Sadie has been hopelessly in love with her best friend, Garrett Delaney for the past two years – but he doesn’t even notice. She forces herself to read Nietzche, go to arty films and dress in the style he likes – in frayed jeans and battered leather satchel.
When Garrett – with his magnificent cheekbones and devastating smile – goes away for the summer, Sadie hopes that absence will make his heart grow fonder. Instead, he rings to tell her he’s fallen in love – with someone else! Devastated, she embarks on a plan to get over him once and for all.
While not quite as ‘hilarious’ as the blurb claims, Getting Over Garrett Delaney is nonetheless entertaining enough to keep you turning the pages. The start of the book is irritiating with too many brand names and ‘credible’ writers (what fourteen-year-old guy reads poems by Neruda or, for that matter, the Paris Review?) bandied about. However, the story improves considerably as Sadie embarks on her twelve step recovery programme which is a kind of Alcoholics Anonymous for teenagers going through break-ups, with a different coping mechanism heralding the start of each new chapter.
Sadie has our sympathy as she’s caught between an over zealous mother with her ambition charts and daughter-mother bonding retreats and, on the other side, the snobby Garrett. Both these people are extremists leaving no room for inbetweeners which is where Sadie, with the help of her new ‘ordinary’ friends, eventually finds her own voice and true personal happiness.