That Summer
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That Summer

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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  31,537 ratings  ·  1,484 reviews

For 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

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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Viking Juvenile (first published October 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alexis
I decided to not finish this book because of too many reasons I could not avoid.

First- The storyline was boring.
Second- The characters were boring.
Third- The writing wasn't all that great. Very repetitive.
Fourth- I found no story progression and only 80 pages in I was just skimming through the pages hoping it would end soon.

You can definitely tell this was Sarah's first book, because I have really liked all her other books and this one just put me to sleep, as sad as I am to say that. I do no r...more
Sadie Jayne
That Summer wasn't my favorite Dessen novel. Most of her books are pretty life changing, and I lay awake just thinking about them for several nights in a row. This book wasn't like that. I suppose it was enjoyable, and the main character was kind of relatable, but a lot of things really bugged me.

A million things are happening around Haven and too her family, but she kind of does nothing thoughout the book, besides freaking out and throwing a show at some lady and bolting. I just felt like the...more
Ana705
who, would like this book???? bored, people who want to listen to boring stuff? okay, i know a lot (A LOT!) of people who enjoyed this book but, it doesn't speak at, all to me. this is not my style of book, and type. sorry.
Snorkle
15-year-old Haven has always thought of the past with fond memories. She continuously retreats to favorite memories, not realizing that they might be jaded from reality. With Haven's father getting remarried and her sister, Ashley's marriage looming in the distant future, something snaps in Haven and she feels like she can't go on. It's only when an unexpected person, Ashley's old boyfriend, Sumner pops back into her life, does she start to think that maybe things will go back to the way they we...more
Katie Mitchell
I’ve recently just read the book That Summer by Sarah Dessen. I’ve read many of Sarah’s books and this one is at the top of my list. This is just one of her many outstanding books. This book is about a girl whose life is going through many changes. She is not your typical teenage girl. She is fifteen and almost six feet tall! This book is how one thing can change the rest of your life.
Haven, an almost six foot giant, is the reason I loved this book. She is just like me, except I am more on the...more
Marie
Aug 17, 2012 Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who can relate to Haven's problems and life
Recommended to Marie by: Barnes and Noble
Many of my friends on Goodreads didn't like this book, and it's because they just don't get it. I can connect with Haven completely and I felt her pain about all of the issues in her life. This book, if you can relate, was so sad and made me cry. It was just really painful for some people who can relate. I'm not going to go into detail, but if you think you might like it then read a little, if you don't start to connect, then dump it. I loved this book in a different way than the others I've lov...more
Darya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barks & Bites
I've heard a lot of good things about Sarah Dessen and even though I'm not a huge fan of teen fiction I grabbed it up when my library made it available on audio.

It turned out to be a very realistic slice of life novel about a fifteen year old girl named Haven whose life has been turned upside down. She is adjusting to her parents divorce, her father's wedding to the "other woman" and her sister's impending wedding. She is unable to share any of her feelings with her best friend because she's tur...more
Christi
I have read plenty of Sarah Dessen books, so I was just like "OMIGOSH I'M READING HER DEBUT NOVEL!" Wow I was disappointed. First. This girl, Haven, is totally like self conscious and too fricken tall that she just has to complain about it. I hate main girls that just complain. Then when she is done talking about her height she goes on to complain about how her life is ruined by her sisters dating history. What the crap? That doesn't even make sense.

Second. All the author can obsess over in thi...more
Jennifer
This book was okay. Nothing special really. It was Sarah Dessen's first novel and since she's super popular now, I'm sure she's gotten better. The things I liked about this book was that it wasn't about a teenage girl finding the cutest boy, the bestest friends or the cutest clothes. It was about a pivotal time in a teenage girls life where everything is changing around her and is totally out of her control. Divorces, babies, marriages, growth spurts, moving, these are all things that when you'r...more
Kricket
Sarah Dessen's first novel. Haven is such a great character. She's 15, and she has a crappy job at a children's shoe store, and her father and older sister are both marrying people she's not sure are right for them. Her best friend Casey returns from 4H camp with a long-distance boyfriend and a smoking habit. Haven's mother is thinking of selling her childhood home. With all the changes happening in the people Haven once relied on, she fixates on a particular time: a trip to Virginia Beach her f...more
Emily
I am glad to know per another reader's review that this was Sarah Dessen's first book. I've heard so much about her as a YA author so my hopes were sky high, but I didn't feel like "That Summer" delivered to expectation.

SPOILER ALERT
My major disappointments were twofold in the climax:

1. There had been so much hype about the sub-plot of Gwendolyn Rodgers, and all that happened was that she and Haven ran into each other in a rainstorm and stared at one another. WTF?

2. I kept feeling like Sumner w...more
Morgan F
What happened with this book! The beginning, middle, and end were exactly the same, NOTHING HAPPENED. It was soooo boring, but I forced myself to finish it to guarantee no suprises were coming (nope). The big drama on what happened when Sumner and Ashley was nothing. I was so disappointed in Sarah Dessen. I'm glad this wasn't the first book of hers I read, or else it would be the last.
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Hmm...not my first Sarah Dessen book but also not my favorite. This felt like more of a snapshot than an actual story, though I liked the message and the strong focus on family instead of on romance. Still, I wouldn't mind reading more of Haven's story, maybe when she's a little older.

The audiobook was decent, coming in at around four and 1/2 hours, and the narrator was okay. I didn't recognize her voice, and I don't think I've listened to anything she's narrated before, but I'd give her another...more
Erin
There are a lot of plotlines in this book. That is its problem. I think, ultimately, That Summer is about Haven's relationship with her sister. But that story got swallowed up by the bazillion other stories Dessen wanted to incorporate, thus ensuring that not a single one of these plots went anywhere.

Haven's interactions with others is what makes up the grand portion of this book, but her interactions with each individual person are actually very few. She only sees Sumner a handful of times. Sam...more
Aimee (Coffee Table Reviews)
This was different from the other Dessen books I have read. And not in a bad way. In fact, I was so surprised on how different that I kept waiting for the romance. There wasn't one. This was purely a coming of age novel. And it was a great story.

Haven is dealing with a lot. Like growing to be really tall, dealing with her parents divorce, her dad's upcoming marriage and her sisters marriage and how things are changing so much. She can link it back to one specific summer. It was a neat storyline....more
kari
Feb 01, 2010 kari rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
While I like Dessen's writing, this book didn't seem to have much to it, maybe it was too internal or something, but it never really took off.
Fifteen year old Haven's divorced father is getting remarried to his pregnant (Haven finds out a few weeks later) girlfriend and her sister, Ashley, is preparing for her own wedding a few weeks away. It seems that the whole world, including herself, is changing too fast and Haven keeps remembering one perfect summer when her whole family was happy, Haven t...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
A pleasant, quick and easy read. I think that the book was well written for a relaxing read without being trashy - it definitely had potential to be longer and for things to be more detailed. To be better, there could've description and history of the parents break up and Sumner's character and story could've certainly been developed more. There was certainly no depth to this book, but it was still a good read for what it was.
Chrissy♥Dev
I really liked this book, not only because it reminded me of my family but also because it has a common theme with my life right now which is change. Some of us are afraid of it and some seek and crave it. the ending of the book made me think of me and my sister in the future.

Summary:
Starts with our main character Havan she's fifteen and her life is changing WAAAY to fast. She cant keep up with it all. In one summer she faces her parents divorce, her dad remarrying, her sister getting married, s...more
Dylan
This is Sarah Dessen's first novel, but not the first one I read by her. It's essentially the story of two sisters and how their lives were changed one summer. Haven's life is turned upside down, and she's coping with these changes and trying to come into her own.

The beginning of this book made it hard to get into. It was told through the eyes of Haven and she was describing the "characters"/people in her life, and I wish we would have gotten to experience their lives more through dialogue and a...more
Abby
Oct 19, 2009 Abby rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
So I've read a few Sarah Dessen books now and I think I can basically boil the plot of most her books down to this formula: Middle-class white heterosexual teen girl protagonist with an absent or non-existent father and who has a somewhat strained though still loving relationship with her mother is going through a difficult time/changes/growing up. A carefree/fun-loving/slightly unusual heterosexual white boy comes along and he is the only one who understands/cares/could be the solution to all h...more
Runa
As much as I adore Sarah Dessen, her first book is not that memorable a read. There's nothing about it that really sticks out. I don't care about the characters, the plot, anything, and that's a bad characteristic for a story to possess. A book is meant to grab and enthrall its readers, and this one fails at this vital task. I understand that Haven, the main character, is in a state of tumult in her life, but the urgency is never really communicated in the writing. There's so much pointless desc...more
Hasee
Bored me to death. Finished the book just because feel like I had an obligation to finish a book once I started it.
Wendy Darling
A short, thoughtful book that perhaps could have been even better if it had been expanded a bit more.
Sarah
This book was a great look into how hard it is to grow up while you're a teenager. Since I am 24, it took me back 10 years to a time when I was so unsure of myself. I wish I had books like this to read when I was in high school.

Haven's older sister, Ashley, is getting married and her father just remarried the woman he was cheating on her mother with, before their divorce.

So, she thinks back and romanticizes her past, wishing her life could be as simple and happy as it was, years ago. At a time...more
Chelsea Lloyd
I recommend this book to anyone who likes books about what happens in real life, like divorce and break-ups. The author wrote this book to describe how teenagers deal with their problems or different situations. The part of the book that caught my attention was the opening it described all of Haven’s problems in detail about her parent’s divorce. This book made me feel kind of depressed because it made me think about when my parents went through their divorce and how badly they fought. I was abl...more
Story Lover X
This is a simple story with a heart. As Sarah Dessen's debut novel, That Summer really impressed me. Nothing much happens really, but I was personally touched by this book. It's a simple story about how you see life from the point of you of a teenager. It's the time of your life when you feel that everyone and everything is against you.

As I was reading the book, I was angry at all the side characters, everyone just seemed horrible to Haven, the main character. Throughout the novel, I just wished...more
Keysha
This was the first book I read of Sarah Dessen, my ex-boyfriend gave me the movie tie in edition of How to Deal where it came That Summer and Someone Like You. After I finished reading it, I knew that Sarah Dessen was about to become one of my favorite authors.


I want to believe that this specific story has a special meaning to everyone. For me is about changes. Haven is 15 years teenager who’s life is being put upside down and in the moment Summer Lee, her older sister boyfriends, appears in her...more
Chelsey
Aug 13, 2009 Chelsey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chelsey by: Laura
Shelves: read-2009, reviewed, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
Feb 27, 2009 Anna added it
Shelves: abandoned
The first book I started reading this semester was ‘That Summer’ by Sara Dessen. My English teacher told me I should read it because it was a love novel. I got to about the thirtieth page and stopped reading. I didn’t like it at all because of the story line. It was like stepping into a 7th Heaven episode. Everything was just way too perfect from the start. Maybe I should have kept reading it to see where the author was going to go with it. I do believe it is hard to read a book where you can’t...more
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“Maybe not," she said as we came to the car. "But maybe that isn't so bad. You can't love anyone that way more than once in a lifetime. It's too hard and it hurts too much when it ends. The first boy is always the hardest to get over, Haven. It's just the way the world works.” 415 likes
“It’s funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.” 154 likes
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