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.
Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger is a terrific YA story that explores heavy topics (OCD, death, loss, general anxiety disorder) in such an authentic and honest tone. Ganger writes with such raw emotion, that you can't help but easily get caught up in the story. Two teenagers trying to cope with the loss of their parents is a lot for them to handle and a lot of emotion to get through. And Ganger writes their pain so it is plain on the wall and it is hard to accept at times. Not because you can't understand why they are in pain, but it is hard to gain an understanding of how they are dealing with their pain. Dew is easier to fall in love with - he is good and kind deep inside and it shows. Naima is cruel and hard - you can't help but dislike her at first meet. However, as their stories unfold, you find yourself drawn to these two teens. You want to know if they will recover from such tragic losses and how they will find their way. You want to root for them to move forward, so that they don't continue to live mired in so much pain. Its truly heartbreaking, but also eye-opening. I absolutely LOVED this story.
I would happily recommend Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger - you will fall in love with this book! The writing is top notch and the characters are unforgettable. This is YA at its best!