Review: Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

Title: Getting Over Garrett Delaney
Author: Abby McDonald
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: NetGalley
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.
When I initially started this book, I didn't know if this would be one of those stories where a guy is blind to a girl's merits until she stops trying so hard and then suddenly he's realized his errors and they end up together, or if it would really be a story about a girl who is moving on because she deserves better. As it turns out, there is a bit of both of those stories in this one. Sadie is determined to get over Garrett for good, and so she spends her summer putting herself through a program that is designed to help her move on from Garrett and his unrequited love. The pleasant surprise, for me, is that this twelve-step program of hers ends up sending Sadie on a heartwarming path of eye-opening self-discovery.

Sadie is a great character because she experiences so much growth throughout the novel. She comes to recognize that, when it comes to Garrett, she tries too hard. And that maybe he's been having an influence on her that she was unaware of before they were separated for the summer. Watching Sadie rediscover who she is as an individual is fun and cute and snuggly. I totally wanted to be a little cheerleader on her shoulder, "yay"ing her onward as she takes on new experiences and discovers previously unknown likes and dislikes. As she learns all of these new things about herself, her confidence and personality grow. It's a satisfying thing to witness.

The coffee shop setting is eclectic and fun and creates the perfect atmosphere for Sadie to accomplish her goals. She's aided by her new co-worker friends, as well as an old friend, all of whom are wonderful characters with distinct personalities. Sadie also gets some advice from her mother, who seems to be more aware and present in Sadie's life than even Sadie realizes. It's nice to see a mom who can blend into the background without being absent. It allows Sadie to figure some things out for herself and still have that family support system available when she needs it. Part of me would have liked to see more of Josh because he's pretty awesome, but I kind of also like the fact that he's pretty low-key.

Getting Over Garrett Delaney is a fun little novel about finding oneself and being brave in small ways. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a lighthearted read with a little bit of a message to it. It's also perfect for summer reading.


  1. I read half this book and then power-skimmed the rest. I just couldn't finish it word for word. I feel like if you read a lot of contemporary YA you will read this exact book at least 10 times just with different character names. I was so excited to read it bc I thought the cover looked cool, and for some reason I thought Garrett was a boyfriend who dumps her (I guess I didnt read the synopsis too closely oops!). But I liked your review, it would be a good beach read!

    1. I can see how this type of story can get repetitive, but I enjoyed Sadie's character arc. :)

  2. Aw, this book sounds really adorable! I'll have to try and find a copy. I love strong female characters,so this sounds right up my ally.

    1. It's cute. :) The main character starts off pretty weak where the boy is concerned, but by the end she is stronger.


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