This is no love story; in fact, it’s not even really a “like” story.
In Candace Ganger’s sophomore novel, SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID (Wednesday Books; September 24, 2019), two teens meet after tragically losing their parents and learn about love, loss, and letting go. Deftly tackling issues of mental health and grief, Ganger’s #OwnVoices novel brings vibrant characters to life as they figure out how to say goodbye to the people they love the most.
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 he 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.
Full of tender, funny, and downright heartbreaking moments, Ganger’s second novel will have you cheering and crying all on the same page. Don’t miss out on this YA powerhouse standalone!
I love it when a great cover and an intriguing premise hold up to give you the read you were hoping for.
Six Goodbyes We Never said is a dual POV story following Dew and Naima as they cope with tragedy and their anxiety and other disorders they face every day.
Both characters were well-represented and consistent in their disorders, their coping, and their healing and interactions with others. The voices were strong and they invoked sympathy/empathy.
I love alternative formats in books and Ganger does well without pulling the reader out of the story.
This story is full of pain, grief, depression, sparks of happiness, and all sorts of emotions but has my favorite addition: HOPE.
Candace Ganger is the author of Six Goodbyes We Never Said and The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash as well as 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
Twitter: @candylandgang + @WednesdayBooks
I sat down with Candace Ganger and asked her a little bit about SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID.
How did you come up with the format for the
My editor had some great suggestions, such as adding international chapters for backstory in the vein of The Sun is Also a Star. I didn’t intend to give Dew his own full story, but after many drafts, it needed his voice. I also felt that the story needed more about Naima and Ray’s relationship without a ton of flashbacks, so this was how I thought it might work. This was originally in podcast form, but since the release of Courtney Summers’s amazing book, Sadie, I wouldn’t have stood a chance!
Where did the idea for this story come from?
A few places. I wanted to showcase the way my disorders present to help others understand and I’ve written about my struggle with identity and loss as long as I can remember, so this novel was a way to finally say goodbye. I’m still struggling with loss, so this was a way to navigate my own grief. That aside, my brother was a U.S. Marine, I have close friends who have fostered and adopted their children, and Six Goodbyes felt like the best place to tell all of these stories at once.
What is your favorite scene?
This will sound morbid, but the scenes with the urn. Anyone who knows
PRAISE FOR SIX GOODBYES
“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. Sure to be reassuring to those working their way through grief.” – Publishers Weekly on Six Goodbyes We Never Said