Cover image for Six goodbyes we never said
Title:
Six goodbyes we never said
ISBN:
9781250116246
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
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.
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Summary

Summary

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting goNaima 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.


Author Notes

Candace Ganger is 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.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--Naima Rodriguez is struggling to cope with the recent loss of her father, who was serving in the military overseas. Now living with her grandparents, she counts the hexagons on her quilt and does everything in increments of six to stave off her palpable grief. Using a voice recorder to keep distance by recording observations as news headlines, Dew-Was-Diaz-Brickman is trying to settle into his adoptive family after tragically losing his own parents. He is looking for a friend who can understand his loss and reaches out to Naima, who is slow to warm up. Eventually both make progress with their grief, separately and together. While the book opens with a two-page trigger warning, the nature of the content is more likely to comfort than to cause distress. Naima is diagnosed by the author with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, while Dew is diagnosed with social anxiety. These issues are explored with humanizing examples that invite empathy. The split narrative is interspersed with old voicemails from Naima's dad, and the email drafts she never sent in response. The story includes many colorful secondary characters, particularly Dew's adoptive sister Faith, who develops an interest in professional wrestling that helps her deal with her own problems. VERDICT Sure to be reassuring to those working their way through grief.--Alex Graves, Manchester City Library, NH


Publisher's Weekly Review

Biracial (Latinx and white) Naima, 17, and Dew, 15, who is Latinx, have both recently lost parents and also struggle with mental health challenges. When the two become neighbors in Ivy Springs, Ind., however, their attraction to each other is anything but mutual. Sweet Dew's clumsy, overly cordial overtures put irritable Naima off; she would rather console herself than become involved with someone as complicated as she thinks she is. Eventually, though, the two establish an unconventional friendship (she is sharp with him; he feels most comfortable when he's speaking into a mic attached to a tape recorder) as Naima, who is spending the summer with her grandparents, awaits her late Marine father's memorial and Dew adjusts to living with his adoptive parents and sister. With great empathy, Ganger (The Inevitable Collision of Birdie and Bash) alternates the protagonists' points of view, revealing the way Naima navigates her OCD, anxiety and depression, and PTSD, and Dew handles his social anxiety amid their grief, loneliness, and sorrow. Through the teens' humorously awkward gravitation toward each other, Ganger creates a heartfelt, convincing story about the restorative power of self-care and friendship. Ages 14--up. Agent: Dan Mandel, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (Sept.)


Kirkus Review

Two teens maneuver painful routes through profound grief as well as the complex quagmire of severe mental illness.Seventeen-year-old biracial (Latinx and white), bristly Naima is spending the summer with her grandparents in Indiana. She never forgave her father for leaving on multiple military tours, but now that he's given his life in service of his country, she's angrier than ever. Fifteen-year-old sweet-tempered, Latinx Dew lives next door with his adoptive parents following his parents' deaths. He prefers communicating via tape recorder and is convinced that he and Naima can help each other. They're both adrift in their devastating new realities. The teens' mental illnessesDew's social anxiety; Naima's OCD, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSDare conveyed in a realistic and poignant manner. Naima is fat and pansexual while Dew has severe food allergies, and the protagonists' multilayered, intersectional identities make them all the more believable. Dew's fixation on and out-loud narration of his observations of Naima are intrusive and border on inappropriate, and others join Naima in deeming such behavior disrespectful while supporting her in setting boundaries. The teens benefit from an unflagging support system, which also provides alternate reflections for navigating grief. The novel is ultimately hopeful, and readers will connect with the messy, visceral lives simmering on the page.Profoundly emotional and truthful. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Naima's grief intermingles with fury in the aftermath of her dad's combat death. Why did he have to do so many tours of duty? She was already suffering with anxiety-related OCD, but he just kept taking off anyway. Meanwhile, Dew's universe has been shattered by the death of both parents in an accident. The quirky teen sounds older than his years and likewise grapples with severe anxiety as he tries to fold into the life of a loving foster couple. Expect the sparks to fly when the two outlier kids meet as Naima joins her grandparents next door to Dew's new family. The alternating narratives, often in the form of phone messages, emails, and Dew's news-style commentary on his life, present a puzzle-like format that takes getting used to, but readers will piece the parts together as they delve into Naima's and Dew's stories, gripped by their anguish and traveling on their bumpy healing journeys. Ganger's strong, layered characterizations provide depth in this unique, powerful story of loss told from inside the raw pain.--Anne O'Malley Copyright 2019 Booklist