Published by Viking Juvenile on 01 January 1996
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Young Adult
Also by this author: Truth About Forever
Place(s) Traveled to: Virginia
First Line(s): It’s funny how one summer can change everything.
Considering how this book came out during a time when I was an actual teenager its kind of shocking to me that I didn’t learn of it until a few years back. Growing up I was in the book store every week picking out the 3 books that my mother allowed me to get. Oh she didn’t restrict what I could buy just the quantity. I would scour the shelves looking for new books that I thought were worthwhile to read. There were no book blogs then, no twitter, no easy way to know if a book had the potential to be good or to avoid it at all costs. This was also a time with very little YA reading so I spent a lot of time in the sci-fi/fantasy section. But I would always drift over the the few shelves of YA and see if there was anything new mixed in with RL Stine’s Fear Street or the Sweet Valley High books.
As a teen I think that I might have liked this book more than I did reading it as an adult. There was no depth to it and Haven came across as a tad bit whiny. Nothing ever really seemed to happen in this book, with the exception of Haven dwelling on the past and thinking that life would be perfect if they could just return to a time before. But when you don’t know the whole story then that oh so perfect past may not be so perfect after all.
I think I would have liked this one more if there was something deeper between Haven and Sumner. Or between Haven and any of the characters. All her interactions were very separate and on the surface. Haven isn’t happy about her parents divorce but she’s fine with him getting remarried. She’s not fine with this other thing but then she is. She is a very bland, blah character and I got bored being in her head for the whole book.
The writing was good tough so I will probably check other Sarah Dessen books in the future. I just think that That Summer wasn’t for me. Though I think that its a book that will be appreciated more by younger teens. It was a quick read but in the end this one was nothing special for me.