Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger

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Welcome to my stop on the Six Goodbyes We Never Said book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Pub. Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD, Kobo

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 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.

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!

“Two teens maneuver painful routes through profound grief as well as the complex quagmire of severe mental illness…Ultimately hopeful, and readers will connect with the messy, visceral lives simmering on the page. Profoundly emotional and truthful.
– Kirkus Reviews

“Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a knowing tour de force filled with crackling wit, pain, and mini, freeze-dried marshmallows. Original and funny, the best parts may be found in the small moments, especially Ganger’s hilarious, spot-on dialogue, as well as tucked within the brilliantly-placed parentheticals. All that and a bowl of Lucky Charms. Or maybe six boxes.”
Gae Polisner, award-winning author of The Memory of Things and In Sight of Stars

“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

“Candace Ganger weaves a beautiful story of loss, grief and the struggle to move on in Six Goodbyes We Never Said. One of the realest voices of our generation, Ganger infuses this story with relatable, flawed teens who must learn how to cope in this world or be lost forever. I laughed and cried while reading and this book will stick with me for ages.”
Jessica Burkhart, editor of Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles on Six Goodbyes We Never Said

“Smart, raw, often biting in its reflections of the haves and have-nots, this debut will appeal to fans of John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines…You’ll find yourself not only wanting to (re)study chemistry but learning what you get in life isn’t always what you deserve—sometimes it’s more. [A] must-have for every shelf.”
Patty Blount, award-winning author of Some Boys

“A stunning and brilliantly crafted debut that peels back layers to the raw and the real. Birdie + Bash = 2 characters impossible not to fall in love with.”
K.M. Walton, author of Empty and Cracked

“THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH is part love story, part page-turner, and part intricate character study. Ganger writes her characters with great care, and the beautifully structured story is filled with giant truths and tiny, perfect details. Falling for this book was quick, thrilling and, yes, inevitable.”
Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story and The Careful Undressing of Love

“Smart, emotionally rich, and beautifully written, THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH is an unforgettable, heartfelt novel―realistic YA at its best.”
Jamie Kain, author of Instructions for the End of the World and The Good Sister

 

Buy the novel here.


REVIEW

What I loved about this novel was the introduction into the life of young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. A lot of times we experience “perfect” characters…perfect looks, perfect personality, you get the picture. Having experienced some of the same struggles that our protagonists go through, I felt this was a real and accurate depiction of someone encountering depression, anxiety, and OCD.

The author brings in a very diverse character set. The relationships and struggles are genuine to how “real life” is experienced…the fights, the emotions, the heartbreak. Although, sometimes I felt like the protagonists were a little juvenile and disrespectful to the other characters. Yes, we all have problems and some people might not understand, but we should still treat others respectfully.

Another unique aspect of the novel is the voicemails and recordings. I loved that! It helped break up the more trying scene and was a creative way to depict the personalities of some of the characters.

The only downside I had was that the plot wasn’t clear. This isn’t your typical novel. This book is more about being able to let yourself rely on others to help you through your struggles. It is a story of growth and healing.

Ganger does a great job of providing insight into the life of people struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. With a little humor and a lot of personality, Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a story of healing, dealing with love and grief, and growing with the help of family and friends.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Candace Ganger AP_Credit Candace GangerCANDACE GANGER is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, 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, bestselling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.

Follow Candace:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads  | Wednesday Books Twitter


AUTHOR’S NOTE

Hello, dear reader.

I think it should be known that, while Six Goodbyes is a work of fiction, I share the many characteristics, fears, and pains, in both the delicacy of Dew, and the confused ferocity in Naima. Please let this brief note serve as a trigger warning in regards to mental illness; self-care is of the utmost importance. And while I hope Six Goodbyes provides insight for those who don’t empa- thize, or comfort for those that do, I also understand everyone reacts differently.

Dew’s social anxiety is something I, and many others, struggle with. We carry on with our days and pretend it’s not as hard as it feels inside. Others can’t quite see how much it hurts but we so wish they could. Naima is the most visceral interpretation of all of my diagnosed disorders combined. Her obsessive-compulsive dis- order (OCD) and related tics, her intrusive thoughts, her utterly devastating and isolating depression, her generalized anxiety dis- order (GAD), which makes her so closed off from the world, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from losing the biggest portion of her identity—those are all pieces of me. Very big pieces. They don’t define me, but it would be misleading if I didn’t ad- mit they sometimes, mostly do. I’m imperfectly complicated like Naima. And though I’ve written extensively on both my mental illnesses and living biracial, between two worlds—never enough of one or the other; always only half of something and never whole or satiated—I often still feel misunderstood. Hopefully Dew and Naima’s stories will provide a little insight as to what it’s like inside their heads, and inside mine.

Both Dew and Naima want to hold on to the roots that have grounded them in their familiar, safe spaces. But once their meta- phorical trees are cut, and all the leaves shielding them from their pains have fallen and faded away, not even photosynthesis could bring them back to life. Those roots, Naima and Dew feel, will die off, and everything they had in their lives before will, too. There are many of you out there who feel the exact same way, but I assure you, Dew and Naima will find their way— they will grow new roots that flourish—and you, my darlings, will, too.

Thank you for reading, and may Six Goodbyes serve as per- mission to speak your truths—the good and the painful.

Here’s to another six airplanes for you to wish upon.


Q & A

Q: Did Six Goodbyes We Never Said have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
A: You’ll see! Naima frequently mentions songs to note. Her family is old school. Dew’s parents were part of August Moon and the Paper Hearts, which is a play on Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, so there was a lot of “Forever” and “Please Bleed” happening also.

Q: What is your dream cast for Six Goodbyes We Never Said?
A: I’d love a couple of unknowns to take the stage to really make it their own. We need more POC rep so a Six Goodbyes cast could be pretty stellar.

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
A: Keeping my own mental health in check. I had a lot of personal struggles which interfered with the writing process, but we made it through.


 

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