Review: That Summer

That Summer1

Title: That Summer
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: 1996
Page Count: 198
Rating: 2/5

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It’s summer and Haven’s life is changing so much. Her dad is getting re-married. Her sister is getting married and her mom might be taking a trip to Europe for a few months. So many changes in such a short time but then her sister’s old boyfriend, Sumner, shows up and Haven thinks back to a time when things were going great in their lives. Her parents hadn’t divorced and her sister Ashley was happy with her boyfriend Sumner. Everything was perfect! Until Ashley breaks things off with Sumner and Haven thinks that’s when everything started changing.

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This is my first Sarah Dessen book, and I’m not impressed. Though, I’ve heard great things about her so I’m not giving up just because I didn’t like her first book. This book is really short, at just 198 pages, so not a whole lot happens. The characters are pretty dull and annoying most of the time. The main character, Haven, has no personality. She is very insecure about her height, at almost six-feet tall. She has a job at the local mall working for a kids shoe store and has an older sister named Ashley. Ashley is engaged and the wedding is in just a few months so there is a lot of stress going on in the house. Ashley is my least favorite character. She is mean to everyone, including her sister and their mother. And it is blamed on the stress of the wedding, which I find uncalled for. Haven and Ashley’s parents are divorced but their dad is re-marrying and they are both in the wedding party. Haven feels that her dad is moving on with a new family and so many things are changing in her life.

The story line is not that interesting. Based on the cover of the book, you would think this was a beachy, summer read but it’s not. The beach is mentioned due to memories that Haven thinks back to but that’s all. I also expected some romance between the main character and a potential love interest but there was none. What I got instead was a main character who eavesdrops on her family’s conversations and is constantly reminding us how much she hates how tall she is.

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5 thoughts on “Review: That Summer

  1. I was a huge Sarah Dessen fan when I was younger but I never read That Summer. Sorry it was so disappointing! Some of her novels are stronger than others but I hope you pick up another one in the future!

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