Getting over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

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Candlewick Press, 2012. ISBN 9780763655075.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Seventeen year old Sadie has been in love with her best friend Garrett Delaney ever since he came into her life. Together they read Proust, go to art movies and listen to 80's indie rock. However he is oblivious to her obsession and when he falls in love with another girl at a summer literary retreat, Sadie decides it is time for her to have a total detox of Garrett Delaney. With the help of a 12 step plan, her new job and friends at the cafe, including a good looking chef, Josh, Sadie embarks on a life getting over Garrett.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I followed Sadie in all her ups and downs as she came to realise that she couldn't keep waiting forever for Garrett to notice her. I applauded as she came to grips with her feelings, cried with her through her bad moments and enjoyed reading about the friendships she made as she worked as a barista. It is a coming of age story too, as Sadie realises that she has to make her own life without Garrett and when doing this finds out just what she wants in her friends and job. She sorts through her books and finds that she wants to keep some of the literature that she and Garrett both read, but other books she discards. She tries different movies and music finding that she enjoys new things that once she and Garrett made fun of. Most importantly, she discovers the joy of making new friends.
The themes of friendship and self-perception and moving on are handled with humour and sympathy by the author. Teenage girls will empathise with Sadie as many will have had an unrequited crush or know someone who obsesses over a boy who doesn't notice them at all. Readers who enjoyed Lola and the boy next door by Stephanie Perkins and books by Sarah Dessen should enjoy reading about the tribulations and fun that Sadie has while learning about herself and growing up.
Pat Pledger