I am so excited to be participating in this blog tour. Thank you so much to St Martin’s Press – Wednesday Books for asking me to be a part of it!
Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Granger
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
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.
“Naima came into the world the day her mother left it, and that is the very essence of Naima’s heart – existing because of, and in spite of, loss.”
There are no two people less alike than Naima and Dew. Naima’s father, a Marine, has just died in the line of duty, and she’s come back to his hometown for his memorial. She’s also biracial Latinex, bi or pan (it isn’t specified), and has OCD and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), so you could say she has more than enough to deal with. She’s also ferocious and fiery and combative and would rather die than listen to strangers give her sympathy and condolences. She would rather be alone and avoid the rest of the world.
Dew just lost both of his parents as well, and is still trying to process through it all. Lacking friends, he uses a voice recorder to put down all of his inner turmoil. But it’s not enough – he’s determined to find a real friend to help with the bad times and to celebrate the good times – the silver linings. He greets everything and everyone with a positive attitude, all the while pushing his anxieties down to try and keep them hidden.
Maybe Naima and Dew have more in common than they want to admit. And when Dew meets Naima, he’s determined to make her his friend…whether she wants to be or not.
“Find a connection; something similar enough that all the differences bounce off the table completely, like Ping-Pong balls. If we look past things that divide us, humanity will find a way to shine through.”
I really enjoyed this read. The rep alone made it a standout in my mind, especially from a mental health standpoint. In the Author’s Note (one of my favorite parts of this read) Granger makes a point to stay which parts of herself she put into Naima and what she put into Dew. It made the whole story so much more personal, relatable, and I was that much more invested. I especially appreciated the list of trigger warnings she included. This should be STANDARD, people.
My favorite part about this story had to be the characters. I want to put both Naima and Dew in my pocket and protect them forever and ever (but Naima would hate that). I see parts of myself in each of them. In Naima, how hard it is for her to let people in and how ferocious she is; her need to strike out when she isn’t sure why. Even in some of her OCD ticks. In Dew, his anxiety really struck home for me. I felt like I was looking in a mirror. And to me, finding yourself in the pages of a book is what it’s all about.
“Inside the panic I’m not the ruler of my universe, but a prisoner.”
This is such a great look at how teens can struggle to navigate the waters after tragedy strikes. And how important friendship is, even when you may not know it. Above all, it’s such a beautiful story of finding love and learning to let go. While it isn’t a perfect book, people aren’t perfect – and sometimes, those imperfections are the best parts. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“If you want to count the time, start with now. It’s all we’re guaranteed.”
Six Goodbyes We Never Said released on Sept 24, 2019.
*All quotations taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication