Monday, February 7, 2011

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Release: December 1st, 2010
Age: YA
320 pages (hardcover)
Source - Publicist/Purchased
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? 
"There's so much lost. So many versions of the truth. So many versions of how things might've turned out differently. We all long for what could have been..." (Ockler 177)

A story with a lot of heart, Fixing Delilah is perfect for anyone in need of a wonderful contemporary novel (especially those who are already fans of Ockler's debut - Twenty Boy Summer - because this one doesn't disappoint). Narrated by Delilah, Delilah herself is a girl with some issues. She got caught stealing something incredibly stupid, she messed around with a guy that just might be a complete waste of time, and then she's stuck dealing with her mom and aunt - who can never get along - as they come together in a house they hadn't seen in years.

The characters were 100% individuals, from Aunt Rachel's awesome sense of humor to Delilah's mother's business-comes-first personality. None of them are perfect, they're far from it. The Hannaford women are truly disconnected, chaotic, and completely endearing with all their faults and all their positive characteristics. The supporting characters in town actually acted like small town folks do - Ockler never fails to make sure the realism is solid and on point.

Fixing Delilah is one part dysfunctional family, a few handfuls of humor, a couple dashes of mystery and intrigue, just a touch more of hot musician and a sweet swoon-worthy romance, and it all adds up to a heartfelt and lovable story that proves impossible to forget.

Highlights: Ockler excels at making her characters believable and realistic. The relationships between characters (whether romantic or familial) aren't perfect, but they are true to the ones you might have in life. Her descriptiveness really makes the scenery come alive and pop right off the pages. Ockler has a way with words, and her writing is stunning to me. Her writing is honest, pure and very true to her characters - I wish Ockler could have a novel come out every week, I adore her work that much.

Lowlights: I think I might prefer Ockler's Twenty Boy Summer more, but this one was a touching story too, just in a different way. And who knows, maybe I'll reread both and find I prefer this one ;)

Rating: 5 out of 5 (I've debated the rating for this book for months, and in the end, I'll round up since it was an extremely close one)


  1. This book keeps getting such great reviews! I'll have to find out more about it. Thank for the great review! :)

  2. I really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer and I agree with you, Sarah Ockler certainly has a way with words. I'm glad to hear the characterization for this one is realistic and full of depth, and it sounds like it's not quite as sad as Twenty Boy Summer! Thanks for the review, I got a good sense of Fixing Delilah from your review :)

  3. Definitely has a lot of heart. Sarah Ockler is amazing. I can't wait to read more and more from her. :)

  4. Now I got to read it even more!! Looks just awesome ^^ Nice review.

    -Mariana S

  5. I've got this one in my reading pile right now! I'm glad the characters are so great in this book! Thats always one of the main things I look for in books. :)

  6. I loved Twenty Boy Summer so much! Glad to hear this one is awesome, too! Dang it, my TBR pile is so high right now :)

  7. Ah, great review! I've been very curious about this book even since I first heard it was going to come out. The story and now everything about it sounds even better to me. I can't wait to get the chance to read it!
    Glad you liked it!

  8. i just read and reviewed this book...and pretty much said exactly what you did up there! it was AWESOME :) and now i have to find twenty boy summer asap, cause i cant wait to read it!

  9. This has got a LOT of great reviews, and while I don't think anything can top TBS for me, I think I'll try this. Great review :)

  10. What a fantastic review. I can't believe I haven't tried this author before :)

  11. I absolutely loved Twenty Boy Summer and the writing was amazing. Plus, I liked the first chapter of Fixing Delilah (which I read in the back of Twenty Boy Summer), so i'll definitely read this one soon!

    Sorry for being off-topic, but I don't know where else to post this - I gave your blog a Stylish Blogger Award! Check it out here:

  12. I didn't really like twenty boy summer, but this looks really good. Fixing Delilah sounds like more of my type of book. Great review! :)

  13. I've been wanting to pick this book up and give it a try. I really enjoyed your review! Thanks for the recommendation!

  14. I've heard good things about this author! I'm not into a lot of contemporary but she looks like a good pick. Thanks!