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Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: That Summer

Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: April 6, 2006
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 240
Format: Audiobook
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Summary: 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.
My Favorite Lines:
“As I stepped out to face myself in the mirror, reaching a hand to smooth away the steam, I saw myself differently. It was as if I had grown again as I slept, but this time just to fit my own size. As if my soul had expanded, filling out the gaps of the height that had burdened me all these months. Like a balloon filling slowly with air, becoming all smooth and buoyant, I felt like I finally fit within myself, edge to edge, every crevice filled.” 
Why I Loved It:  My goal this year is to read all of Ms. Dessen's books.  I have read a few of her later ones, but I needed to go way back so I went back to the first one.  I read this one via audiobook.

I wasn't planning on reviewing it, but I decided that I had to.  You see, this book has a MC without a romance.  I guess you could say a part of her was in love with Sumner, her sister's ex.  Really though the story was completely about family dynamics.  Such dynamics can be a messy thing, especially in the case of Haven's.

Her parents are at least slightly recently divorced, a marriage broken by her dad's love for the weather girl, a sport's anchor himself.  Both her parent's have created a new life for themselves, and her sister is getting married.  This is enough to make any fifteen-year-old crazy.

Sadly though, Haven has a narrow view of her world.  She sees some of the consequences of the family  choices as the fault of people who don't quite deserve it.  Among the confusing change her family went through, she goes back to a time where her family was happy, the summer of Sumner.

Sumner reappears this summre, and the book explores what it means to grow up, deal with a disfunctional family, and understand who you are.  i saw a lot of the styles of Ms. Dessen I have come to love.  In addition, I was thrilled to see how much her writing has improved over the years.  She's taken the good and made it great.

As to the audiobook, I seriously thought it was pretty awesome.  The voice kinda drove me nuts at times, but all in all I thought it was pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. If you want to reread some of Dessen's books, check out the I Eat Words challenge. They're doing a low key thing where a bunch of us are reading the same Dessen book every month. http://www.ieatwords.com/2013/01/sarah-deseen-readreread-challenge-2013.html
    It's interesting to see how her books changed from this one, her first!


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