Tuesday, 23 June 2009

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

From Amazon: For fifteen-year-old Haven this is the summer where everything changes. Dad is remarrying. Her sister Ashley is planning a wedding of her own. They’re both moving on, but Haven is lost in memories of a time when life was happy and her family was whole. And then Ashley’s ex, the charming and funny Sumner Lee, arrives in town. He reminds Haven of carefree days gone by, and she can’t help but wonder – has fate brought this person from her past back to change her future?

It's no secret that I love the wonder that is Sarah Dessen. I've never been disappointed by one of her books, and I don't think I ever will be.

Characters are the most important part of a story, and this woman can certainly write real, emotional people that I always find myself wishing I could be friends with. That Summer includes a mix of likeable but flawed personalities, and although it's shorter than most of Sarah's books, it's still an engaging and compelling read.

Haven, along with her sister Ashley, are brilliantly written, and I came away from the book feeling like I really knew them. I loved the family dynamic and loyalty between the sisters, and the way Haven and her family all stuck together. Although there's no trademark Dessen romance in That Summer, I didn't miss it. Everthing else is so vividly described that the absence of a main male character is hardly noticeable, and it's nice to just focus on Haven and her soon-to-be-married sister.

No-one writes YA fiction like Sarah Dessen, and I always read her books in a state of excitement. I'm counting down the days until Along For the Ride is in my possession, and I'm so glad that I finally got to read That Summer. It may not be her best, but it's still miles better than a lot of YA out there.

12 comments:

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this. I adore her books.

cupcakewitch said...

I have not read this one yet! I will though!

Thao said...

I heard from a lot of ppl that the book wasn't excellent but I still think I'll like it. Love the cute cover!

a flight of minds said...

Well, That Summer is one of her first books, so it's no surprise she improves in later books. I read this book ages ago and really want to reread it. Sarah Dessen is one amazing writer. All of her books are so real and wonderful. Great review!

- Alex

stargirlreads said...

This is on my to read soon shelf

Luisa said...

I read this book ten years ago! Incredible. :)
And I wrote about it for The Sarah Dessen Diarist, thanks to Adele!
Great review - thank you!

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Great review! I read this book when it first came out and have re-read it since then. I did enjoy it because it came out when there was hardly any YA books out there that weren't Fear Street or SVH. You can really tell how Sarah's writing has developed from this one. She just keeps getting better.

Amber

Charley said...

I really need to read more Sarah Dessen! I think this is first on my list.

Anonymous said...

i LOVE sara dessen!! i have read all of her books(except that summer) but i want to!! i've already read the new one too!!! it's GREAT!!!!!!!
I LOVE U SARAH!!!


- from a readaholic

Kate said...

Great review! I have only read one Sarah Dessen book which I enjoyed. I need to read more of Dessen's books.

Anonymous said...

wow it was her first book i really want to read this one!

Anonymous said...

i can honestly say after reading six of her books that this woman is a truly fantastic writer. Her characters are so real and raw i found myself wishing i really knew these people. As a writer myself i can say honestly its hard to protray a charater that can connect with everyone she is truly an inspiration.