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Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary 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 been an entire eight years since Delilah Hannaford has seen her grandmother and now she’s dead. Beyond any choice of her own, her mother has kept contact with her immediate family to the bare minimum and their communication between the two of them is almost non-existent. What once was a happy home, a mother-daughter bond similar to that of Rory and Lorelai of the “Gilmore Girls”, is now a work-a-holic mom ordering take-out for her lackluster daughter. Delilah hardly recognizes the two of them when they sit together during a car ride back “home”, but it’s possible that once they arrive things will begin to unravel for them more quickly than they thought possible.

From the very beginning of Fixing Delilah you get the feeling that Delilah is searching for something. She’s always looking for answers: Why did her mother stop talking to her grandmother? Why does my mother work so much and notice me so little? Who was my father and who does that make me? Everyone wants to feel grounded, to have a sense of identity, but teenagers (and Delilah especially) seem to have the desire in spades. And Sarah Ockler does a brilliant job of portraying that struggle for identity and individuality.

What I loved about Fixing Delilah though wasn’t necessarily Delilah, because at times she kind of got on my nerves a bit. I do cut her some slack because she has a myriad of problems that aren’t entirely her own fault. I love love loved the story between Delilah and her childhood sweetheart, Ricky (Patrick). Their story was a bit of the reason I recall picking up young adult novels, the young love and complete abandonment into another person’s existence. It’s one of those stories where you wait for them to stare at each other from across a group of people just to feel that electricity. Not only that, but the way they support each other the way people in love really do. And Ricky does, through all the trials Delilah goes through in the book he’s right there for her waiting for her to move forward with or without his help.

In addition to the romance between Ricky and Delilah, it was the connections between the characters and the setting that truly stood out. First the setting, because I’m a huge sucker for a good Southern setting where you can literally feel the humidity and see the porch swings as you read it. Second, the relationships…not only with her mother, but with her Aunt as well as new friendships. Also, if I could recommend this book to every mother with teenagers I would, because of how Ockler portrays that mother-daughter relationship. As mothers we sometimes get caught up in “getting things done” so that our children have the things they “need” when most of the time they only need us. They need to feel loved and they need someone to listen, or at the very least that’s what Delilah needed.

Fixing Delilah was a beautiful book about love and growing up. Delilah was at times a typical teenager, running off with the wrong guy, but in the end discovers who she truly is. Sarah Ockler has done an incredible job portraying so many of the aspects of being a teenager, particularly one with numerous questions and not a lot of answers. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to young adult fans both young and old. A story about finding yourself even when you think the rug has been pulled out from under you and discovering that what matters most are the people you love and who love you in return.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 14 and up. A beautifully written book about secrets, the damage they can do and the power love has to overcome them. Mild sexual references, thus the higher age range.

Please stop by The Teen {Book} Scene for more details and other tour stop locations!

Thank you so much to the author, Sarah Ockler, for providing a copy of her book for review!
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10 Responses to Book Review: Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

  1. Jamie says:

    I’ve been wondering about this book! I have Twenty Boy Summer sitting on my shelf so I need to get to that one! I love a good mother-daughter plot in addition to a good romance! This sounds wonderful! Great review!

  2. sounds like a great book off to see if my library carries it so I can put it on hold!

  3. Gina says:

    You had to go and mention Gilmore Girls didn’t ya? Now I feel the need to dig out my DVDs of the show. (Loved that show!) ^_^

    While the story sounds good, the innocent love between the young couple sounds refreshing….and yes, definitely one of the higher points in YA lit. Sounds like a winner for the right audience. Thanks for sharing…and happy reading!

  4. What a lovely review. It’s nice to see a book with good relationships 🙂

  5. Katie says:

    Delilah sounds like such a sweet read. Your reflection on why moms should read this one reminded me that part of the reason I keep reading YA is it helps me remember what it’s like to be a teenager: something that I think all teachers would do well to remember. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sarah Ockler says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your review of Fixing Delilah! I hope other moms enjoy the story as much as you did. 🙂

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Ockler

  7. I must read this – and Sarah’s other book. Did you know she’s in Denver and a celebrity at Lighthouse Writers where I’m a member and take writing classes. Sarah, I’m going to get your book this weekend. Pinkie promise.

    Melissa

  8. I cant wait to read this! I wish I would have known about this tour – I would have done this one for sure! Love Sarah Ockler’s writing!

  9. […] will warm our already chilling conditions and get us thinking a little more about her recent books, Fixing Delilah and Twenty Boy Summer. I’m positive you’ll love what she has to say. So, without […]

  10. […] Delilah’s Aunt Rachel from Sarah Ockler’s Fixing Delilah – Delilah’s Aunt Rachel is perfect! She’s like the older sister/aunt you would […]

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