Getting Over Garrett Delaney
by Abby McDonald
(Candlewick Press, $16.99, G) ISBN 978-0763655075
****
Once in a while it's fun to dip back into Young Adult romance, and Getting Over Garrett Delaney is definitely worth the time. Seventeen-year-old Sadie has been in love with her best friend, Garrett Delaney, for two years - ever since a chance meeting in a local coffeehouse. Since then, they've bonded over books, writing, music, and coffee, and Sadie has been the ever-patient pal willing to lend an ear when Garrett's latest romance crashes and burns.

The turning point comes when Garrett is accepted into a six-week summer writing camp, and Sadie is turned down. At a loss, Sadie finds a part-time job for the summer at the coffeehouse. And the absolute final straw arrives in the form of a phone call from Garrett, who states that he's finally found true love - with a fellow camper. Heartbroken, Sadie decides that enough is enough. If she's ever going to get over Garrett, she'll need to approach it systematically and lay out her own 12step program of sorts.

It's rocky going at first. Step One - Total Detox goes awry in spectacular fashion in the middle of a terrible day at work, culminating in Sadie crawling around the floor of the coffeehouse, frantically looking for her cellphone in the middle of a slop of broken dishes and spilled coffee. Humiliated, Sadie admits her problem to her coworkers, and she's in for a surprise when they enthusiastically get on board with her plan. There's Josh, the attractive chef whose goofball exterior hides surprising depths. Fellow baristas LuAnn and Dominique are polar opposites in temperament, but both have been through their own disastrous relationships. Even Sadie's former BFF, Kayla, who lives across the street, comes through for her old pal when it's most needed. Now all Sadie needs to do is convince herself that she's doing the right thing.

I liked Sadie, who at seventeen is facing an age-old dilemma: having spent two years molding herself to please Garrett, now she needs to find out who the real Sadie is. Goodbye tortured Russian novelists, Brit-punk music and black coffee. Hello...who? With the help of her new friends, Sadie is ready to find out.

Not all of the characters are given sympathetic treatment. Sadie's mother, a life coach who can't stop spouting advice long enough to listen to her own daughter, is little more than a caricature, and an annoying one at that. Her father is out of the picture almost entirely. One gets the feeling that Sadie latched onto Garrett because he was the first person in a long while that really paid any attention to her.

The author did a nice job with Garrett, who isn't a bad person at all, just self-absorbed and overly-introspective in the way of teenaged boys. He's thoughtful and kind to Sadie in his own way, but in the end, Sadie is far too mature for him, which is a twist given that Garrett is a year older. She grows; he doesn't. And this new Sadie might find an even better romance in the wings.

Enjoy Sadie's journey; better yet, give this book to a teenaged girl in your life. They'll probably thank you for it.

--Cathy Sova


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