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Fixing Delilah
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Fixing Delilah

4.5 45
by Sarah Ockler

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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,


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Delilah Hannaford's grandmother was estranged from her daughters for eight years, but when she dies, 16-year-old Delilah, her workaholic mother, and her tarot-reading aunt spend the summer at the family lake house, tying up loose ends with her estate--and within their family. Well-written and ambitious, Ockler's (Twenty Boy Summer) book is a bit overstuffed with secrets: what exactly happened eight years ago? why doesn't anyone talk about her mother's youngest sister, who died as a teenager? Delilah even learns that her father is not who she thought he was. Readers may have a hard time knowing where to focus, especially when a romance with a long-lost childhood friend is mixed in, plus Delilah's strained relationship with her mother and the discovery of her dead aunt's secret diary. Even so, Delilah's gradual acceptance of her family's complicated history feels authentic, as does her growing ability to recognize her own flawed coping mechanisms. Readers will appreciate her honest assessment that while the Hannaford women cannot fix all past hurts, "some of them can be repaired, piece by piece, rebuilt into something even more cherished and loved and unique." Ages 12–up. (Dec.)
Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"This is smoothly written and romantic as all get out....ideal for readers looking for romance salted with a bit of tears as well as a bit of sea air."
Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"Anna's authentic voice and some lyrical writing will satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, while the mix of romance, drama, and tragedy will be a draw for teen readers of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult."
From the Publisher
Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"Anna's authentic voice and some lyrical writing will satisfy fans of Sarah Dessen, while the mix of romance, drama, and tragedy will be a draw for teen readers of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult."—Booklist

Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"[A] sincere, romantic tearjerker. Readers will easily relate to Anna's authentically depicted feelings of lust, longing, shame and fear as she cautiously embarks on a new summer love."—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Twenty Boy Summer
"This is smoothly written and romantic as all get out....ideal for readers looking for romance salted with a bit of tears as well as a bit of sea air."—BCCB

VOYA - JudithHayn
Delilah Hannaford ended her junior year as an outcast by getting caught shoplifting a lipstick, appearing in a racy photo on the school blog, and clinging to a meaningless relationship. Her estranged grandmother has died; she and her mother, a high-powered business tycoon and single mom, head for Red Falls, Vermont, to bury Nana and settle the estate. The rambling Victorian house, holding secrets and clues to the mystery of the rift between daughters and parent, looms as a major character. Bitter, unhappy Delilah; her distant mom; and new ager Aunt Rachel begin to deal with grief, emotional distances, and old mysteries that threaten to tear apart the fragile balance they struggle to maintain. Rachel reunites with a childhood friend who has grown from Little-Ricky-next-door into gorgeous, musically-gifted Patrick. Between the budding romance and a blossoming friendship with Emily, who works in the local coffee shop, Delilah begins to find herself. The secrets, lies, and omissions of the past, however, combined with her awakening memories, forecast possible self-destruction. Is she just like her Aunt Stephanie who perhaps overdosed on drugs prescribed for her clinical depression, a disease she inherited from Nana? Ockler credits the strong women in her family for inspiring her story of Delilah, one of the more realistic adolescent girls in contemporary fiction. She tells her own story in a lyrical and authentic voice; the thoughtful reader will get lost in her anguish, her triumphs, and her eventual resolution. Reviewer: JudithHayn
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, CO
Kirkus Reviews

Delilah's life has been falling apart for some time. She's losing friends, shoplifting, skipping school and spending far too much time with her non-boyfriend, Finn. A phone call announcing the death of her estranged grandmother changes everything. Arriving in Vermont, both Delilah and her mother are unprepared for the memories they find. Delilah, desperate to understand the rift in her family, tries to uncover the long-buried secrets that led to it, while Patrick, an old friend, helps guide her toward the answers as well as acceptance of her family and her past. The writing is beautiful in places, bordering on lyrical. Unfortunately, while the mystery surrounding the family's history holds promise, it also loses its legs. Delilah is at times endearing, but she isn't enough to carry the too-familiar plot. The emotionally unavailable mother, the flighty, hippie aunt and the too-good-to-be-true love interest are just a sample of the many stock characters that populate this story. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Ockler is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee, a Kids' Indie Next List pick, and a New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Book Award nominee. Unlike Delilah Hannaford, Sarah never cleaned gutters or painted fence posts as a teen, but she did pull a summer of estate-sale duty at her late grandmother's house, complete with an economy-size jar of Saint Bernard ashes and a priceless antique creamer shaped like a cow. Sarah now lives in Colorado, where she enjoys hiking up mountains, hugging trees, and talking to birds with her husband, Alex. Her website is www.sarahockler.com.

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Fixing Delilah 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Ever since Sarah's promising YA debut with Twenty Boy Summer, I have been eager to read more of her books. Therefore, when Fixing Delilah landed in my hands a few weeks ago, I was excited beyond words. Thankfully enough it was everything I wished it would be and more. Because not only did I find the characters to be lovable and the writing and world building tight and well done, but its story was one that truly hit a chord in me. Fixing Delilah tells the story of Delilah Hannaford, a girl who used to have it all together: perfect grades, friends she liked, and more. However, as of lately, everything has begun to fall apart. Her mom's lost trust her, her boyfriend is more of a hook-up friend than anything else, and her plans for the future are looking quite bleak. After a family tragedy, Delilah and her mother are off to Vermont to pick up the pieces, and while Delilah's mother thinks this will be a brand new beginning for Delilah, Delilah thinks it will be nothing more than a bore of a summer. Nevertheless, when Delilah arrives in Vermont she is pleasantly surprised because not only does she reunite with her childhood friend Patrick but also she falls into some family secrets like no other. Now with an old diary and new found friends, Violet is off to figure out what happened to her family all those years ago, but will she find out more than she expected? Moreover, what happens when a friendship turns into something more? Only time and more pages can tell in this story of one crazy summer like no other. Delilah was simply the perfect lead character for this. Witty, confused, and full of spunk, she is one girl you cannot help but root for as she comes to peace with the past and makes her way to the future. However, best of all she always felt real to me so to say because while she was one girl who made mistakes, she still managed to not only learn from them (even if it did take a while) but she always remains this compassionate and full of heart girl. Nevertheless, what I liked most of this book was not Delilah directly but the relationships that were present. There was the one between Delilah and Patrick, which was as sweet as candy, but also full of problems and issues that always had me to curious to see what would happen between them. Then there was the one between Delilah and her mother. While it was rocky and full of angst, it worked perfectly in the way both came to understand and appreciate the other as time went on. Lastly there was the one general one between family and like most one's it was complicated beyond relief but how Sarah allowed Delilah to put all the pieces back together so to say truly made this book the amazing thing it was. Adding to this all, I loved Sarah Ockler's writing. Because not only did it paint such a vivid scene in my head with the characters and setting, but it truly was the backbone of the novel, carrying it and making it full of twists and turns that constantly left me eager to read more, more, more. In all, Sarah Ockler truly has something special in Fixing Delilah, which gives me even more reason to suggest that YOU should pick it up ASAP. Grade: A+
Susan Duval More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book i have ever read. I am soo glad that i gave it a chance and read it. This book will be the book i come back for inspiration (next to The Bible). I didn't expect this book to have an affect on me. It has taught me soo much about family and friends. I also didn't expect it to be better than Sarah Dessen books but Sarah Ockler has topped her more than i expected. I will love this book always and it will change the way i think about family and about the friends i choose. So i want to end this by thanking the author for writing such a life-changing, heartfealt, warm story. Thank you Sarah Ockler. :) P.S. AUTHORS NAMED SARAH ARE AWESOME WRITERS!!!!! THANK YOU SARAH DESSEN AND SARAH OCKLER FOR BEING SOOO AWESOME!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When reading this book, I felt like it would be another book with another clique kind of plot line and ending. I was right for the most part. But there was something there in the characters that separated this book from most of the clique teen love novels - there were surprises that came out of no where. Some were very well predictable, others, not so much. I enjoyed reading it and was always on my toes. Recommend to those fans of Sarah Dessen, but are ready for a few twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the part in the car when he screams I'm in love with you!!! LOVED THIS BOOK AND ITS ROMANCE!!
uponalovestory More than 1 year ago
Well to start I didn't just love this book I LOVED it!! Yes that is loved in all caps which indicates I liked it a lot. I recently read Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler and after reading it I knew that I wanted to read other novels the author had written. This book was so much more than I expected it to be. First we have Delilah who is your normal teenage girl sneaking out of the house to meet her non-boyfriend and fighting with her mother who is a workaholic. But then Delilah's grandmother passes away and she has to travel to Vermont with her mother to help get her grandmother's house in order. Growing up Delilah spent every summer at her grandparents house until 8 years ago when her grandfather passed away and she was not allowed to return. She is unsure about seeing a certain person again, her old childhood friend Patrick or as she used to refer to him "Little Ricky". Patrick spends his days helping his father to fix Delilah's grandmothers house shirtless I might add. What's not to like right? He spends his nights playing guitar and singing at the local coffee shop. But Delilah soon finds out that her family has secrets and she wants to get to the bottom of it all. There were so many twist and turns in this book. So many things that shocked me and took me by surprise. Who doesn't like reading about family secrets? More importantly who doesn't like reading about a total swoon worthy love interest with a guitar? I would highly recommend you pick up this book! I would especially recommend it to fans of Sarah Dessen novels. It had the same sort of feel for me. So pick it up and get ready to swoon.
Tori Hanna More than 1 year ago
This book was great! It's a great read and I recommend this book,and Sarah Ockler's previous book Twenty Boy Summer, to any teenager!! Fixing Delilah is my new fav book :) You will fall in love with the characters and the book its self! !! Definitely a MUST READ :)
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
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. Getting to know each of them was a pleasure, as was slowly discovering the secrets that once tore them apart. During all this family strife, Delilah gets reacquainted with her best summer friend from her childhood. The boy who used to be Little Ricky, is now Patrick and Patrick is a swoon machine. His good-natured joking, handyman skills, and his musical endeavors made me adore him. He has all this going for him and to top it all off, he cares so much for Delilah. Their friendship does this thing, this crazy thing that many YA books disregard, it blossoms. That's right. No insta-love here, just some flirting, almost kisses, and finally we get there. And I love there. Fixing Delilah is the perfect blend of a family, love, and growing up - it made me laugh, it made me ache, it had me sighing and swooning, and most importantly, it made me love it. Delilah Hannaford found a way into my heart and forced me to care for her and her entire family. It's a story that reminds us that every mistake, every action, every memory, makes us who we are and despite all of that, there will always be someone there who cares. Opening line: "Claire? It's Rachel. I'm afraid I have some bad news." ~ pg. 1 Favorite lines: I dug up the past and sifted through the rubble and counted all the bones, and now I want to throw them all back in the hole under shovels full of earth. To forget. ~ pgs. 231-232
Laura Andrea Martinez More than 1 year ago
i have read saah ocklers other book-twenty boy summer and i absolutely loved it! it was filled with romance,sadness,happiness,and friendship. i finished it and dtarted it over again that same instant! You will trly be able t put yourself in amna-themain characters-shoes by the way the author puts in so much emotion! this isone of my all time favorite books and believe me i have read ALOT of books! all teens and mybepeople older than a teenager will fall in love wih this book, i would know because i am thirteen. read both her books and enjoy thrm for they truly are AMAZING!
Linda-Mai-Ellen More than 1 year ago
Review: The main characters seemed so real to me and the setting couldn't be better. A lot is left unsaid between the Hannafords, but when secrets are revealed, they will catch you by surprise. There are moments of joy and laughter, and there are moments of sadness and sorrow. I think the author did a great job of capturing what it feels like to be a teen as Hannah wonders about what could have been and as she is discovering herself. A multitude of emotions are experienced, and sometimes, a storm can surface and wreck havoc to then be followed by sunshine and blue skies. Although a couple of scenes are rather clichés (which story doesn't have these? they work for a reason,) there are powerful scenes in the book that can move you to tears or leave a lasting impression. I'd recommended this book to YA readers, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction. There's a good dose of family drama, romance, mystery, and friendship. This story felt like it was told with a true teenage voice where the pacing is just great.
NikGodwin More than 1 year ago
My favorite Ockler book yet! Loved the secrets, the family dynamics, the romance, and literally every little thing about this book!
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