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ARC Book Review: ‘Six Goodbyes We Never Said’ by Candace Ganger

Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Author: Candace Ganger

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Wednesday Books


This was a request off Netgalley that I was lucky enough to accepted for. The Synopsis sounded so intriguing to me I had to read it.

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss and letting go. Naimi Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronising 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 want 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, ziplock 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 otherwise can’t 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 Naimi and everything’s changed- just in the way he, or she, expects.

Would you rather stand stark naked in front of the world, but emotionally protected, or be fully clothed and all your feelings in plain sight?’

Now when I first started this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This book is heavy, it’s very emotional. As a person who has lost a parent, I could relate to both characters. But I did worry this book was going to be a tad depressing. My biggest fear was that both characters would just be a list of mental health disorders and have no personality, like other authors have reduced their characters to in books *I’m looking at you John Greene in Turtles All The Way Down*

When actually what really shines about this book, is it’s characters. Dew and Naimi are fantastic characters, that’ll break your heart and put it back together again. Dew is instantly likeable, with his sweet but damaged personality radiating off the page. Naimi takes a little while to become more likeable, but as she beings to deal with her grief, you see more of her personality. To be on the journey with these two characters as they come to terms with their losses and finding small ways to deal with pain is really beautiful.

The friendship that Naimi and Dew form is really beautiful. I was worried for a while the author was going to turn it into a romance but thankfully that didn’t happen, it just wouldn’t have felt right. But to watch them grow close and help each other was really touching. I also loved they dynamic between Dew and his adopted family. I didn’t expect this from the book but it was really heartwarming.

Mental health disorders, anxiety and grief get represented incredibly well in this book. Both characters had these, but were more than that. I think gives a lot of hope to people reading this who suffer with these things. You could tell the books been well researched. It’s so beautifully written. This book exudes the notion that things can always get better.

I highly recommend this book. It’s the kind of book that needed to be written. I truly believe this book could help a lot of people. This book will have you feeling all the feels at the end. Beautiful.

Thank you Netgalley and Wednesdaybooks for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review.

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