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That Summer

by Sarah Dessen

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2,442555,462 (3.4)48
During the summer of her divorced father's remarriage and her sister's wedding, fifteen-year-old Haven comes into her own by letting go of the myths of the past.

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» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
This definitely isn’t my favorite Sarah Dessen book, but being that this was her first book, I’m super impressed. It’s not about that much, but this author just has a way of making characters into real people and giving all the family and friendship development. It was nice and short and sweet & I’m happy I reread it!!

PS- I read this on audio & it took a minute to get used to this narrator. I liked her better than the Dreamland narrator, but my fave is the Lock & Key narrator. ( )
  Michelle_PPDB | Mar 18, 2023 |

Made me thoughtful.
Different but very fitting and very beautiful in its own way.
I love this story of change and growing up. ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
I think it is time for Sarah Dessen and I to part company. Although she writes for teenage girls, I find her protagonists annoying and self-centred, and Haven was no exception. She was bratty and I was irritated by the way she kept looking back to 'that summer' with rose-coloured glasses.

Overall, I found the characters flat, the plot bland and there was too much teenage angst for my liking. The only positive going for "That Summer" was that it was a short read. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Apr 22, 2022 |
Rating 3.14 out of 5 stars
This one was a short story that wasn't boring, but wasn't exciting either. It was like listening to your aunt tell a story from her past. Slightly interesting.
My rating system:
initial feeling= 2
writing= 4
story= 2
originality= 3
unpredictability= 4
ending= 3
interest= 4
( )
  starslight86 | Jul 20, 2021 |
I've only read one other Sarah Dessen book and I'm glad I didn't start with this one. I chose one of her highest rated books to read then chose this one because I needed something lighter and it happened to be available on my library's overdrive account. This book read more like a novella (it came in at a whopping 194 pages on my Kindle). While there's nothing wrong with this, there definitely wasn't a whole lot that happened. The book covers most of one summer and there are such big time gaps with not much happening overall in terms of plot. This is definitely a character driven book with the main character Haven (whose name I unfortunately has to look up even after just finishing it) having to face a lot of change with both her father and sister's marriages in the same summer. Part of the problem was that I'm not 15/16 years old anymore like the main character and another was that this read like a cross between a diary and a first person narrative. Both kept me feeling like I couldn't quite make a connection which left me feeling like this book while having good overall intentions fell a little flat for me. Better luck next time on my next Sarah Dessen... whenever the contemporary mood falls upon me. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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At Every Wedding Someone Stays Home

This one sits all morning
beside the picture window,
staring out at the lawn
which in these situations
is always under a sheet of ice,
even in June. The girl is wearing
her quilted robe, gloves,
fur-lined slippers. Still she can't
get warm. Her mother gets hot
just watching her, so she goes out
for groceries,makes a great show
when she returns of rattling
the brown paper bags she saves
to line the bird cage.
Now she is running water,
peeling melons, humming, arranging
daisies. We who are watching
want the mother to quit making noise,
to stop chopping fruit, to leave
the kitchen. We want her to walk
down the hall to the closet
where wool blankets are stored.
We want her to gather five or six,
the solids, the stripes,
the MacGregor plaids and tuck them
under her daughter's legs, saving one
for her feet and one for her thin shoulders.
Now we want her to heat water for tea,
bring in wood and quick
before her daughter freezes
seal all the windows
against the stray, chill peal of bells.
-Dannye Romine Powell
To my parents, for their faith and patience, and to Jay, for everything else
First words
It's funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Sweetheart is the German title for "That Summer."
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During the summer of her divorced father's remarriage and her sister's wedding, fifteen-year-old Haven comes into her own by letting go of the myths of the past.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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