Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer

Genre: YA Romance

Age Level: Young Adult

Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: Speak (May 11, 2004)

Award Winner:

• An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

Other Info:

  • With Someone Like You, adapted into the motion picture How to Deal, released July 2003, staring Mandy Moore

Fifteen year old Haven thought that life was going according to plan until her dad broke the news that he was leaving for the local weather girl, who is only five years older than Haven’s older sister Ashley. Her parents’ divorce, father’s new bride and her sister’s upcoming wedding to a guy who she believes is all wrong sets her summer into one of complete chaos. She is quietly suffering through all of it and watching from the sidelines while everything around her falls apart. Her best friend comes back from camp with a new lease on life, a new boyfriend, and an idea of what love is which only adds to Haven’s skewed view of love. Add all of this together along with the fact that Haven is taller than everyone else she knows and is still growing which only angers her sister more as the bridesmaids dress has to be altered yet again. Haven feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere (literally and figuratively) and that the only good times she experienced were during the summer she and her family spent in Virginia Beach with her family and her sister Ashley’s then boyfriend Sumner. Haven spends the summer wondering if her life will ever get back to the happy times of that summer. When Sumner comes back into her life and seems to puller her from her suffering, she can seemingly see the light at the end of the tunnel. She begins to find out, however, that things happen behind closed doors and there are some secrets that should be left between the parties involved.

This book is yet another fun read that makes you think at the same time. Haven is trying to find out where she fits in within every aspect of her life and it causes her too look backwards and forwards at the same time. I love that Dessen has, yet again, written a book that is so relatable to teens and adults alike on many levels. Teens will be able to relate to Haven’s desire to fit in and find herself in the midst of chaos, and adults will be able to put the “Been There, Done That” hat on. This book isn’t you’re a-typical love story because your main character doesn’t fall in love in the book and yet it is because she finds out about love on many different levels and the effects that love can have on a person. She finds that love comes in many shapes and sizes and that it isn’t always something that you can depend on.

Now I am off to watch the movie that combines both of these (“How to Deal” staring Mandy Moore)!!! I will let you know how it is!!




(originally posted July 3, 2009)

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