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That Summer

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,646 Ratings  ·  2,078 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

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 05, 2012 Alexis rated it did not like it
Shelves: sorry-not-sorry
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
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.
Morgan F
Nov 14, 2009 Morgan F rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Really devout Dessen fans
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.
Christine Marie
Aug 17, 2012 Christine Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who can relate to Haven's problems and life
Recommended to Christine 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
Oct 13, 2015 Pinky rated it it was ok
“It’s funny how one summer can change everything.”

I know, I know, you might think that this is crazy. PINKY RATED SARAH DESSEN'S BOOK 2 OUT OF 5 STARS. THE WORLD IS GONNA END, THIS IS CRAZY TALK! I find it hard to believe myself, all the Sarah Dessen books I read so far are so interesting and I love every single one of them, except this one. I know some people loved this book but I didn't enjoy it that much.

“Some things you don't have to tell. Some things, between sisters, are understood.
What a crazy book. I'm so regretting picking this up.


That Summer wasn’t what I expected at all. The only character I really got to know was the protagonist, Haven, and I didn’t like her very much. I felt bad for her in the circumstances she was in, but there was something about her that just rubbed me the wrong way. I was also disappointed in the ending. I felt like I had waited for something very anti-climactic and didn’t seem true to the characters portrayed in the book.

It was extremely bo
Jun 27, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
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
Emily  (ObsessedReader)
May 27, 2015 Emily (ObsessedReader) rated it really liked it
The fact that this book is only 200 pages definitely shows, because compared to Sarah's other books, not a whole lot really happens. However, I really liked it and the message behind it. If you are new to Dessen, don't start with this one. It is worth a read, though!
Aug 18, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok
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.

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
Lauren Johnson
3.5/5 While I wasn't super impressed by this book, I still enjoyed it for the most part and it was a quick and easy read. If you're a Sarah Dessen fan you'll probably enjoy this one.
Katie Mitchell
Dec 11, 2008 Katie Mitchell rated it really liked it
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
Aug 02, 2011 Erin rated it it was ok
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
Jan 16, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
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
Bark's Book Nonsense
May 16, 2013 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, teen
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
Jun 28, 2011 Aimee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
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.
Oct 25, 2009 Darya rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2007 Kricket rated it really liked it
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
Feb 01, 2010 kari rated it liked it
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
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥

Basic Info

Pages/Length: 4hrs and 38mins
Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary.

At A Glance

Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?:
Cliff Hanger: no
Triggers: n/a
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 5
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
World Building: 5
Flow: 5
Series Congruity: n/a
Writing: 5
Ending: 5

Total: 5

In Dept

Best Part:
Worst Part: Too much...
Thoughts Had: How old are you!?; drunk much?; ok?


Continuing the Series:
Recommending: eh

Short Review: This MC was supposed to be 16,
-- 5 stars --

“Everything looks different when you're older, not staring up at the world but down upon it.”

This was completely different from what I was expecting! Looking at the cover you'd think this is a summer love story, but there's actually no romance at all. Even so, I was not disappointed.

This book is very short, but even so I was able to connected to Haven, and I thought the story was very beautiful. I think it's normal to feel lost sometimes, so the story just felt very realistic and
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
Hasmin Jill
Jan 11, 2013 Hasmin Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, 2013
Bored me to death. Finished the book just because feel like I had an obligation to finish a book once I started it.
Jun 12, 2012 Christi rated it really liked it
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
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.
Wendy Darling
A short, thoughtful book that perhaps could have been even better if it had been expanded a bit more.
Erin Lynn
3.5ish stars.

It was good, but definitely not the best book I've ever read.
This book was okay. It was not my favourite, but I did find it interesting.Sometimes, there were parts of the novel where I found unnecessary and pretty boring.

I did feel bad for Haven throughout the story for all the challenges that she had to overcome. I found out more of a finding yourself book rather than a typical romance novel. Although, there was a few romances that occurred in the book, it was not the main focus of this novel. I felt like Haven was lost, did not know what to do or who t
Jessica (Goldenfurpro)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

This wasn't really what I expected from this book. This is my ninth Sarah Dessen book, so I knew what to expect, despite the fact that this was her first book. And this book did follow a lot of my Sarah Dessen expectations. Though, based on the cover and title, I was expecting more of a light-hearted, summer read. While this book takes place during the summer, it's not the fun, summer book that I was expecting.

Haven is fifteen
May 03, 2012 Chrissy♥Dev rated it really liked it
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.

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
Jun 06, 2013 Dylan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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YA Buddy Readers'...: That Summer by Sarah Dessen- Restarting February 9th 2016 50 48 Feb 16, 2016 04:47AM  
SE Reading Buffs 1st: That Summer Book Review 3 11 Oct 28, 2015 02:41PM  
That Summer Book Review 1 29 Oct 26, 2015 03:49PM  
That Summer 2 13 Jun 13, 2015 02:19AM  
Buddy read time xx: that summer by sarah dessen, sept 2014 11 8 Dec 17, 2014 01:28AM  
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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.” 470 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.” 177 likes
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