Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger
Wednesday Books | September 24th, 2019
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.
We all have our quirks, but for Naima and Dew they are very real. With the loss of her father, Naima’s OCD and anxiety have gotten a lot worse. While living with her grandparents for the summer she meets Dew, who has lost both of his parents and now lives next door with his foster family. They are both still grieving on top of dealing with their anxiety and other things. This is a story of how two broken people help each other start to heal.
The two main characters in this book are quite different, but I liked them both. Naima has anxiety issues, OCD, and the death of her father didn’t help these things at all. Dew also has anxiety issues and really struggling with the death of both of his parents. Naima has a hard time letting anyone in, so although they live next door to each other all summer, this was not a quick and easy friendship. Dew tries his best throughout the story to find ways to help Naima or just make her smile, but it’s not easy and doesn’t give up.
At the beginning of this book, before the story begins, the author creates a connection between herself and the characters by explaining that she suffers from anxiety and some things like Naima and Dew. I think that this was such a good idea because if she hadn’t given that introduction you may have thought she was writing about things she knows nothing about and given up on the book.
I have to admit that I did almost put this book down. In the beginning, I was having a hard time with the transitions between Naima and Dew’s point of view, but then I got it. I also found Naima’s parts more interesting than Dew’s. Other than those tiny things, I highly recommend this book.
Thank you, NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.