I hated Tuck Everlasting. I didn't like Winnie, hated the fact that Jesse + Winnie never materialized (which was a bit weird anyway, since he was like six years older) and HATED the ending. (In retrospect, it's a moral about the importance of life, but try telling that to an eight-year-old non-melancholic romantic.)
It was in this state of mind that my younger self picked up The Search for Delicious and was astonished. This same Natalie Babbitt wrote this book? With the awesome words and spooky mermaids? The incredible quest? Somehow this books reminds me of Kate Dicamillo's The Tale of Despereaux (hello? both amazing books.)
Our favorite childhood authors can be so tricky.