About the Book:
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 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.
We are so excited to share this book with you. None of us had heard of it before we selected it as our Book Club pick, and at first it seemed a little cheesy. To be honest, a couple of chapters in, I wasn’t sure how the adult readers were going to like it. But as I got further into the book, I realized what an amazing character Sadie is, and how much I empathized with her need to detoxify herself of an unrequited love she had lost herself in and finally learn to concentrate on herself. The results are in and all of us, young and not-quite-as-young, loved Abby McDonald’s novel and think it offers girls a particularly important message about being true to yourself and not allowing your self worth to be based on what any guy — even your best friend — thinks of you. Many thanks to Candlewick Press for providing our contributors with review copies.
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“Young” Reader Average: A
Ally graded the book an A+
Sadie Elizabeth Allen is an average seventeen year old girl who has boy problems like anyone else. But what happens when it’s your best friend? Garrett Delaney is Sadie’s only friend. They have been joined at the hip ever since they met at the local coffeehouse, Totally Wired, two years prior. Garret has been the apple of Sadie’s eye ever since they met. Sadie changed her appearance to match Garrett’s love to old Russian literature without ever noticing it. Now that it’s summertime, Sadie and Garrett both apply to literature camp, Sadie thinks this will be the summer of her life, just her and him together. It could finally happen, Garrett could finally notice how in love he is with Sadie and it will be her happily ever after… WRONG.
When the camp accepts Garrett and not Sadie her whole world is turned upside down, Sadie ends up working at Totally Wired while Garrett is having the time of his life at camp. As if Sadie’s life couldn’t get any more depressing, Garrett calls one day to reveal to Sadie he’s fallen in love… with another girl!! Sadie has a break down and announces its time for a total Garrett detox.
With the help of Sadie’s co-workers LuAnne, Aiko, Dominique, and ex-best friend Kayla, Sadie gets a makeover, changes her style and tries to find out who she really is without Garrett, and lets not forget Totally Wired’s super cute chef Josh who seems to have eyes on Sadie. I think every girl who is in the process of getting over a guy should definitely read this book. The tips of Sadie’s 12-step program is great for anyone who is hooked on a guy and wants to finally let go.
Lily graded the book an A-
Sadie is head over heels in love with her best friend. Garrett is hipster, funny and handsome, and not into Sadie at all. So when Sadie finds out that she won’t be going to writing camp with Garrett after all, she’s devastated. She gets herself a job at the local coffee shop and prepares to sulk through the next six weeks. But after a very embarrassing breakdown in the shop, Sadie and her friends decide to put her on a total Garrett detox, doing everything and anything that Garrett disapproved of.
I really enjoyed this book, it was funny and lighthearted, and I couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t great, but there was nothing I hated about it. I would definitely re-read and recommend it, though. This was a very meh book for me, but then again, I prefer paranormal romance, fantasy and dystopian fiction.
“Adult” Reader Average: B+
Diana graded the book an A
Abby McDonald’s “Getting Over Garrett Delaney” is such an enjoyable book that I read it in one sit through. From the moment you begin the book, Sadie is an easy character to relate to. Sadie’s friends are also equally fun and easy to imagine. Each of the young women could easily be of my friends. That’s one of the best parts of McDonald’s book, the wonderful characters that she has created are so real.
Sadie is like most girls who gets carried away by a wonderful guy. There’s nothing really wrong with Garrett, it’s just that he’s clueless to Sadie’s feelings and takes her for granted. During their summer apart, she finally realizes how much of herself was wrapped up in Garrett. When she discovers that he is once again in love, with someone else, she begins the process of breaking apart the real Sadie from the Sadie that gelled herself to the mold that Garrett had created.
The lessons that Sadie learns about herself, about friendship and about love are timeless and ageless. A girl becoming wrapped up in a guy and changing herself for him is not something that happens only to teens. As an “old” married woman I’ve seen many women “lose” themselves after years of marriage only to find that they are nothing but carbon copies of whatever ideal their husbands had for them. The lessons in this book are not just for Sadie, not just for teens, they are for all women who believe that they have to become something they’re not just so that the “hot” guy will notice them, or so that the won’t lose the notice of their man. In the end, McDonald has written an incredibly gratifying book that is worth the read.
Jenn graded the book an A-
“Getting Over Garrett Delaney” by Abby McDonald was a pleasant surprise, as I had been expecting something very different. Instead of a lighthearted romance, I got a fantastic story about a girl rediscovering who she is and what she wants in life.
From the beginning of the book, it’s painfully clear that Sadie has let her entire life revolve around her crush, Garrett. Worse yet is that Sadie is stuck firmly in the “friend zone” with Garrett, which makes her try even harder to conform to his ideal. Once she realizes that he is never going to fall for her, however, she makes a plan to fill her summer with as many new experiences as possible to get her mind off him.
I was sucked into Sadie’s infatuation for Garrett immediately. He just seemed very much like the “perfect” guy: smart, bookish, cool. But as the story progressed, Sadie (and I) began to realize that he wasn’t as wonderful as he seemed.
I really enjoyed Sadie’s quest to uncover her own identity, especially since so much of her identity had been tied up with what Garrett liked. But my favorite part of the book was the development of the friendships that Sadie made (and renewed) that summer. I was happy to see so much value given to the friendships between Sadie and her girl friends, something that can often be lacking in YA fiction. Ultimately, I thought this was a great story with a great message for girls.
Sandie graded the book an A-
This was a difficult book for me to read, because I was Sadie in high school, allowing myself to fall head over heels for my guy best friends time and time again. My junior year the “I want more, but he doesn’t” relationship left me heartbroken, so I ended up doing the exact same thing with a completely different type of guy my senior year. That ended better, however, when I realized how unhealthy it was, and how easy it was for those guys to take me for granted and even use me to boost their egos, practice their relationship skills on or edit and type their college applications (!).
But enough about me, this is about Sadie, not Sandie. McDonald does a brilliant job of conveying why Sadie needed to find worth in herself apart from Garrett, no matter how cool, hip, and smart she considered him. Any romance worth having is truly reciprocal, not a one-sided heartache. Sadie’s journey of self discovery is valuable not just for adolescent girls but for women of all ages. I think it would make a perfect mother-daughter read.
Taylor graded the book a B
The book was a quick and easy read; predictable yet interesting. It follows the “awakening” of seventeen-year-old Sadie as she realizes the love her life (and best friend of two years) is not in love with her, and therefore does her very best to get over him.
I said the book was predictable – perhaps for me that is because I’m in my early thirties so I’ve lived through this kind of teenage drama before. It was still a fun read, and kept me interested throughout the whole thing. I found myself rolling my eyes at Sadie, telling her to listen to her kooky circle of friends, and sighing out loud when she did the same thing all teenage girls inevitably do….fall back in love with the (wrong) boy and ignore the right one in front of her. I did get a HUGE laugh out of an offhand comment about my favorite TV show (“The Vampire Diaries”), so that was definitely a memorable moment.
Overall, I’d give the book a solid B (as part of this book club, we give books a grade). It’s certainly quite readable, but for me it had a been-there-done-that feel.
Cara graded the book a B-
Sadie is in love with the boy of her dreams. He’s smart, handsome, witty, interesting and completely unaware of her affections. He’s also her best friend. When they’re separated for the summer while he goes away to literary camp, Sadie embarks on a mission to purge him from her heart. In the process, she discovers she’s not the girl she thought she was.
I would call this book the quintessential beach read. The story is solid, the characters interesting, if a bit flat, and the pace is brisk. But. There just isn’t anything that really stands out for me. There were no twists that surprised me, the ending was entirely expected, the dialogue was quick but not too terribly clever, and there were no really outstanding characters, even Sadie herself. This book is the literary equivalent of Chinese food. Thoroughly enjoyable but you’re left feeling hungry again a couple hours later.