Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Six Goodbyes We Never Said - by Candace Ganger: Book Review

Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Pages: 416
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Genre: YA, Teens
Format: Kindle

Over two months ago I finished reading this novel and I still think about how little I liked Naima, one of the main characters.

Before I proceed with this review, let me just say that that cover is on point. Kuddos & well done, person responsible!

I wanted to read this book because the premise was that it dealt with mental illness and I wanted to read more about that. It made me feel uncomfortable at times, but books should make you feel & see things outside your reading zone.

What made the novel scattered at times is that we find important information about Naima so far apart that it kept reconstructing the character for me. That's usually fun, but this time it was confusing. 

The characters' relationship felt unnatural. I am talking about Naima's family. Through throwbacks we learn about her father and mother, but the present day family of JJ, Kam, and Nell is not something to be desired. Naima is cruel to Nell, despite having been raised by her for years! I understand that Naima is keeping her at a distance, but that mean attitude and that tone were not necessary. I understand this does happen in real life, but it was uncomfortable and unpleasant to read about it. Also, Nell as a step mom was made to seem frail and an extra, as if always OK to overlook. For all she's done for Naima, that's unfair.

Dew is a darling and so are the Brickmans. I rooted for Dew and Faith, and especially for Stella and Thomas in their openness to help the two kids grow roots and feel safe. 

Overall the story was just OK for me. I liked it as I was reading it, but still have that feeling of not liking Naima, though. At times it was confusing to understand where the time line was and to piece the story parts together, but it's doable. Maybe it'd work better if read on paperback, not on Kindle as I did. 

I am sure this would appeal more to younger readers, someone who could relate more to the confusing feelings Naima and Dew have. 

I received a free e-book copy from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Characters List (might contain spoilers):
Naima Rodriguez - main character - OCD, GAD, PTSD; biracial
Staff Sergeant Raymond Rodriguez - Naima's dad - US Marine Corps - died
Josephine - Naima's mother, died when Ima was born
Penelope/ Nell - Naima's step-mom
Joelle/ JJ - grandma
Kameron/ Kam - grandpa
Hiccup - JJ and Kam's dog
Christian - step-brother
Caroline - Christian's girlfriend
Andrew/ Dew - his parents died; social anxiety; panic attacks triggered by his parents' death
Faith - Dew's sister
Phillip and Alejandra Diaz - Dew and Faith's parents, they died in a car accident
Stella and Thomas Brickman - Dew and Faith's foster parents
Baked and Caffeinated - Dew's workplace
Liam "Big Foot" Thompson - manager
Violet - employee B&C
Dodge Teagarden - senior at East Clifton High
Dr. Rose - Ima's therapist in Ft. Hood
Dr. Tao - Ima's doctor
Dr. Peterson - Dew's therapist

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