Title: Fixing Delilah
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.
I really wasn’t a fan of Sarah Ockler’s first book, Twenty Boy Summer, and only kind of liked her third book, Bittersweet, so there was a lot riding on her second book, at least for me. Fixing Delilah had the potential to make up for my bad past experiences with Ockler – or to turn me off from her books permanently. While this book didn’t lead to a light-bulb moment where I realized why so many people seem to love Ockler, but it has been my best experience with her books yet and gives me some hope.
I love reading books about sisters, so that definitely helped this book. As an older sister, I know how complex and crazy and great relationships between sisters can be. The main character isn’t a sister, she’s actually an only child, but her mother’s relationships with her two sisters definitely affect Delilah and the book as a result. To make matters even more complicated, one of those sisters is dead and has been since before the main character was even born. Add in some family dysfunction and secrets, which I also love reading about, and you have a great recipe for a book I might like at least a little bit.
Of course, after my bad experiences with Ockler’s other books, I figured this wouldn’t be enough to really interest me. Yet, somehow, this book worked much better for me than her other two books so far. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Delilah, but I was much more interested in her journey and story and romance than I have been with Ockler’s other two protagonists. The love interest was sweet and I’m a sucker for childhood-friends-turned-into-something-more, so that helps.
I wasn’t really interested in this book at the beginning, but the further in I got the more the story drew me in. I wanted to know the deep dark family secrets. I wanted to know what had really happened to Delilah’s aunt. I wanted to see if things would work out with Delilah and former childhood friend Patrick. I just wanted to see how everything would end, and I was happy when I reached the end.
I didn’t love this book – it’s not going to make a list of my top books or anything – but I did enjoy it for the most part, especially in comparison with Ockler’s other books. I don’t know if it was just because the subject matter interested me more than the ones in her previous books or if the second time rather than the third was the charm, but this was a decent book that has made me willing to give Ockler’s future books a try as well.