by Sarah Ockler
Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2010
Page Count: 308
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.
Review: When it came to wanting to read this book, I first came across it on Goodreads. It was one of those days where I was spending far more time on the website than I should have, and came across the book. I have always been a fan of YA contemporaries, so I decided that the synopsis sounded intriguing. I wanted to know about the secrets that seemed to be going on in this family. When I tried another library around home, I went back to my TBR list on Goodreads and located the novel on the shelf. It still sounded pretty good, so I decided to take it with me. I am very glad that I made that decision as well because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
From the very beginning of the novel, the main character Delilah becomes very easy to relate with. She has recently gotten into quite a bit of trouble, and now is going to spend the summer with what is left of her family at her grandparents' own home. Needless to say, she is not thrilled. Still, you can tell that she is not a bad person, just going through a rough time. From the very beginning, Delilah was a very believable and relate able character. I can see some of my middle school students in her, in fact. The growth of the character throughout the novel was wonderful as well. Sure, Delilah still had her problems at the end (that is what keeps her human as a character), but she learns to accept things and move on.
The romance in the novel is AMAZING. Shortly into the book we are introduced to Patrick Reese, who used to be known as "Little Ricky" when Delilah and her family would travel to her grandparents' home in the summer. Meeting up with Patrick, and falling back into their friendship, is the only thing that seems to keep Delilah going as she deals with so much. Still, Ockler did a wonderful job of creating conflict between the two of them - conflict that needed to occur in order for the story to seem real. I know a lot of people do not enjoy contemporary books because the love interests get together and then nothing happens, and they live happily ever after. Ockler does a good job of creating a realistic young adult relationship, especially with Delilah having a "sort of" ex on the side.
Ockler wrote the book in First Person narration, allowing us to see everything that happens through the eyes of Delilah, which I think worked out quite well. I could not put the book down, always wanting to know what Delilah does next, what she is thinking about what just happened, and ultimately how she is going to deal with everything thrown at her. The writing overall was quite good, and I did not find parts to be too slow where I wanted to stop reading. In fact, I read the book in a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. It was a quick read, and very enjoyable.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Young Adult Contemporary. Even if you are not the biggest fan, you should consider giving this book a chance. There are wonderful relationships strewn throughout the whole book, and not just between the main character and her love interest. The whole theme of the book revolves around the family, and accepting the people that you love despite their flaws and mistakes. This is a lesson that I think that everyone can read and get something out of.
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