Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review: Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler (Blog Tour Stop)


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?


The Short Version:
Beautiful and intricate, Fixing Delilah delves into an array of wrenching, important, and emotional topics. With several unforeseen twists, sympathetic characters and beautiful writing, Ockler has written a strong coming of age mixed with romance and family heartbreak. Topping it off with a well driven plot, Fixing Delilah is more than simply a coming of age tale.

The Extended Version:
Delilah, as the title suggest, is broken and in desperate need of fixing. With a father who isn’t in the picture and chronic battles putting a rift between her and her mother, Delilah is drifting with no land in sight. With her mother, she is desperate for some kind of connection but at a true loss of how to go about it. Acting out, she's unable to explain the rift continues to grow. Even in her most painful moments, her yearning to simply have her mother back is clear and unadulterated. Now stuck in Red Falls after the passing of her grandmother she hasn’t seen, spoken to, or talked about in eight years, Delilah is even more determined to find out what has caused so many rifts not only between her and her mother, but why she hasn’t had any contact with her grandmother and the battle between her mother and her Aunt Rachel.

Delilah’s character is beautifully pitched, a strong girl filled with vulnerabilities, with a distinct and fantastic voice. She is flawed in some gutting ways, but each one comes off understandable and believable. Her development is rocky, each new twist adding another layer not only to her but to the story as well.

Patrick is a fantastic interest for Delilah, mostly carefree and willing to handle the mess she sees herself as. He is lighthearted and humorous, and there many sweet, romantic moments between the two as things progress. Even with his own flaws, Patrick is a believable and sympathetic character. Emily provides both understanding and friendship for Delilah, also adding some relief to the intensity of this plot.

Another great aspect of this book is the fact that apart from Patrick and Emily, much of Delilah’s main interactions are with her mother and her aunt. Though things are tense more often than not, there is a connection there that is steadily building. As the plot progresses and things build to what is a potent climax, her interactions with her mother and aunt get more concentrated and telling. Interwoven in mystery and rapt with family secrets which build a burning desire to find out the truth in the reader as much as, this plot has several arcs that weave seamlessly and soundlessly.

The writing gives a strong voice to Delilah while still showing bold insight into and development of the rest of the characters. With a constant weight of sorrow and emotion, and some intense and striking scenes, there are plenty of memorable, well versed moments. Driven by secrets and revealed steadily, the plot pulls these characters together even more. With some stunning truths, unbiased views, and explosive battles, Fixing Delilah will speak to many readers of all ages.

Source: Provided by author in conjunction with a promotional tour with The {Teen} Book Scene
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316052094
ISBN-13: 978-0316052092

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read this. Great review! I'm going to the author's book release party tomorrow. Yay!
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover