Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting Over Garrett Delaney

Getting Over Garrett Delaney
Abby McDonald
ISBN: 978-0763655075
Candlewick, 2012

Plot Summary: Seventeen-year-old Sadie has been secretly in love with her best friend, Garrett, ever since he moved to her town two years ago. She’s excited for her summer vacation. She and Garrett are both looking forward to getting accepted into an exclusive writers’ retreat were she hopes she and Garrett will finally confess their feelings for each other since he has just broken up with his latest girlfriend Beth. When she’s denied access to the program due to her age (a late year birthday caused her to be the oldest girl in her class), she is left with the prospect of a Garrett-less summer. Forced to find a job to save up for college, she tries her best to stay in touch with Garrett through email, texts, and phone calls. When he contacts her above being in love—for real—for the first time, she’s rightfully angry especially when he says it is with a girl “who reminds me so much of you.” With her rekindled friendship with Kayla—who stopped being friends with Sadie because Garrett didn’t like her—and the co-workers of Totally Wired, the cafĂ© she got a job at, she sets about to follow her mother’s self-help obsessions and seminars with a 12-step program for getting over Garrett Delaney. At first it is hard for her but soon she realizes that everything she was for the past two years was what Garrett wanted her to be. She liked what Garrett like, she wanted what Garrett wanted, etc. and she’s finally ready to cut him from her life. However, all her progress is turned upside down when he returns from the retreat early telling her he’s ready to take their friendship to the next level. Will she be able to stand firm or will she succumb to the boy who has consumed her life for the past two years?

Critical Evaluation: This book is great. Sadie is a likeable character from the beginning. The thing I probably like the best though is the overall positive message that the book sends to readers. Sadie could just give in and get with Garrett in the end but it’s really more about finding herself and who she is without him hanging around. What she does is that she basically, in trying to get his constant approval as girlfriend material, molded herself into what she thought he wanted. When she rekindles her friendship with Kayla again, she realizes that a lot of the stuff Garrett likes she really doesn’t—dense Russian literature, old movies, etc. Soon she begins to see Garrett as everyone around her always has—a dude that is a bit egotistical and stuck up. When he comes back, she’s tempted to succumb but she learns that what Garrett wants is an ever-loving groupie not a real girlfriend and she is able to break away and discover who she really wants to be.

Reader's Annotation:  Sadie is devastated when she doesn’t get into the summer writing program with Garrett, her long time best friend and unrequited love. When he goes off and finally falls in “real” love, she decides it is time to get over Garrett. With the help of some new friends she begins to heal but when Garrett comes to visit and seems to be finally noticing her as more than a friend what will she do?

Author Information: Abby McDonald grew up in Sussex, England, and studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University. She began writing at college, and graduated to work as a music journalist and entertainment critic. She is now a full-time novelist and screenwriter. She has written Sophomore Switch, Boys, Bears & a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots, The Anti-Prom, and Getting over Garrett Delaney. After spells in Montreal and London, Abby moved to Los Angeles. She is twenty-six years old (McDonald, n.d.).

Genre: Realistic

Curriculum Ties:  N/A

Booktalking Ideas:  The 12-step program for getting over someone

Reading Level/Interest Age:  14+

Challenge Issues: N/A

Challenge Defense:  N/A

Reason for Inclusion:  Good realistic fiction that not only is romantic but focuses on self-discovery and individualism and not just changing yourself for the person you like/love/lust after.


McDonald, A. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from

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