Friday, February 4, 2011

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Title: Fixing Delilah
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 308 pages
Date Published: December 1, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.
It’s official. I am in love with Sarah Ockler’s words. She could write about caterpillars or bunnies or the most boring day in history, and I’m positive I would still love it. This quote describes my feelings perfectly:
He belts it straight out, his voice like milk and honey and everything rich and warm and good. I want to drink it. To take off my clothes and slip into his music like a hot bubble bath. ~ pg. 111
That is how I feel about Sarah's writing

The story starts off slow and kind of simmers, but it works. Fixing Delilah is one of those sweet, summer romance stories with a hell of a lot of family drama thrown in. It’s very character-driven and internal. We’re introduced to Delilah Hannaford, on the cusp of a summer in Vermont. Leaving her home and her non-boyfriend behind isn’t really a big deal, but staying with her mother for an entire summer, cleaning up the home of her deceased grandmother, and digging up long buried family secrets, is.

Delilah is so much like every teen girl out there. She’s angry and emotional – desperate for attention, but not sure how to get it. She wants her mother to love her like she used to. Back before her Papa died and her family fell apart. Her life is a series of mistakes that allow her to forget how much she’s hurting, but this one summer changes that.

The Hannaford family secrets are revealed slowly, layer by layer. It’s like wiping away a film of dust, just to find a box that needs to be unlocked. I loved the dynamic between Delilah, her mother Claire, and her aunt Rachel. These three Hannaford women are all strong-willed in their own way and flawed, but they so clearly want to be able to love each other the way they used to; they just don’t know how.  Getting to know each of them was a pleasure, as was slowly discovering the secrets that once tore them apart.

During all this family strife, Delilah gets reacquainted with her best summer friend from her childhood. The boy who used to be Little Ricky, is now Patrick and Patrick is a swoon machine. His good-natured joking, handyman skills, and his musical endeavors made me adore him. He has all this going for him and to top it all off, he cares so much for Delilah. Their friendship does this thing, this crazy thing that many YA books disregard, it blossoms. That’s right. No insta-love here, just some flirting, almost kisses, and finally we get there. And I love there.

Fixing Delilah is the perfect blend of a family, love, and growing up – it made me laugh, it made me ache, it had me sighing and swooning, and most importantly, it made me love it. Delilah Hannaford found a way into my heart and forced me to care for her and her entire family. It’s a story that reminds us that every mistake, every action, every memory, makes us who we are and despite all of that, there will always be someone there who cares.

Opening line: “Claire? It’s Rachel. I’m afraid I have some bad news.” ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: I dug up the past and sifted through the rubble and counted all the bones, and now I want to throw them all back in the hole under shovels full of earth. To forget. ~ pgs. 231-232
And here's a taste of Aunt Rachel:
“I’ll go,” Rachel says. “Need anything specific? Milk? Toilet paper? Compassion, maybe? I’ll get a bunch. I probably have a coupon.” ~ pg. 25
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I have this one and Twenty Boy Summer on my shelves, but I still haven't gotten around to reading them. I feel like I never stop saying that! Lol. Since I own them, I will be reading them eventually, and it's good to know the author has a wonderful way with words!

Jessica (BookLover) said...

I haven't read a Sarah Ockler book, but after reading your review, I'm ready to go out looking for one. :) Great review. I love the quotes.

Justine said...

Ohh man I love summer romances! I really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer too -- it happens to be one of my best reads! I think I would love this one. The quotes are amazing and the opening line is such a teaser. Thanks for your review, it's very clever :) said...

Hi Nikki,

Wow, thank you so much for the amazing review! I'm glad you loved Delilah's story (and of course Patrick. :-) He was one of my favorites to write.)

Thanks for the read and for sharing your thoughts. Such great compliments! :-)

Sarah Ockler said...

Hi Nikki,

Wow, thank you so much for the amazing review! I'm glad you loved Delilah's story (and of course Patrick. :-) He was one of my favorites to write.)

Thanks for the read and for sharing your thoughts. Such great compliments! :-)

Sarah Ockler

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Natalie & Jessica - You HAVE to read both of Fixing Delilah and Twenty Boy Summer. I loved both of them.

Justine - I hope you get the chance to read (and love) this.

Sarah - Thank you so much! Sends you hugs and fangirly squeals of joy! And like I told you before, I'm keeping your double comments, so I can be doubly happy every time I see them ;-)

Bere said...

Wow, Nikki, wonderful review! I already wanted to read this one but now after reading your review I want to run out and get myself a copy. Like, right now! I loved Twenty Boy Summer so I'm super sure I'll love this one the same, if not more =D.

~The Book Pixie said...

Ah yes, the long lost art of relationships that 'blossom' and take time to develop. I sure do miss those. *sigh* lol. This one is on my wish list and after reading your review, I want to read it even more now than ever! :D


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