Monday, April 18, 2011

REVIEW: Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Per my previous post, I barely made it halfway through this book before I started gushing all over the Internet about how much I loved it. Well, I'm finished, and now I can official say READ THIS BOOK.

First of all, I love the way Sarah Ockler writes. She has fabulously snappy jokes without it being a book of "oh look, here's another snappy joke. And another. And ANOTHER!" They flow right into the story, sometimes catching you off guard and making you giggle in a serious moment. Like this one, from the first chapter:

"Left turn in four. Hundred. Feet." An invisible electronic woman navigates us toward the highway from the distant planet Monotone, where everyone is tranquil and directionally adept.

And then there's Delilah, who is just such an excellent character. Fully-formed with a pitch-perfect voice, and like I said before, that's the single most important thing to me when I read YA. If the voice doesn't feel authentic or true, it's hard for me to trudge through another page. What I loved most was that it so clearly captured the "just me-ism" of being a teenager. Delilah is so wrapped up in her dilemmas that she fails to notice that everyone around her has troubles and secrets. Everyone (and thank you, Sarah, for writing interesting background characters with their own lives and stories!). But don't you remember being seventeen and thinking your problems were the only problems and the biggest problems and OH MY GOD YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH?!?!?! But what's great about Delilah as a character is that she doesn't stay in that self-centered rut. She grows, and not because Sarah Ockler makes her (don't you hate it when things happen in a book and you can tell the author is just strong-arming the character?). Delilah's growth feels natural, and by the end you want to spend more time with her (oh I hope there's a sequel...).

Oh, and can we talk about the swoon factor? Because holy wow was there some hot smooching in this book.

I've already picked up Ockler's first book, Twenty Boy Summer, and am psyched to dive into another one of her characters. If you're looking for a deep-yet-funny romantic contemporary YA, then this is your book. READ. IT. NOW.

ps- Thanks to Sarah who responded so kindly to my Twitter outpour of love of her book!

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