Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review: That Summer by Sarah Dessen

104379That Summer Discussion
Title: That Summer
Author: Sarah Dessen
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 6th 2006 
by Viking Juvenile
Fans of Deb Caletti, Rachel Cohn or the Alyson Noel’s contemporary novels should try reading That Summer.

Life has changed a lot this summer for fifteen year old Haven.  Her dad has just recently gotten remarried to Lorna Queen, the Weather Pet, from the local news station.  Her sister Ashley has become bridezilla and is engaged to the perfectly boring Lewis.  Not to mention, her best friend, Casey, has totally changed while at H-4 camp.  She is now rebellious, boy-obsessed and smokes cigarettes. Haven has also had a major growth spurt and is now a whooping 5’11”; she doesn’t even feel at home in her own body. 

When Haven bumps in to Ashley’s ex-boyfriend, Sumner, she feels like maybe he is the key to getting things back to when life was normal—back to that summer.  But, Haven soon realizes that won’t happen and she has to the hero of her own story.

I’m usually a big fan of Sarah Dessen, but this one is terrible.  Wanted to read it so that I could enjoy a light-hearted romance novel… this was not what I was looking for. 

·      I liked that Haven’s mom tried to be there for both Haven and Ashley.
·      I liked that Haven’s dad still made an effort to be in her life.
·      I also liked that this book was short, because I wasn’t very good and if I have invested more time in it I would have been upset.
·       The story is built up like Gwendolyn Rodgers is going to have a role in the story, but she never does.  I thought that maybe she and Haven would bond over their tallness, but nothing ever happened.  It seemed like poor writing or maybe it went over my head.
·      I usually love Sarah Dessen books, I like that they are light-fluffy and full of clean romance.  When I chose this book that’s what I expected.  I was very upset to realize that there was no romance in this book.  This is why I didn’t like this book.  It was like drinking from a cup thinking its sweet tea only to realize it’s milk.  Maybe if I wasn’t looking forward to a traditional Sarah Dessen romance book I would have enjoyed this book.

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