200 Word Review: That Summer

the basicsThat Summer by Sarah Dessen

Ratingthree stars
First impression: I can’t believe I somehow missed this one!
Last impression: The ending made up for a lot
Format: Audiobook / 4 hrs 38 min
Publishing Info: April 6th 2006 / Goodreads
Other books read by authorJust Listen, The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, Lock and Key, Along for the Ride, Someone Like You, What Happened to Goodbye, Keeping the Moon


That SummerFor 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 h200 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 thoughts on “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!

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  4. 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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