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Fixing Delilah Hardcover – December 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Thanks for the Trouble
Thanks for the Trouble
A brilliant new novel about a young man who overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl. Hardcover | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–When Del's grandmother's dies, the teen and her mother, Claire, immediately head to Red Falls, VT. The house is a Victorian relic where her mother and aunt grew up and it holds fond memories for Del, particularly of Rickie, the boy who was once her inseparable companion. An unexplained fight between her mother and her grandmother ended any contact. Claire is a secretive sort who has a demanding job and seems to pay attention only when Del gets in trouble, and Del has obliged. The summer is spent working on clearing the house and repairing it to get it ready to sell, with the aid of Rickie, now known as Patrick, and his father, who run a construction business. Romance ensues, along with uncovering clues about the family mystery regarding an aunt who died at age 19. Although the plot is sometimes melodramatic, romance lovers will enjoy the tender love scenes, while more practical folk may tire of Del's vacillations and whining. The ending seems telegraphed, and nothing is new, except a friend who declares herself a lesbian. The story will satisfy readers who crave romance that focuses on the moments spent kissing and touching rather than on the sex.–Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, COα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Tragedy and deception tore 17-year-old Delilah’s family apart nearly a decade ago. After her grandmother dies, Delilah and her mother head to Vermont for another summer at the family home, where they settle the estate and revive unresolved family matters. Delilah discovers her deceased aunt Stephanie’s lost diary; as she reads about her teenage aunt’s relationships and her slip into depression, Delilah is worried to see parallels in her own life. She also learns of the secret that split the family apart, and threatens to do so again. A nice cast of characters adds a homey feel and small-town color to the narrative, including Patrick, Delilah’s childhood buddy, who has grown steadfast and handsome. Ockler’s follow-up to 20 Boy Summer (2009) is another perfect fit for those seeking expressive writing, emotional depth, and lush, cinematic romance, cementing her comfortably next to similar teen favorites like Deb Caletti, Carolyn Mackler, and Sarah Dessen. Grades 9-12. --Heather Booth

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316052094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316052092
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, and Fixing Delilah. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls' Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, and nominations for YALSA Teens' Top Ten and NPR's Top 100 Teen Books.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in the Pacific Northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Visit her website at sarahockler.com or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading "Twenty Boy Summer," I was excited to see what Ockler had in store for her follow-up novel. While "Fixing Delilah" is not the tear-jerker that "Twenty Boy Summer" was, Ockler's story of the Hannaford family's secrets was a compelling read, full of suspense and innocent romance.

The story takes place over the summer when Delilah and her mother have to move back to her grandmother's lakeside home after her grandmother passed away. Neither Delilah nor her mother had been in touch with her grandmother for several years preceding her death, due to an incident that Delilah's mother will tell Delilah nothing about. Once back at the lake, Delilah begins to search for the answers about her family's past that her mother has adamantly tried to keep from her.

The only major flaw I had with this book was that, although we as readers were told that Delilah was a bit of a wild-child, after Delilah arrived to the lakehouse, we never actually saw this part of her personality. I had a hard time believing that she would so easily give up her old habits. I felt like whenever she would think about the "crazy" things she had done in the past, I found myself questioning the reliability of her narration, because those things seemed so out of character. And considering her wild nature, the first-person narration of Delilah seemed too mature and graceful. Ockler would spend a lot of time using poetic metaphors to describe the setting of the lake, which seemed false coming from this teenage girl with bad grades.

Also, it may be that I have simply read to many books revolving around family drama, but I thought that the secrets in the family were somewhat predictable.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Sarah Ockler's debut, Twenty Boy Summer - one of my favorite books ever. So to say I had high expectations for Fixing Delilah would be an understatement. I knew I was going to love it. And while I didn't like Fixing Delilah quite as much as Twenty Boy Summer, it didn't disappoint!

The writing is what's best about this book. It's vivid and beautiful, just perfect. I know, that doesn't mean much - those are words we use all the time. But Sarah Ockler's writing is... wow. Her style is just perfect for me, and I fell in love with each of her sentences. This book makes me wish I wasn't too lazy to take notes while reading - I'd love to have some quotes written down to show you how amazing the writing is. But, since I am lazy, you'll just have to trust me - Sarah Ockler's writing is gorgeous. It flows nicely, and I felt like I was there alongside Delilah the entire time. The imagery is so beautiful and perfect. I could go on and on about Sarah Ockler's writing. It reminds me a lot of Sarah Dessen's style. Yes, comparing a contemporary YA author to Sarah Dessen is an obvious and boring choice, but it's true. Fixing Delilah sounds like something Sarah Dessen could have wrote. But - and this is a big deal - I think I like Sarah Ockler's style even more than Sarah Dessen's. Really, that's the highest praise any writing could get from me!

Okay, enough about the writing. I loved the story too. I really liked the focus on all things family-related. Why aren't there more contemporary YA books about family? I loved reading about Delilah's relationship with her mother. It's so, so real. Her aunt Rachel is a great character too. Each member of the family - living and dead - has a distinct and realistic personality.
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