That Summer - Sarah Dessen

Image result for that summerThat Summer by Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Blurb (on back of book)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 is my first Sarah Dessen novel, and I wasn't annoyed with it, but I also wasn't wowed with it.

Everybody said for me to read a Sarah Dessen novel for good contemporary fiction, so I went to my library: I admit it, I picked the shortest looking book there. I've been reading WAY too many books and I am packed with to-reads that I have to get to. So I decided to pick the shortest Sarah Dessen book.

It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't amazing either. I mean, I read one chapter a night, skipping a few nights here and there. It was a 13-chapter book, though the chapters were really long. Maybe if I had read the book in a concentrated fashion, I would have enjoyed it more. But as it was, some of it didn't really make sense and it was sometimes boring.

It was a way-too-long book about change. I mean, I thought this was going to be a romance, but I realize it definitely wasn't. Unless you count the father remarrying and her sister marrying and having a ton of boyfriends. But overall, this was more of a book about getting over change and learning to let things go.

Haven was quite annoying. I mean, there are LOTS of people who are super tall. There's no reason to complain about it. I'm kind of short, so it bothers me that she complains about being tall. Just be who you want to be. Also, she cried way too much and complained way too much. She was an overall annoying character who I really couldn't relate to.

Ashley was evil. I mean, it seemed like she cared more about her fiance than her own sister. She was also way too shallow and annoying and kind of stupid.

Lewis was... ugh. I hated him. He was too bland, too annoying, too dull, too stupid. He was too forgiving as well. I mean, he always starts fights and then makes up with Ashley after like five minutes.

Sumner. He was one of the only characters that I actually liked. He was nice and sweet, though some of his actions were questionable or mean. But overall, I really enjoyed reading about him.

So I won't be talking anymore about this book. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it, so... I do plan to read more of Sarah Dessen's books. This showed a sneak peek of another one of her books and it looked a lot better than this book. I would love to read it.

I would recommend this book to YA readers who like a lot less romance and some more coming-of-age.

Main Character: Haven
Sidekick(s): Ashley, Sumner, Casey, etc
Villain(s): Change, coming-of-age, the Weather Pet
Realistic Fiction Elements: This book was all real to life.