200 Word Review: That Summer

Posted September 24, 2014 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments

200 Word Review: That SummerThat Summer by Sarah Dessen
Genres: Contemporary, Summer, Young Adult
Published by Penguin on April 6th 2006
Also by this author: Saint Anything, Just Listen, What Happened to Goodbye, Keeping the Moon, Lock & Key, Along for the Ride, Someone Like You, Once and for All, The Rest of the Story
Format: Audiobook Source: Library

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.


review h

200 words

I don’t want to say I was disappointed, because that seems a bit harsh, but it definitely didn’t exceed my expectations. Why?

  • The characters – ALL of them – were so selfish. I get that there was (kind of?) a reason for it in terms of the book’s moral, but I just found myself SO sick of their shit.
  • Nothing. Happened. At. All. The book took place over the course of a month or two and literally Haven worked, ran into her sister’s ex, complained about her life, and spent time with her friend. Oh, and there was a random supermodel show that pretty much added nothing to the plot.
  • I’m okay with the fact that this book was only about family issues, but it was just missing the spark of something else. ANYTHING to get some more action.
  • The moral/message of the book was pretty clear and I liked the way it ended.
  • The narrator had the most childish voice. I get that the MC was 15, but holy shit it felt like a 12 year old.

Overall, I did like the book. It didn’t blow me away and it certainly isn’t one of Dessen’s best, but I can’t say I regret listening to it.


6 responses to “200 Word Review: That Summer

  1. I completely agree with you! This is probably one of the only Sarah Dessen books I did not quite enjoy. Most of the more recent ones, but this one I could have definitely done without! I am glad someone else feels the same way!

  2. I completely agree. My friends had been recommending Sarah Dessen to me for so long, and I made the mistake of starting with this one. Not only did it feel incredibly dated, it also felt impossibly YOUNG. And, as you said so perfectly, NOTHING HAPPENED.

    Luckily, I decided that maybe this one was a fluke, and I went on to read (and enjoy) so many of her other works, but this one was a miss for me. I think it helps knowing this was her very first book. She’s grown a lot, and that’s good.

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