Get It Together, Delilah! - Erin Gough

Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. Her dad is on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, so Del’s managing the family café in his absence. Easy, she thinks. But what about:
  • homework and the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell
  • or how one of Del’s best friends won’t stop guilt-tripping her
  • and her other best friend is so in love with his tutor he might go to jail for her if Del doesn’t do something
But who cares about any of that really, because above all else, she can’t stop thinking about beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street until one day Rosa comes in the café door . . . . And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?

Explores harsh realities, but the ending still allows the queer character(s) to be happy. Delilah is a hard-working young woman whose mother has run away and her father is out of town. In an effort to keep her father's business from failing, she leaves school and tries to manage it all by herself. At the same time, a part-time worker that she fired is trying to get his revenge by messing with her food orders, trying to steal her customers at his new job.

To complicate things even more, she is falling for Rosa, a girl from the neighbouring restaurant, but she's not sure if Rosa likes her in return, or likes girls at all! On top of this, Delilah's school counsellor keeps coming to the cafe to talk her out of leaving school, her mother is trying to get her to stop covering for her absent father, and her father thinks everything is going smoothly while he is away. And her best friend is trying to get her to change her mind about school too. And she's being bullied by girls from school. And her friend Charlie assaulted a man and is asking Delilah to lie for him, in court. It's all a bit of a mess, really!

I enjoyed this novel for the strong building of characters and relationships (Delilah and Rosa, Delilah and Charlie, etc.) I do have to say that while I did like the novel's plot overall, I found myself thinking there was just a lot going on for a shorter book, and the ending seemed to wrap up quickly and without as much trouble as I would have figured. Gough's style is solid, though the pacing is a bit uneven. That being said, the book is compelling, the stakes are high, and the characters are interesting! And as I noted earlier, the happy ending for queer characters is refreshing!

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