That Summer, by Sarah Dessen

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Title: That Summer
Author: Sarah Dessen
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Release Date: April 6, 2006
Publisher: Speak
Format: Paperback Edition
Goodreads Average Rating: 3.50
Age Group: 11+
Would I Recommend: Definitely!

   This is my first Sarah Dessen novel, I've been dying to read one of hers, I kept telling myself, this summer, this summer, so here I am! That Summer was the perfect summer beach read to start with, I never wanted it to end.

   "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.”

       Everything'g going wrong for Haven this summer. Her father's remarrying to the weather woman that he works with, her sister is not acting like herself, also marrying a guy who is so not suited for her, that's two of the things that are turning her world upside-down. Haven wishes that everything could go back to the way they were in that summer, where her parents were together, and her sister had the perfect boyfriend. When Haven meets that boyfriend, he helps her realize that the summer that she wanted may not have been so perfect after all.

       I think that this novel deserves more than a 3.50 rating. Come on! Many reviewers have also mentioned that this wasn't the Dessen novel that beginners should start with. Maybe, there are better novels than this one that she wrote, but I am glad that I began with this one. Starting off the summer with this beachy, chick-lit read was all that I needed to make my day even better.

        I was totally hooked to this novel from the start, I figured that it would be a romance novel, which it really wasn't. It was more of that novel about figuring who you are, and the importance of sisterhood. I imagine this novel coming from my sister's words, her as Haven, and myself as Ashley. 

     Haven was a fantastic lead. She might have been unsure of her life, I would have been the same if I was in her situation, she was insecure of who she was, her height and all. I'm tall too, I know what it feels to be overlooking everything around everyone, sometimes you wish to be shorter so you're not all noticeable. Haven taught all of us to overcome the labyrinth, the troubles we may have, to speak with someone, and to love the life you currently have.

     Ashley was the other character who I felt that I related to. Being a big sister, I feel that my little sis takes after what I do, and remembers the memories that I may have without her. She pays attention to things that I don't, and helps me understand the troubles that we may have in our lives. Ashley seriously felt realistic to me, I don't know about you.

    They say that Sumner really plays a big role in this novel, he's mentioned in the summary, but I really don't feel it. I feel that he's more of a background character with a small role. He might have told Haven the truth about everything, but to me, the sisterhood between Haven and Ashley was the main idea here. 

    Overall, I'm super-excited to see what else Sarah Dessen has in store for me. She's a terrific author, and I am incredibly fond of her ideas and thoughts.

    I can't wait to read her other novels!

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