I am so honored to be a part of the blog tour for Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Granger! Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for reaching to me and asking me to read and review this book. This was already on my radar after seeing it on Netgalley and I never thought I’d be asked by a publisher directly to be a part of a tour! I’m so thankful and humbled by this opportunity. I hope you all enjoy my review and can see the rest of the stops on the tour.
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.
Candace Ganger is the author of Six Goodbyes We Never Said and The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash as well as a contributing writer for HelloGiggles and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.
Twitter: @candylandgang + @WednesdayBooks
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Social Anxiety, OCD, Depression,
GAD, PTSD, Death, Grief, Loss,
Thoughts of Suicide
Latinx, Depression, OCD, Bi/Pan
Knowing that there were very personal pieces of the author included in this book – by means of the characters that we read about – I feel like this book was even more heartbreaking to read than usual. I say this because being someone that is not only Latinx, but also suffers from depression and anxiety, it’s like a mirror that reflects part of what I go through, even if it’s not exactly the same, and wondering if there are people out there that can understand me the way that these characters want to be understood.
It’s an interesting and emotional feeling, and I feel like that’s one of the first things you should do before you read this: get in the right emotional head space.
Some people can read things that reflect their own lives and be okay, compartmentalizing the book and real life and things are fine. Others, like me, start to feel more for these characters and start to see themselves in the book somehow. It’s a weird feeling, and I don’t know what that says about me as a person, but I know I had to stop a few times while reading this to compose myself and remember I wasn’t reading about me in an alternate reality.
*FLOAT phase: Fallen Loved Ones Awaiting Transfer
Having family members die during their service in the military, I understood this feeling so well. It’s one of the things that I fear every time my husband was deployed, and I wouldn’t hear from him for months at a time. I tried not to think about it – I didn’t want to jinx anything after all – but in the back of my mind, I always wondered if that was the last time I saw him. If that was the last time I’d ever talk to him. Thank goodness, he’s still here, he’s still alive, and he’s okay for the most part. Not everyone gets so lucky. Naima Rodriguez wasn’t lucky. She wasn’t expecting her father to leave her a voicemail talking about a surprise he had for her when he got back, only to get the news that he wasn’t coming back alive.
Sometimes you don’t think about that until it’s right in front of your face.
Then there’s a situation which I could never imagine being in: losing both of my parents at the same time and effectively being alone in the world. This is what happens with Dew, who now has to learn how to be a part of a different family, because the one he knew is gone forever.
Both of these characters are experiencing extreme loss and grief. This story tells us how they learn to deal with that grief on top of everything else they have going on in their lives. It’s not easy. It’s not a picturesque story line where things line up the way they need to in order to come to a clean conclusion. Life just isn’t like that. But the journey that they do go on feels real enough, that I couldn’t do anything but support them and root for them to get through their hurt, and learn to live with it.
I wanted to put here that I really appreciate Ganger’s beginning note. Not only does she include the content warnings from the get go, but she also explains how she shares many of the characteristics of Dew and Naima, most notably their mental illnesses. Seeing an author be so open and truthful about what they are experiencing, writing about it in such a public forum to allow others to digest and understand them from this point of view, and to be so vulnerable to society like this extremely brave, and I think this made me appreciate these words much more.