Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Genre: Slice of Life, Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
This is an Advanced Readers Copy. That means that this is not the final version of the book therefore some facts and quotes are subject to change in the published book.
Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a story about real people. Ones who live with mental illness and who learn to live with it. We follow Naima, a sassy girl who will not be defined by her OCD. We follow along with her life and how she copes with her father’s death. Our second character is the lovely Dew Brickman. After losing both his parents, he is slowly recovering with his new foster parents. He also is learning to live with his anxiety and learning to let go. This is a story about growth and love that was enjoyable from start to finish.
Naima is way too into politically correcting people. Like she just throws around things like toxic masculinity when Dew is involved when that is absolutely not the case. And later on when Dew buys her food, she accepts and stuffs her face. Dew then offers to pay for a carnival game and she responds saying that’s sexist?? Okay but Naima, girl, you have no job and he does.
The changing of the chapters was weirdly formatted in the ebook version. Each Naima chapter would end with a voicemail from her dad and Dew’s would start with a tape recorder but the ebook messes with is so there is no chapter break. I really want to get a physical copy of this book when it comes out.
It took way too long for Naima and Dew to become friends. This whole story is about them working together to overcome their problems but they don’t even meet till halfway through the book. I loved learning about them and growing with them but their relationship started off so rocky and I felt they never got the chance to fully learn about each other. Naima was always so dismissive of him whereas he constantly cared for her. I never felt the two worked together even at the end.
Dew is an adorable kid! I loved him so much and his character was so pure. The use of the tape recorder was cute but I wish he was introduced as wanting to be a newscaster but we were just thrown into it. Other than that I really loved Dew and how he was written. I feel his character did a little bit of a 180 at the end to where he was way too opposite than who he was in the beginning. He was still enjoyable to read about though.
Mental illness being represented accurately is my kink. The panic attack that Dew has in the beginning of the novel resonated with me so much. The accuracy of the scene was so authentic I felt so happy that someone finally got it right. And Naima’s OCD was so consistent throughout the novel. Not once did I ever feel that Naima broke who she was. She never ‘gets over’ her OCD and we as readers learn to live with it just as she has.
This is a book written with true human characters. This kind of representation was so different than what I’ve ever read because of it’s truthfulness. The ability to portray actual people is hard but I feel the author got it right.
This novel is very similar to Koe No Katachi.
“Chase light like a firefly in darkness.”