Friday, April 21, 2017

#ReadADessen: Book Review of That Summer

Title: That Summer
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Publication Date: June 2012 (Originally Published in October 1996)
Source: Purchased

The more things change...

As far as Haven is concerned, there's just too much going on.

Everything is changing, and she's not sure where she fits in.

Then her sister's old boyfriend shows up, sparking memories of the summer when they were all happy and everything was perfect...

But along the way, Haven realizes that sometimes change is a good thing.

My Review

When That Summer by Sarah Dessen was first published, I was seven years old. I don't really remember much of what happened back then, but it's safe to assume that a seven-year-old wasn't reading Young Adult literature, even if I was a pretty advanced reader... As the years passed, I grew, and became a teenager. But for some reason, I never picked up a Sarah Dessen book. Looking back, I'd have to say that I was a pretty stupid teen to not pick up one of the Queen's books, but I'm glad I eventually found my way to her and got my start with That Summer.

First of all, I really enjoyed That Summer in the way that I wanted to enjoy it - a summery teenage book full of teenage hormones and drama. However, I will admit that That Summer wasn't the most spectacular read for me. To be honest, I think I went into it expecting way too much because I've seen the highest praises for Ms. Dessen's writing. However, the previous statement doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy reading That Summer. I thought it was a cute book, and it took me back to simpler times when cell phones didn't exist and you actually had to hang out with your friends on sidewalks and backyards, or you had to have your parents drive you to their house (or basically anywhere you wanted to hang out).

I really liked learning about Haven's journey. It must be awkward to be a giant at such a young age, but here's Haven, a fifteen-year-old teenage girl who stands at almost six feet. (Think Taylor Swift... that's how tall Haven is.) On top of her awkward height, she also has to deal with her father marrying the woman he cheated on her mom with, her older sister's wedding, and a best friend who is now dating for the first time. Then a blast from the past comes back, and Haven keeps seeing her sister's ex-boyfriend everywhere. The more she sees him, the more she thinks about the good times, and she can't get the perfect summer that the three of them and her parents had years ago. Talk about a chaotic summer! I don't think I would have been able to handle all of that at fifteen.

The one thing that I adored about this novel is Dessen's use of imagery. There's a scene at the end of the book that takes place during a thunderstorm, and I could actually feel the rain and wind on my face as I was reading. You cannot beat a book with imagery, and Dessen nails it!

I'd definitely consider this a coming-of-age novel. Haven has to learn how to deal with all of the changes in her life in a manner that reflects that of a fifteen-year-old, and not the child that she used to be. I'd recommend this book for all fans of contemporary YA, and especially teenage girls between the ages of fourteen and sixteen.

Sarah Dessen is the author of eleven previous novels, which include the New York Times  bestsellers The Moon and More, What Happened to Goodbye, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You were made into the movie How to Deal starring Mandy Moore.

Dessen's books are frequently chosen for the Teen Top Ten list of Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages.

Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing.

She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.

The Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.