Getting Over Garrett Delaney
2nd May 2013
Can a twelve-step program help Sadie kick her unrequited crush for good? Abby McDonald serves up her trademark wit and wisdom in a hilarious new novel.
Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly one-sided. 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 a 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.
Do you know how long it's been since I last read a cute, contemporary book? Do you?! You probably don't, but I can assure it has a been a while. After bogging myself down in January and February with heavy fantasy novels and serious books with little to no fun, I decided that to cheer myself up just as the sun was (finally) starting to break out in late March, I should read a nice, fun, summery book. (Edit, I take back that finally because it's the 4th of April and it's SNOWING. STILL.)
Sadie is completely in love with her best friend Garrett and has been since she first met him. Unfortunately, he's never reciprocated her feelings, and when he goes off to a summer writing camp that Sadie couldn't go to and tells her that he is once again in love with someone else, she finally decides to get over him. Now, I (and I am sure many, if not all readers) of this book will be very glad about this, because I am telling you now Garrett is a Douchebag with a capital D. I don't blame Sadie at all though for falling in love with him - if I'd been reading a book of poetry in a coffee shop when some hot, smart boy came in and started a conversation with me about it, I probably would've fainted. But beyond the surface of being that hot, smart boy, Garrett is an egocentric, superficial, pretentious, clingy douchebag, and making the decision to get over him was probably the smartest thing that Sadie has ever done.
I liked Sadie a lot, but I liked her more after Garrett went off to camp. I enjoyed getting a new perspective in a contemp and not have it be all about falling in love with a guy like Garrett, instead getting to see the bad side to people like that and how toxic it can be to pretend to be friends with someone that you're obsessively in love with. Not only that, Sadie had spent so much time trying to make Garrett love her back by being into all the same things that Garrett was into even if she didn't really like them, and she'd sort of lost herself along the way. Really, at it's heart, this is a book of self-discovery and moving on. There is a bit of romance on the sidelines, but it's subtle and it's not vital to the plot in the same way that Sadie's new friends - LuAnn and Kayla -are.
Can I just say that I absolutely loved LuAnn and Kayla. Scrap that, I loved everyone who worked at the coffee shop (Totally Wired) that Sadie gets a summer job at. Even Dominique. They were all there to help her with her Detox program that she made up and backed her up with everything, even though there were times when they argued. They helped her not reinvent herself as such, but figure out who she is without all the Garrett, and also how to make friends with people who aren't Garrett. He'd been, really, her only actual friend for about two years.
The whole book kind of reminded of Sarah Dessen. It just had that sort of vibe where family and friends and self-discovery are the centre of the book, and though I think it was funnier than a Sarah Dessen book (it genuinely made me laugh out of loud a few times - there are some very cringey/unbelievable scenes), I think that it just lacked that sort of charm and, well, Dessen-ness that her books have. And I know that it isn't trying to be a Dessen book and that I'm just making tenuous links to one of the few contemporary authors that I actually obsessively read (it's April and I haven't even reread any of her books this year - I'M A MONSTER), but I think that it's there, and that I would recommend it to Sarah Dessen fans.
Getting Over Garrett Delaney (I keep on wanting to write Garrett Hedlund... I think that would've been a VERY different book) is a very cute, warm and funny contemp that I enjoyed a lot, but it's not one of my favourites. I would definitely recommend to to anyone just looking for a cute summery read like I was, though.