Friday, March 20, 2015

REVIEW: That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer
For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She's nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley's reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

This wasn't really what I expected from this book. This is my ninth Sarah Dessen book, so I knew what to expect, despite the fact that this was her first book. And this book did follow a lot of my Sarah Dessen expectations. Though, based on the cover and title, I was expecting more of a light-hearted, summer read. While this book takes place during the summer, it's not the fun, summer book that I was expecting.

Haven is fifteen years and reaching almost 6 feet. Her father has run off with the weather girl and her older sister is getting married. Haven wishes that everything would go back to the way it was. Back when her parents were happily married, her sister was nice to her, and she wasn't freakishly tall. When Haven runs into one of Ashley's, her sister, old boyfriends, she begins to miss the past even more and question what happened to it.

This is a fairly short book, at around 200 pages, so it's not a surprise that this book is actually very uneventful. There are two weddings, the appearance of Ashley's old boyfriend (though, Haven is the only one who notices him), and Haven's job. Overall, this is actually just a coming of age story for Haven. The whole book is very slow-paced and focuses on how Haven has to grow into how much her life is changing. While not much happens, I did like reading it and it was a nice story. Many supporting characters were annoying, but I did like Haven. She doesn't quite know why her life is changing so rapidly and why she can't go back, and I could really feel for her.

While this is Sarah Dessen's early work, it still has her usual style. It's the coming of age tale about a girl who is in a tough family situation. Unlike her other books, there is no romance whatsoever, maybe because the main character is younger than her other books.

This isn't my favorite Sarah Dessen book, but I still liked it. I liked seeing Haven's journey in figuring out why this is happening to her family and her. Sarah Dessen is still one of my favorite authors.

I hereby give this book
3 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it

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