Thursday, April 24, 2014

That Summer (Book Review)

Author: Sarah Dessen
Year: 1996
Genre: Novel/Coming of age

Reading Level: Young Adult

Summary: The summer isn't going well for Haven--she's getting too close to six feet tall, her sportscaster father is getting remarried to a weather lady and her sister is getting married to her lump of a fiance Lewis.  All Haven wants is to go back to an earlier summer when life was perfect, but when her sister's ex-boyfriend turns up Haven will finally see the past for it was.

Red Flags: PG-13 language

My Rating: B+
Yes, I got back on the Sarah Dessen horse.  I blame the nice weather, since these books always take place over summertime.  Anyway, this one was her first novel, and I think--both in good ways and bad--that showed.  On the good side, the writing felt fresher and more original, and the content was much milder.  On the downside, the story seemed a bit underdeveloped.  I liked it as I was reading it, but afterwards I thought that there was a real lack of resolution.  Some threads seemed altogether pointless and the end was a bit muddled. Also it could have used a bit of editing, as one character is described as divorced on one page and widowed on another.

Overall, though, it was a pleasant, fast read.  Nice and summery, with plenty of silly teenage angst.  And really, isn't that the whole reason I read these books?

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