Friday, January 8, 2010

That Summer

Cover Image
That Summer
Sarah Dessen
$7.99 USD PB
April 6 2006
FTC: This is my own book that I purchased. I didn’t receive it from the publisher or author.

Characters 15/20
Plot 10/20
Setting 20/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 15/20
Total grade: 80% B

Sexual content: 2/20
Violence: 0/20
Drugs: 0/20
Underage drinking: 0/20
Swearing: 2/20
Total rating: 10 for cleanness. 13 for connections.

Summary: (Amazon)
That Summer could refer to the current one through which 15-year-old Haven is suffering, or it could be the one a few years ago when everything seemed perfect. Nevertheless, both summers affect her and she is a different person at their conclusions. Dessen has cast her story with a group of forgettable characters who plod their way through a cliche-ridden coming-of-age novel with a lot of subplots. There is the long-suffering mother and her scatterbrained best friend. Then there is toupee-wearing Dad, who honks from the driveway on visitation nights. Add the boy-crazy best friend and the moody older sister who is planning her wedding and making everyone miserable. The most memorable character is Summer Lee, a remnant of that long ago season when everything was just right, who shows up at the precise moments he is needed and offers support to Haven. The setting is a suburb where all the houses look exactly the same (kind of like the characters). There is nothing seriously wrong with Haven's life, except that she doesn't fit in, physically or emotionally; she is six-feet tall and still growing. She is unwilling or unable to accept change in her life, and pines for the days when her parents seemed happy and she didn't fight with her sister and the sun always shone...Sigh. Still, Haven has a good sense of humor, and her insightful barbs about everything from shopping malls to TV-news readers add some depth to the story.

My Thoughts:
To be honest this was not what I expect from Sarah Dessen. With her books that I have loved I was hooked instantly. This book took forever to get into and was not very connectable for older teens. I felt as if the girl was my little sister, not my equal. I would recommend this book to younger teens, like 12-14.

Again sorry for the short review. My wrist was not quite better at the time I wrote this


Anonymous said...

I still have to read this book. I started it once before and although I enjoyed it, it was like you mentioned, a little slow. She's definitley improved over time.

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

I know most people didn't enjoy this book as much as her others, but I loved it. Maybe it was because I could relate though.


Bostan said...

i had this book for a long time and never yet read it.
Thanks for the review!