Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Pages: 320 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go
Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.
Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.
Candace Ganger’s Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.
I was sent a NetGalley widget via email and got an uncorrected proof of this book so things might be different in the final copy.
I am so torn about my feelings on this book. I understand the importance of the book and how it deals with some hard hitting topics and while I personally can’t speak from experience about the representation of the mental illnesses in this book I feel like it is depicted accurately. This is an own voices book and along with the mental illness rep there’s also bi-racial rep, fat main character rep as well as so many others.
On the other hand it was very slow going. The majority of the book is Naima being incredibly rude to other characters for no reason and that really started to get on my nerves. When you read the synopsis you think that you are going to read a story about how 2 characters who are grieving the loss of their parents and also dealing with some sort of mental illness and in some cases multiple mental illnesses helps each other get through it but that doesn’t happen until the last 20ish percent of the book which then made it seem rushed in the end.
I will say that I felt Naima’s emotions so much more than I did with Dew. I got teary eyed a few times reading Naima’s POV. Speaking of POV I had the hardest time especially in the beginning keeping up with whose POV I was reading.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about this book. While I didn’t hate it it definitely could have used some more fine tuning.