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Thursday, June 12, 2014

That Summer by Sarah Dessen (Review)

Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date:  October 1st 1996
Pages:198 (paperback)
Published By:  Delacorte Press
WebsiteSarah Dessen

That Summer on Goodreads
My review copy:Bought 
Where to get:

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. Goodreads)

It’s funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.
It's not always so simple, Haven. Sometimes there isn't a good guy and a bad guy. Sometimes even the ones you want to believe turn out to be liars.
At every wedding somebody stays home.
The first boy was always the hardest.
Let's start this off by saying this book is almost 20 years old. Wow, that makes me feel even older. Shit. Anyways. There were parts of this story that were a bit dated (considering you know it's a present day type of story) but you got past them. In fact, I used it as rehashing some of my childhood.  I am a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I wouldn't say that this book is my favorite, because it's not. This Lullaby and Just Listen still hold those spots. But I did enjoy it.

That being said, I related to a lot with the main character, Haven. The beginning of the book she has to endure going and being in her father's wedding to a woman other than her mother. I've been there. And it sucks. Haven acted the same way I did and in some ways better. Didn't let anyone see how much it sucked for her. Told her dad that she was happy for him. But she held up her own and didn't cry at the ceremony. I totally did. I cried like a baby and when my father's new wife had asked if I was okay, I chickened and said weddings make me cry. Screw that. Anyways, I applauded Haven and her awkward body.

The writing is Sarah Dessen to a T. She is a superb writer and makes the reading go by fast and really captivates you by dragging you from whatever seat you're reading at and into the book world itself. It has to be one of my favorite qualities of Sarah Dessen. That and just getting it. The issues all her characters face are real. Most of them, I have dealt with myself. So, that was just awesome.

All-in-all, it is a good read and if you haven't read That Summer yet. You should at least pick it up and give it a try. Especially if you are a Sarah Dessen fan. It baffled me that I love every one of her books I have ever picked up and I had never read her first one up until now. Crazy sauce for sure.

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