Read That Summer by Sarah Dessen Online


For fifteen-year-old Haven-tall, lanky, bordering on six feet-it's a summer framed by two weddings: her father's to Lorna Queen (the "Weather Pet" of the local TV station) and her sister's to dull-as-dishwater Lewis Warsher, a boy Haven can't imagine plucky Ashley being attracted to. Nothing seems stable except Haven's memories-especially those of the summer when Ashley daFor fifteen-year-old Haven-tall, lanky, bordering on six feet-it's a summer framed by two weddings: her father's to Lorna Queen (the "Weather Pet" of the local TV station) and her sister's to dull-as-dishwater Lewis Warsher, a boy Haven can't imagine plucky Ashley being attracted to. Nothing seems stable except Haven's memories-especially those of the summer when Ashley dated Sumner Lee, who made her parents laugh and loosened Ashley up. Around Sumner, even Haven felt special. Suddenly Sumner reappears in her life, a link to that perfect past-and her future....

Title : That Summer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141325828
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 230 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

That Summer Reviews

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    2019-05-11 09:21

    I am certain That Summer isn’t one of Ms. Sarah Dessen’s finest but I also know that this is one of her more realistic stories and despite the simplicity of the plot and the plainness of the narration, it was a relatable read. It was easy sympathizing with Haven, a too tall, fifteen year old who is trying to adapt to all the changes going on around her and the people she loves. Many parts dragged a bit and I could easily point out flaws in the plot and in the characterization but I would do no such thing owing it to the little detail that this was the first book written by the author. Thankfully, the entire story took less than 200 pages to finish and I have to admit, the last few pages were beautiful. If it weren’t for those concluding paragraphs, I wouldn’t have fully appreciated the essence of the entire novel. Thank you so much to my awesome buddy, Neil (or bleed) for gifting me the book. Thank you for your endless generosity, pal! You're awesome!^^

  • Alexis
    2019-04-26 09:32

    I decided to not finish this book because of too many reasons I could not avoid.First- The storyline was boring.Second- The characters were boring. Third- The writing wasn't all that great. Very repetitive.Fourth- I found no story progression and only 80 pages in I was just skimming through the pages hoping it would end soon.You can definitely tell this was Sarah's first book, because I have really liked all her other books and this one just put me to sleep, as sad as I am to say that. I do no recommend this book unless you need something to make you fall asleep, then this book is for you!

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-05-08 15:47

    I love Sarah Dessen books because they just feel like summer and capture a moment so well. There wasn't really anything in particular that I disliked about this book (other than the "retarded children" phrasing), but the story itself was so brief that it felt like it just skimmed the surface of what it could've been. Haven is the steady, responsible younger daughter who focuses more on what everyone else wants than on herself. The story's mostly about her looking to the past at a moment when everything was perfect, but then realizing maybe it wasn't exactly what she thought. Her older sister is getting married and her dad just got married, so there are a lot of changes happening... and then she starts to look to the future for a new beginning. There's not really any main romance, which was actually a nice change. And I still got a strong sense of Haven's character even though there wasn't a ton that happened in the story. So it's still a decent YA contemporary, but I'd definitely recommend some other Dessen books to start with (like Just Listen or The Truth About Forever)!

  • Ana705
    2019-04-23 09:30

    who, would like this book???? bored, people who want to listen to boring stuff? okay, i know a lot (A LOT!) of people who enjoyed this book but, it doesn't speak at, all to me. this is not my style of book, and type. sorry.

  • Morgan F
    2019-04-24 10:22

    What happened with this book! The beginning, middle, and end were exactly the same, NOTHING HAPPENED. It was soooo boring, but I forced myself to finish it to guarantee no suprises were coming (nope). The big drama on what happened when Sumner and Ashley was nothing. I was so disappointed in Sarah Dessen. I'm glad this wasn't the first book of hers I read, or else it would be the last.

  • Christine Marie
    2019-05-21 17:23

    Many of my friends on Goodreads didn't like this book, and it's because they just don't get it. I can connect with Haven completely and I felt her pain about all of the issues in her life. This book, if you can relate, was so sad and made me cry. It was just really painful for some people who can relate. I'm not going to go into detail, but if you think you might like it then read a little, if you don't start to connect, then dump it. I loved this book in a different way than the others I've loved. It meant something to me, and it helped me. I'll never forget whatThat Summermeant to me. It was a wonderful book.

  • enqi ✨ (high lady of the night court)
    2019-04-28 09:20

    The very first book I read by Sarah Dessen was Dreamland. By the time I’d finished that book, she was automatically catapulted to the top of my list of favorite authors. I started this book with such high expectations but sadly, they were dashed. I am still in love with Sarah Dessen’s writing. I am still captivated by the way she expertly weaves strings of words together in a way that not only is utterly enchanting, but also incites emotion in the reader. She has undeniable ability to tell a gripping story in deceptively simple words, something that few authors can pull off, and yet she has done it multiple times in her many bestselling books.But there was almost no plot in this book. The word I would use to describe it isempty : like a pastry with a delicious crust but hollow inside. On the surface, Sarah’s language prowess kept me riveted to the pages; I actually did, to some extent, care about Haven, her sister Ashley, and Ashley’s ex-boyfriend Sumner as well as other important side characters such as Ashley’s fiancé, their mother, and Lydia Catrell. I genuinely cared about these characters. I did! But as I read on I started to notice a significant lack of plot in the entire story. Nothing major happened from the very first page to the end. None of the characters were spectacular, memorable, or particularly endearing. Several relationships in the story weren’t well developed enough or in some cases, glossed over and not developed at all. There was no character development, and neither was there any significant message to take away from the story. And Haven, the main character, blindly clung to a time when Sumner, Ashley’s ex was around, because when he was around he brought light and laughter and everyone in the house gravitated towards him. She believed her life was perfect back then, with a complete family and her big sister being nice towards her, and somehow she thought that if she could get Ashley to talk to Sumner again things would return to what they once was. I get that her life was in such a wreck she was lost and pretty desperate, but her naiveté annoyed me at times. And there wasn’t really any resolution to the book. Even Haven herself didn’t get any closure, let alone the rest of the characters. God, I don't evenknowhow to classify this book at all because it's tagged as contemporary romance, but honestly nothing of that sort happens to Haven. Unless her sister's coming marriage (only a side story) counts?I've noticed that Sarah Dessen’s books always have an event that happens which changes the main character’s worldview. But in this book, I’m not even sure what really happened. It seemed like Haven just heard another side to the story of Ashley’s breakup with her previous boyfriend which altered the way she saw some things, but it didn’t come off as something to write an entire book about. I wouldn’t say this book was terribly written because I am absolutely in love with Sarah Dessen’s writing and somehow she’s managed to save a book with no redeeming qualities, using just her amazing writing prowess. This is her debut novel and I’m confident that her talent has only shown itself more and blossomed since then. But That Summer felt to me like a sketch: it had potential, so much potential, interesting plot workings, characters I could root for, but in the end it fell short anyway because it just wasn’t fully fleshed out enough.

  • Obsidian
    2019-05-01 09:20

    I am astounded at how much I didn't like this Dessen book. I think the other one that brought out similar feelings in me was "This Lullaby". "This Summer" is about 15 year old Haven dealing with the upheaval in her life over the course of a summer. It's also about her looking back with rose colored glasses on the last summer she sees her family as being happy. Without much ado, in the first few pages we find out that Haven is going to her father's wedding to a woman he had an affair with. Her mother is now obsessed with gardening and hanging out with her new friend on the block. And her older sister Ashley is preparing to wed in about two months after her father's wedding. Haven longs for a time when her father was all together. And weirdly starts obsessing about her sister's ex boyfriend named Sumner (not a misspelling) who she believes was the key to her family all being happy. I am sorry, you can't see my face right now but I am cracking up. I think that if Haven had been younger, maybe I could have been more sympathetic. But the fact of the matter is, she's 15 going on 16 (now that song is going to be in my head all day) and acts like she's 12 for most of this story. She sneaks around privately listening to conversations between her mother and sister. Judges her sister for getting married to someone she finds boring and not as exciting as Sumner was. And she doesn't confront her father for being a lousy parent and an even worse husband to her mother. She just flails around for most of the book before acting like a total ass to her mother and sister and then gets woken up to the fact that people are not what they appear to be. Yep, that's the lesson. The other characters in this one stay pretty flat from beginning to end though and don't stay consistent the whole through either. For example, we are told that Ashley doesn't like to think negatively of their father, defends him, etc. but we see that out of the two of them Ashley is upset about what happened with her family and that she does blame their father for her parents marriage ending. Same thing when Ashley and Haven finally have a big talk (not really) at the end and then we are supposed to think of "Sisters". Honestly this book had me wishing to re-watch the tv show "Sisters" cause that to me was a more realistic look at sisters who love and also want to strangle each other sometimes. I felt bad for the short look at Haven's supposed best friend. Haven calls her friend a "slut" but everything in name and made me cringe for how disdainful she was being towards her.Sumner was an empty shell and didn't even make sense as a character. I don't think he shows up in any other Dessen works, but don't quote me on that.There's also a neighborhood girl now a woman gone good (she became a model) who is now home and is wandering around not really there. I don't even know why she was included as character. The writing was so-so and repetitive in most cases. The flow was not that great. I thought there was a lot of show and not tell happening and the book moved so slowly that I was happy to get to the end.

  • Kristin Hackett (SuperSpaceChick)
    2019-04-30 09:31

    Fear not, I am not deterred from reading Sarah's other books and enough people have told me this book is one of their least favorites that I feel confident that I'll like her other books. Being so short, this one was a quick read but it felt like almost nothing happened? Also, so much angst.

  • Fiona
    2019-05-04 11:34

    What a crazy book. I'm so regretting picking this up. That Summer wasn’t what I expected at all. The only character I really got to know was the protagonist, Haven, and I didn’t like her very much. I felt bad for her in the circumstances she was in, but there was something about her that just rubbed me the wrong way. I was also disappointed in the ending. I felt like I had waited for something very anti-climactic and didn’t seem true to the characters portrayed in the book. It was extremely boring. There wasn't much of a plot at all. Haven was very annoying. She is upset because she's tall and thin like a walking straw, her parents got divorced, and her sister is getting married to the "wrong guy" as she sees it. She wants her sister to be with Sumner, but doesn't realize her sister had a very valid reason for breaking up with him. The book was short (thank goodness!), and I did not see any growth from the main character.I kept hoping the book would get better and that the story and/or characters would grab me at some point. But, none of that happened. I was so happy when I finished because I knew I wouldn’t have to pick it up again. (Sorry, Dessen sweetie!)Lastly, the ending was a big let-down. With a book like this, there is no gasp worthy event or anything I could say that would make you feel like you were spoiled, but if there had to be one, I guess this would be it... (READ AT YOUR OWN RISK) (view spoiler)[Ashley finds Haven in the woods while it's raining and tells her the true reason she broke up with Sumner was because he cheated, as if it were obvious. All in one blow. Then we move on to the wedding, as if nothing happened, and we never see Sumner again after that. The end. Bow. (hide spoiler)]Overall, there was honestly no point to the story, and the synopsis will have you fooled. The book is mainly about chaotic planning for Ashley's wedding, and what happens to everyone around Haven, not Haven herself. All in all, I didn't like the book. That's all. Bow.*sigh*p.s. The book cover was pretty but looks can be deceiving. There were no beaches, no romantic interlude involving twirling on the sand – it’s pretty but it’s not relevant! (Neither was the old cover of a girl cartwheeling on the beach. This is bothersome. LOL.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Neil (or bleed)
    2019-05-18 17:19

    First time I've read Sarah Dessen novel and definitely will never be the last.

  • emma
    2019-05-07 15:37

    was this sarah dessen's first book? this better have been sarah dessen's first book. there's no excuse otherwise.this was like...the worst. but still sarah dessen. so not the worst?who knows. the reread continues.

  • Pinky
    2019-04-22 14:19

    “It’s funny how one summer can change everything.”I know, I know, you might think that this is crazy. PINKY RATED SARAH DESSEN'S BOOK 2 OUT OF 5 STARS. THE WORLD IS GONNA END, THIS IS CRAZY TALK! I find it hard to believe myself, all the Sarah Dessen books I read so far are so interesting and I love every single one of them, except this one. I know some people loved this book but I didn't enjoy it that much. “Some things you don't have to tell. Some things, between sisters, are understood.” After Haven's parents divorce, her father decided to marry Lorna, the woman he had an affair with. Ashley, Haven's sister is marrying a boring guy named Lewis, who Haven isn't a huge fan of. Her mother wants to go to Europe, but Hayden would be left alone at home at the age of fifteen. So many things are happening all at once and it is stressing Hayden. Then, Sumner, one of Ashley's ex-boyfriends return into town and Hayden can't stop thinking about all the good memories from that summer. The summer Sumner was dating Ashley, was the summer her family was together, smiling and happy. She believes Sumner was the reason her family was together and hated when Ashley and Sumner broke up. Will Hayden find out why Sumner and Ashley broke up, and is Sumner the only person that can keep the family together? This book has so many things that have to do with marriage, it was CRAZY! Even though there were only two marriages in this book, the reader gets to see how stressful it can be for one to get married. Ashley was going through so many obstacles just for one marriage and it was driving me insane. I felt like I was going through the same stress she had been through. Marriage is something that will change your life and I don't think Ashley realized that.“A united front announcing a split.” One of the reasons of why I didn't enjoy this book that much was the characters. I don't think I liked any of them, I felt like they were always arguing and I didn't feel right when I read it. So many of them were selfish and snobby at times and it ticked me off. In my opinion, I felt like Ashley didn't understand how important a marriage was. She kept threatening Lewis that their relationship is over, or threatened to cancel the wedding. It seemed ridiculous, and it bothered me so much, all I was thinking was the fact that she might not enjoy her life. She is rushing and she isn't certain if she wants to get married to Lewis, it really bothered me. I felt so bad for Hayden because no one had payed attention to her, although they are all trying. Ashley with her wedding, her father is with his new family, and her mother wants to go to Europe. Sumner seemed nice but then I didn't like him in the end either... Okay, you might be thinking that I am being super picky, but I LOVED most of Sarah Dessen's books. This is probably the only one that I didn't enjoy that much.“Sometimes there isn't a good guy or a bad guy. Sometimes even the ones you want to believe turn out to be liars.” The bonding between the characters was something else I didn't enjoy because there were not that many moments. We see Ashley and Hayden bonding a little, but it didn't make my heard melt, it was just a small bond. I wanted to read more but the book was so short and I was so shocked when I finished it. The ending seemed a bit rushed and I was so upset when I finished. UGH! THE STRUGGLES! I don't recommend you read this first if you haven't read a Sarah Dessen book. I recommend you read Just Listen, The Lullaby, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, What Happened to Goodbye or The Moon and More. If you already read these books, then I recommend you try this book out, I know someone else might love this book. P.S: As you all know, I am on a reading marathon for Sarah Dessen,s books but I am going to take a small break. Three of my library books are due on the 15th of October, so I gotta finish those before I continue this marathon. Hopefully this is the only book that I don't enjoy by Sarah Dessen because I love her books!

  • Emily (Obsessed Reader)
    2019-05-19 15:41

    The fact that this book is only 200 pages definitely shows, because compared to Sarah's other books, not a whole lot really happens. However, I really liked it and the message behind it. If you are new to Dessen, don't start with this one. It is worth a read, though!

  • Laura
    2019-04-26 12:45

    15-year-old Haven has always thought of the past with fond memories. She continuously retreats to favorite memories, not realizing that they might be jaded from reality. With Haven's father getting remarried and her sister, Ashley's marriage looming in the distant future, something snaps in Haven and she feels like she can't go on. It's only when an unexpected person, Ashley's old boyfriend, Sumner pops back into her life, does she start to think that maybe things will go back to the way they were all those years ago. A fairly decent book, on the edge of four stars, leaning towards the three. I thought the language was annoying and took away from my liking the book more. I really liked how Haven never saw Sumner as anything more then a friend. And I liked that it was mostly about her struggles and finally finding freedom. It was also a relationship book, between Haven and her sister, Ashley. Read if you are a major Sarah Dessen fan.*Taken from my book reviews blog:

  • Sam :)
    2019-05-02 13:29

    Rating: 3 starsThis was such a sweet book. It was Sarah Dessen's first novel, and you can see how much she's matured and grown over the years. This is the only book she's written where the girl doesn't get a guy, and also the youngest mc at fifteen. Instead, That Summer centered around sisterly love, and family relationships, something else Dessen is well known for. I really enjoyed this story, and all the little things that went into it.

  • Emily
    2019-05-13 10:40

    I am glad to know per another reader's review that this was Sarah Dessen's first book. I've heard so much about her as a YA author so my hopes were sky high, but I didn't feel like "That Summer" delivered to expectation. SPOILER ALERTMy major disappointments were twofold in the climax:1. There had been so much hype about the sub-plot of Gwendolyn Rodgers, and all that happened was that she and Haven ran into each other in a rainstorm and stared at one another. WTF?2. I kept feeling like Sumner was going to end up back with Ashley, and that the reason they'd broken up was something intensely dramatic. But instead the reveal fell really flat, and I thought it a terrible justification for that fact that Ashley, though older, was still getting married at only 20 years old! I did, however, love the Walkman references, and the scenes in the mall. I didn't know until later that the book was written in 1996 but it was amazing to read it and feel like a year I was in middle school now reads as so dated. Also, it's a lightning fast read, so at least it's over quickly.

  • Lauren Johnson
    2019-05-09 15:38

    3.5/5 While I wasn't super impressed by this book, I still enjoyed it for the most part and it was a quick and easy read. If you're a Sarah Dessen fan you'll probably enjoy this one.

  • Katie Mitchell
    2019-04-29 11:37

    I’ve recently just read the book That Summer by Sarah Dessen. I’ve read many of Sarah’s books and this one is at the top of my list. This is just one of her many outstanding books. This book is about a girl whose life is going through many changes. She is not your typical teenage girl. She is fifteen and almost six feet tall! This book is how one thing can change the rest of your life. Haven, an almost six foot giant, is the reason I loved this book. She is just like me, except I am more on the shorter side. She is the reason I loved this book because some of the situations that she has to overcome are some of the same ones I’ve had to do in the past. For example, when her sister gets married, I’ve never had a sister but my aunt got married and I was really close to her just like Haven and her sister. Also when her mom and dad get a divorce and then her dad gets remarried. I’ve lived through that just like she has done. Haven is realizing that she has to learn to move forward with life instead of trying to go backwards. Ashley, Haven’s sister, is another character in the book. Ashley is a bride to be. She is getting married to a really great guy named Lewis. Ashley has had many boyfriends in the past. She’s kind of a player. Ashley and Haven are really close. Now that Ashley is getting married her and Haven keeps drifting apart. Mac McPhail, Haven’s father, is a sports anchor on channel five who recently got married to the weather women, which Haven refers to her as the “weather pet”, Lorna Queen. Mac McPhail only sees Haven once a week, Thursday, on their weekly dinner. Also some surprising news is Haven’s dad and Lorna is going to have a baby. Haven doesn’t feel to happen about this. She thinks that her father is starting over with his life and forgetting about his old one, and her.Ashley and Mac McPhail are all interesting character, but the most important is Haven. Without her this book would not even exist. She is a good role model for teens that are going through the same situations she is. She is a person I would look up to. The theme of this book is one thing can change your life forever. For example, when Haven’s mother and father get a divorced, that changes her life big time. Now since they got divorced her father got remarried. Another example is when her sister gets married to Lewis. Haven and her sister were real close but since the wedding was on the way they drifted apart. This book is set in present day in Lakeview. It is also set during the summer. It’s the summer that changes Haven’s life forever.I really wouldn’t call anybody a hero in this book but if I had to choose one it would be Sumner. Sumner is one of Ashley’s many boyfriends. Sumner is the hero in this book because he helps Haven out in a lot of ways. Sumner is always there when Haven is having one of her crisis. He always helps her through them. He is the hero of the book.This book is set on real life, that’s why I loved this book. You get the idea of how one simple thing or a huge thing can change your life forever. It took me a while to get into the book but once I got going I couldn’t stop.Ina perfect world Haven’s parents would not be divorced, her sister and her would be close even if she got married, and the weather pet would not be having Haven’s fathers baby. This is not a perfect and world and things like this happen every day. This book shows us how to cope and overcome such terrible situations. If you want to find out how to Haven overcome’s the obstacles in her crazy life you’ll just have to read the book!

  • Erin
    2019-05-12 13:39

    There are a lot of plotlines in this book. That is its problem. I think, ultimately, That Summer is about Haven's relationship with her sister. But that story got swallowed up by the bazillion other stories Dessen wanted to incorporate, thus ensuring that not a single one of these plots went anywhere.Haven's interactions with others is what makes up the grand portion of this book, but her interactions with each individual person are actually very few. She only sees Sumner a handful of times. Same with her (annoying) friend Casey. There's a lot of ho-humming and I'm-too-talling and nobody ever does anything. This book is for when you're in a melancholy mood. When you don't want epic action sequences or loveable characters or funny jokes, and you just want to reflect. It's a pretty good snapshot of adolescence, with its awkwardness and earnestness and confusion. I liked the message about the ideals/expectations we have as children, and how part of growing up is seeing these expectations fall on their faces. But overall, this book was the epitome of "Cool story, bro". I do not care in the slightest about any of the monotonous anecdotes that Haven has shared with me. Blah, blah, blah. Definitely not Dessen's best, so don't read it unless you're a hardcore Sarah Dessen fan or a person who often enjoys introspective books that are heavy on adolescent moping, light on plot.

  • Cal
    2019-05-11 11:18

    Read more bookish goodness on my book blog: Cal's YA Reads4.5/5 stars. This was my first ever audiobook; and I finished listening to it within 1 day. I speed it up to 1.5x, because I find Americans are quite slow at talking. A few thoughts on the format itself;wonderful speaker, however I'm really confused why everybody but Haven had a bloody southern accent??? She had a more western, Valley accent, which left me in hysterics when I heard every southerner accent. Also, when the speaker read the NY accents, I shed a few tears of laughter, as earlier this year I spent 6 weeks in NYC, and know this accent was priceless. It sounded super Aussie. And that's coming from an Aussie. I think the speaker had a nice drawl for it; but how she pronounced the 'r''s was very Aussie. Okay, review of the plot: Absolutely amazing. Extremely witty, with great heartfelt, adolsescent revelations. So relatable. I was feeling disturbed 80% of the time, which incapsulates that stage we all go through at some point in our teen lives (I think there was a quote about how Haven finally felt her inner self grow into her extremely tall body, which I relate sofreakingmuch to). However, I was the most disturbed whenever Haven thought or conversed with Sumner, in anyway.Especially since it was being whispered into my ears from my audiobook...I felt like Haven had a mighty crush on Sumner, and it was immediately dismissed at the end, because (view spoiler)[he had cheated on her older sister like 7 years (or whenever) prior (hide spoiler)]..... So that was odd, but I thoroughly enjoyed every part. I think I liked it more as an audiobook, I'm also currently reading (in paper) , which I'm not really enjoying. I need the lively voices to help keep me interested. If not, I think for both texts I'd be quite bored (they have a middle-grade feel to them, IMO). The angst was perfectly written, and I felt like I was watching the OC or something else from the early 2000s, and that was really enjoyable. The audiobook didn't tell me when it was published, I figured around 2007 (it's actually 2003, which doesn't seem like a lot, until you count the facts like major entertainment for teenagers ie Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, didn't exist), and it was so refreshing to not have the cliche 'social media conflict' within an angsty, coming of age YA novel. Loved this story! It's still a 4.5/5 stars. For me, if it had more romance (and less creepy feelings of a 21 y.o. chatting up a 15 y.o.) and more mature (possibly a 17-18 y.o. protag instead of a newly turned 15 y.o.), it would definitely be a 5/5 stars :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-18 13:28

    This book was okay. Nothing special really. It was Sarah Dessen's first novel and since she's super popular now, I'm sure she's gotten better. The things I liked about this book was that it wasn't about a teenage girl finding the cutest boy, the bestest friends or the cutest clothes. It was about a pivotal time in a teenage girls life where everything is changing around her and is totally out of her control. Divorces, babies, marriages, growth spurts, moving, these are all things that when you're a teenager, you have nothing to say about and that can be frustrating. Very frustrating. Control is very important and not feeling like you have any can lead adolescents to all kinds of unhealthy behavior like eating disorder, cutting, running away, etc. Fortunately, the star of the story works things out in a pretty healthy way. So then why not give this book 5 stars since it was well written and about something most of us can relate to if can remember what it was like to be a teen? Because it was boring. It didn't really keep my interest. There was no mystery, no excitement for the reader. This would be an excellent book for someone who is 15 and struggling with some issues, but for me, it was a little bit on the dull side.

  • Taylor Knight
    2019-05-04 16:33

    I've only read two of Sarah Dessen's other books so I can't really rank That Summer but it wasn't my favorite of the her books I've read. I did really like That Summer though. It was a little slow at first but it's such a quick, fun read. I liked the main character, Haven, and I felt really bad for her. She had a lot of difficult things going on in her life that she had to overcome. I couldn't really find Haven relatable at this point in my life because she's like 6 years younger than I am but if I had read this book when I was 15-17, I probably would have liked it a lot more.Overall, I did enjoy That Summer but it wasn't my favorite Dessen book. It didn't have a lot of romance and I appreciated how it was more about Haven than her finding a boy. It did have an old school YA vibe, which was kind of fun.

  • Julie Zantopoulos
    2019-05-23 13:33

    This is my first Dessen book and a really quick audio book read but ugh! Not only is Haven so naive at 15 it's painful but her sister is so obnoxious it's intolerable. There was no plot, no conflict, just an awkward girl who finally realized sometimes life isn't what you want it to be. I couldn't get on board with a girl that old still not getting it. Also, the use of the word "retard" is unforgivable to me and Sarah drops that bomb in this one. I'm not giving up on her as an author but I did not like this book.

  • Bark
    2019-05-13 17:47

    I've heard a lot of good things about Sarah Dessen and even though I'm not a huge fan of teen fiction I grabbed it up when my library made it available on audio.It turned out to be a very realistic slice of life novel about a fifteen year old girl named Haven whose life has been turned upside down. She is adjusting to her parents divorce, her father's wedding to the "other woman" and her sister's impending wedding. She is unable to share any of her feelings with her best friend because she's turned into a boy crazy self-centered stranger.It seems the only one she can confide in her sister's ex-boyfriend whom always made everyone happy. Haven longs for the days when things were easy; back when she was close to her sister and her parents still loved each other and Sumner is the only one who takes the time to let her vent.This isn't a romance instead it explores Haven's feelings, all of the pain, the longing and the new reality that she must face and it doesn't flinch away from it. I liked that. Sumner is the catalyst for a change within Haven and ultimately helps her heal simply by listening and then by being imperfect.I thought this was a very good book. These people felt real to me. They weren't always likable but reacted in ways that didn't ring false. If this book is typical of the author's writing I can see why she pops up on so many favorite lists.

  • Aimee
    2019-05-15 12:20

    This was different from the other Dessen books I have read. And not in a bad way. In fact, I was so surprised on how different that I kept waiting for the romance. There wasn't one. This was purely a coming of age novel. And it was a great story.Haven is dealing with a lot. Like growing to be really tall, dealing with her parents divorce, her dad's upcoming marriage and her sisters marriage and how things are changing so much. She can link it back to one specific summer. It was a neat storyline. I, myself, don't have a period where everything seemed to change for me, but it was interesting to read about it for someone who did.Haven is a misunderstood character in the book. She has a hard time getting people to just understand her and what she is feeling. There seems to be only one person. Sumner. But things don't seem to be as great as she thought they were.It was a good story. No romance, no relationship troubles, but instead a story telling about the struggles of just growing up. It is a great book worth reading, just don't read it if you are looking for a romance. You won't find even a hint of it in the pages of this one.

  • Wendy Darling
    2019-05-21 17:44

    A short, thoughtful book that perhaps could have been even better if it had been expanded a bit more.

  • Jesten
    2019-04-25 10:30

    A very realistic book with a sweet family message. The only thing missing was the signature Sarah Dessen romance.

  • Kricket
    2019-05-02 12:21

    Sarah Dessen's first novel. Haven is such a great character. She's 15, and she has a crappy job at a children's shoe store, and her father and older sister are both marrying people she's not sure are right for them. Her best friend Casey returns from 4H camp with a long-distance boyfriend and a smoking habit. Haven's mother is thinking of selling her childhood home. With all the changes happening in the people Haven once relied on, she fixates on a particular time: a trip to Virginia Beach her family took several years back. Her parents were together, her sister was dating a boy named Sumner with a knack for infecting everyone with good moods, and everything was perfect. When Haven bumps into Sumner again, she somehow believes that he can help her hold her place in Virginia Beach, that he will help her hang onto everything. He can't, of course. It's lovely to see Haven adjusting to her life and her family in a way that feels just right, yet like no other coming-of-age book I've read before.

  • Zoë
    2019-04-24 13:36

    This book was pretty dull, especially after just finishing Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. I have had this on my shelf for years but never got around to finishing the whole thing (I've read the first 50 pages about 3 times). I was expecting a cute summery contemporary romance but instead this is more of a self-discovery. I found myself bored several times in the first 150 pages and the story only got interesting during the last 50. That Summer was a nice read, just not was I was in the mood for or expected from Sarah Dessen.