Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go
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.
Six Goodbyes We Never Said is one of the most compelling and powerful books I’ve read in a long time. To start off, the mental health representation is more varied than I’ve seen in many YA novels. The characters in this story suffer from OCD, PTSD and GAD. As someone with GAD, I appreciate the rep and the story was relatable to me in that respect. Naima and Dew are two complex characters with individual issues and the way they interact is so beautiful. I think that going into Six Goodbyes you should have patience with the characters and try to understand them. They aren’t your typical lighthearted and happy characters but they have a lot of depth and it takes time for you to get them. Overall, this novel took a story of grief and loss and turned it into a heartwarming story of overcoming obstacles and friendship.