Posts tagged ‘sarahockler’

January 14th, 2011

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop, The Wordbird Edition

by Madeleine Rex

I’m participating in Kathy of I’m a Reader Not a Writer’s Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop. All partcipants are hosting their own giveaways, but we’re linking up to create the ultimate giveaway spiderweb – except this is a web you want to get caught up in!

(Just pretend that wasn’t corny.)

The Wordbird Edition of the Giveaway includes…

  • One barely-used (by me) ARC of Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
  • A brand-new ARC of How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
  • A brand-new ARC of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

All going to one, happy, person living in the United States of America. In other words, I’m afraid this giveaway is not International.You may enter by filling out this form.You don’t have to enter, of course, but I’d certainly recommend it.

The Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop will run from 12:01 AM Friday, January 14th to 11:59 PM Monday, January 17th.

Below are the links to the other spectacular giveaways! It’s a free-for-all… just don’t trample anyone to death in your excitement. No need to go all Black Friday on us.

December 28th, 2010

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Fixing Delilah

Author: Sarah Ockler

Published: December 1st, 2010

Number of Pages: 304

Rating: 3/5

Review Sent to Little Brown*:

On the surface, Sarah Ockler’s Fixing Delilah looks to be just another book about a summer adventure – lakes, fireworks, fairs, long-lost friends that return better than ever – but the character dynamics and growth make the story full and luscious. With a sort of Steel Magnolias feel, Fixing Delilah depicts women as their rawest, truest selves, displaying their fluctuating emotions but unwavering power. And the sweet love story is just a splendid bonus. So, while the book isn’t extraordinary, it’ll hold its own – just like its women.

Synopsis:

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery. [From Goodreads]

Review:

This review is far later than I meant it to be. Sorry once again to Little Brown, who was great enough to send me an ARC!

I’ve never read Sarah Ockler’s debut, Twenty Boy Summer, and therefore had no idea what to expect from Fixing Delilah when I requested it months ago. I’m not even sure what turned me on to it. I wouldn’t normally read a book that, as I said in my official review, seems like “just another book about a summer adventure.” However, I was pleased with it and am glad I gave it a chance.

Delilah Hannaford, though not a main character that appears to be genuinely unique to me, held the story up well. She was the narrator the story needed to hold it together – the glue of the book. So, although I personally wasn’t wowed by or very interested in her, I respected her importance to the story.

The supporting characters were the folks who I found myself fonder of. Patrick, for instance, was cute and the sort of “Prince Charming” everyone likes to read about. I only wish that I thought Delilah was as perfect for him as he seems to think she is. Emily, a friend of Patrick’s who stretches to become a friend of Delilah’s, was my favorite character. If only I could have had more of her! She was cute and friendly and intelligent. I would have loved to see her in more scenes. She was definitely the sort of friend that was integral for Delilah’s growth – her “fixing.”

There are so many layers to the feuds, love, and anxiety of the Hannaford women. The past is painstakingly dragged into the future through people both dead and alive. (No, there are not zombies in the book, although that would have been an interesting development.)

I particularly enjoyed the mother-daughter love story. I have a mother who, much like Delilah’s, is a young, successful, stressed businesswoman, and I could really relate to the struggles between Delilah and her mother. Even though my relationship with my mother isn’t nearly as strenuous, I can imagine how it could be and how that would affect my life, particularly now during high school – when a girl needs her mother most.

Fixing Delilah is primarily about relationships, most of which begin broken and struggling to breath. The journey doesn’t involve car chases or bombs, but emotional troubles that are just as tangible and harmful. With a book full of women and emotional strain, there’s certainly plenty of drama – and tears.

My biggest disappointment was the predictability and the clichés. I’ve seen/read/heard this story before. Perhaps if Delilah had struck me more as an individual, the story itself might have done the same. I knew how the love story would play out from the beginning, or at the very least had enough of an idea not to be surprised when things went in certain directions. However, Fixing Delilah is still a fun read that I think will appeal to plenty of people, particularly to those with busy mothers, those who have weaknesses for singing boys, or both.

Essentially, I wasn’t thrilled or surprised or wowed, but this book is satisfying and precisely what you’d expect – which can be a nice treat in a world of so many possibilities and so few probabilities.