitely worth the read. My only complaint is the overly emotional stuff and since that’s something it seems everyone else enjoys, I call this an absolute winner!

Easy 4.5⭐️
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Thank you so much for a copy!

Unfortunately, from the title and cover I was expecting a fun, but dark read and it wasn't really that.

It also felt like a million other books I've read before. Nothing really blowing my mind.
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LOVED this book so much. Ever since this one came out with the title of The Chick's song, I knew I needed to read it. And it did not disappoint. Even though I knew what was going to happen in the book based on the song, it didn't ruin the book at all. If anything, it only made me want to read it quicker because I couldn't wait for the revenge plot to hit. The characters and friendships in this one were so great, I only wish it came out sooner so I could discuss it with everyone ASAP! This book is everything I needed and wanted since hearing that song years ago and it was a hit!
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When Kasey returns to her hometown of Goldie for a wedding, she’s thrust back into the small town life she ran away from and back in the fold of her best friends: Caro, Rosemarie, and Ada. Kasey is confronting the traumatic death of her mother on graduation day from domestic violence while reuniting and catching up with friends. But when Caro ends up in the hospital from “falling down the stairs”, they realize her asshole husband Trey isn’t just an asshole- he’s also an abuser. The girls are determined to right the wrongs that they could do nothing about when Kasey’s mom was killed and take matters into their own hands. 
Absolutely loved the small town vibes and premise of this book! The spirit of sisterhood was strong and all of the characters were so likeable. It reminded me of my favorite small town TV shows (Hart of Dixie, Friday Night Lights, etc) and had a hell of a plot. The only  complaint I have is that it was SO long. Definitely could have cut at least 100 pages; there were a lot of backstories and unimportant details added. 
⌛️Favorite Moment⌛️
The author did such a good job writing from the perspective of the girls on prom and graduation night. That slightly cringy teenage talk and the thoughts going through their heads was so nostalgic! 
🎉 Theme Ideas 🎉
Ada cooks up a very important meal of mushroom lasagna and pecan pie. Pie in itself is a huge plot line of the whole book! Gave me Waitress vibes, so stream the Natalie Portman movie and listen to some quality girl power country songs! Obviously Goodbye Earl by the Chicks and If You Go Down by Kelsea Ballerini!
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Last year when I read half blown rose I’ve been waiting for this author to release another book!! I love her writing style and I feel like she has openings that just suck you in.

This is about four friends and how impactful friendship can be. I did love the past and present chapters and how they intertwined. I thought the ending was bitter sweet with a few of the girls.
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I really tried to like this book, as a girl who grew up listening to The Chicks the title of this book immediately drew me in.  

I’m not sure if it was the writing style or all the different characters but I was so confused the whole time.  I gave this book to 40% and I still wasn’t sure what was going on so this one is going to be a DNF for me.  

Thank you to the publisher and the author for the ecopy in exchange for an honest review.
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I received a free copy of Goodbye Earl from NetGalley for an honest review.

This one was enjoyable! I will say that I found myself a little less interested in the story when the girls were teenagers than the present day setting, but this was an easy read with very thought-out and developed characters. We love a revenge novel!!
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This was a fun and entertaining read which I was able to get through very quickly.  If you loved the song, you’ll love the book.  I loved the small town vibe and the close-knit friendships in these pages. 

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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This book for me was a cross between a Nora Roberts small town romance novel (with less steam) and Fried Green Tomatoes. 

I enjoyed the story overall and the characters that made up RACK. 

At times the pacing was bit too slow and the multitude of characters were hard to differentiate in conversation. 

Overall an emotional good read about a small town of women who will stand behind each other no matter the cost.
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This was not the book for me, but I could see where other people would enjoy it. I usually go for more mystery, but this was more about friendship, which is not my jam.
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Highly enjoyable. I found this one to be a bit different than what I'm used to from this author but I still liked it for what it was. She is definitely an auto-read author.
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This book. You guys!! This! Book! It’s everything I hoped it was going to be and then SO! MUCH! MORE!

The title alone made me want to read it, the description captured me and when I say it does not disappoint; read this book! 

Told from 2 timelines the Present Day and 15 years in the past with multiple POVs it’s such a coherent and strong story that I couldn’t get enough. It is an extremely character driven plot which just allows for that much more buy-in emotionally. It had me crying—I was so invested by the end. 

The sisterhood these 4 girls (and eventually women) have is beautiful. The  love they have for each other, the commitment they have to each other; unmatched—SATC wish they could!

Everything I thought was going to happen was twisted and turned out completely different than I thought it would. I was guessing wrong a good chunk of the time and I loved that! I can’t recommend this book enough. 

I was given an advanced digital copy from Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley—which did not affect my opinion.
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Thank you for the ARC copy of Good Bye Earl by Leesa Cross-Smith.  She is a favorite author of mine and I love the way you get to know the characters so deeply in all her books. Goodbye Earl was the same way,  The female friendships of RACK is wonderful in that all the women are different yet lean on each other completely.  I loved the nostalgia of the late 90's music and brought me right back to riding around in my car belting out the Dixie just the Chicks!  The dual timeline was fantastic and kept the story moving. I needed to know what happened to each character and was rooting for them all the same.  

There are a few trigger warnings for domestic abuse, child abuse and murder.
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