Title: Getting Over Garrett Delaney
Author: Abby McDonald
Published: January 2012 (Candlewick Press)
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly onesided. The object of her obsession - ahem, affection - is her best friend, Garrett Delaney, who has been oblivious to Sadie's feelings ever since he sauntered into her life and wowed her with his passion for Proust (not to mention his deep-blue eyes). For two long, painful years, Sadie has been Garrett's constant companion, sharing his taste in everything from tragic Russian literature to art films to '80s indie rock - all to no avail. But when Garrett leaves for a summer literary retreat, Sadie is sure that the absence will make his heart grow fonder - until he calls to say he's fallen in love. With some other girl! A heartbroken Sadie realizes that she's finally had enough. It's time for total Garrett detox! Aided by a barista job, an eclectic crew of new friends (including the hunky chef, Josh), and a customized self-help guide, Sadie embarks on a summer of personal reinvention full of laughter, mortifying meltdowns, and a double shot of love.
My Review: Getting Over Garrett Delaney was a delight to read. Sadie was a hilarious, refreshing voice. I laughed out loud at least five times in the first twenty pages. Her narrative was so refreshing - candid, honest, and somewhat self-deprecatingly humorous.
In the beginning of the book, Sadie is hopelessly in love with her best friend, Garrett Delaney. I could understand and empathize with Sadie regarding her feelings for Garrett. She had the epitome of the hopeless teenage crush. We've all been there. I could even see what she saw in him. But I did not at any point actually want her to wind up with Garrett. I really think McDonald did a great job of achieving a difficult balance writing these characters in their situation.
❝He was the one I’d been waiting for, sent by the heavens to make my life infinitely better and exquisitely painful all in one fell swoop.❞After a chain of events winds up separating them for the summer, Sadie uses this time to start project Get Over Garrett. She assembles her own twelve step program (with prompting from her real-life life coach of a mother) and writes her own thoroughly amusing self-help guide, a segment of which is provided between chapters.
❝Admit it: you’ve been shopping for him all this time – hunting the sales racks in the secret hope that yes, this low-cut shirt is the one to make him see you in a whole new nonplatonic light, those skinny jeans will spur a blinding epiphany, and this raspberry lip gloss will finally make him fall hopelessly in love with you.❞Sadie starts working with a new (quirky, diverse, and entertaining) circle of people. As she begins to get to know them and develop friendships outside of Garrett, Sadie realizes what she has been missing. She grows. She rediscovers herself. She finds real friends. She opens her eyes to romantic prospects outside of Garrett. She learns to stand up for herself. I loved accompanying her on this journey.
One random awesome thing: Sadie asks for references for television shows to try, and LuAnn recommends Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, and The Vampire Diaries. Clearly, LuAnn and I should just hang out together and watch lots of television because yes.
One random pet peeve: She refers to An Affair to Remember as a black and white tearjerker featuring doomed love without a happy ending. Tearjerker, yes. Black and white? Doomed love? No.
Have some quotes! I saved about a billion of them.
❝“And we can even go to the library,” she adds brightly, as if it’s some kind of bribe. Which, to be honest, it kind of is.❞Ha! Welcome to my life.
❝Oh, to be young and in (requited) love!❞
❝“You know, it’s not good for you,” he says through a mouthful of muffin. “All that sitting around, reading. What are you going to do when the zombies come? You’ll be too out of shape to run.”❞Yes. Yes, I will. But I'm sure I'll have picked up some fantastic tips from the mountain of books I've read that will offset said lack of indefatigable mobility.
❝He’s a boy, “nice” is like a soliloquy from them. We’re lucky he didn’t just grunt.❞
❝Don’t write off a book (or person, or movie) just because it has a pink, sparkly cover.❞True story.
Bottom line: I really think this book has a fantastic message. It was uplifting and empowering, but it did not feel preachy or stereotypically self-helpish at any point. Rather, it was consistently realistic and entertaining. Reading it was a very enjoyable experience. I would recommend it to any girl or woman who has "gotten over" a boy of her own. Or really, anyone who just likes a great story with good characters and a substantial dose of realism and humor.