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That Summer

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  52,488 ratings  ·  2,793 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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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  52,488 ratings  ·  2,793 reviews

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Aj the Ravenous Reader
Aug 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Neil (or bleed)

I am certain That Summer isn’t one of Ms. Sarah Dessen’s finest but I also know that this is one of her more realistic stories and despite the simplicity of the plot and the plainness of the narration, it was a relatable read. It was easy sympathizing with Haven, a too tall, fifteen year old who is trying to adapt to all the changes going on around her and the people she loves.

Many parts dragged a bit and I could easily point out flaws in the plot and in the characterization but I would do no s
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
A typical, feel-good Sarah Dessen novel. I didn't realize this was her very first novel until after I'd finished it, actually. The novel spans a summer in the life of a girl learning to love herself in her own skin and emotionally deal with the turmoil surrounding her. It was beautiful to watch her, her mom, and her sister learning to get along and show love to each other. While nothing especially thrilling happened in the novel, it was more about the emotional journey.

As a side note, I have re
May 06, 2012 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
enqi ☁️✨
The very first book I read by Sarah Dessen was Dreamland. By the time I’d finished that book, she was automatically catapulted to the top of my list of favorite authors. I started this book of hers with such high expectations but sadly, they were dashed.

I am still in love with Sarah Dessen’s writing. I am still captivated by the way she expertly weaves strings of words together in a way that not only is utterly enchanting, but also incites emotion in the reader. She has undeniable ability to te
Alice (Married To Books)
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
I've tried reading books by this author in the past. Sadly, my experiences haven't been all that great. I've come to a short conclusion that Sarah's writing style just isn't for me. That Summer was a short, fast-paced YA Romance told over the course of a summer holiday and following a fifteen year old girl called Haven. She witnesses family drama such as her Dad re-marrying to a TV weather reporter and her sister Ashley getting into strops about her wedding preparations. It isn't until a guy cal ...more
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. ...more
Jan 06, 2012 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
Morgan F
Nov 14, 2009 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.
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
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am astounded at how much I didn't like this Dessen book. I think the other one that brought out similar feelings in me was "This Lullaby".

"This Summer" is about 15 year old Haven dealing with the upheaval in her life over the course of a summer. It's also about her looking back with rose colored glasses on the last summer she sees her family as being happy.

Without much ado, in the first few pages we find out that Haven is going to her father's wedding to a woman he had an affair with. Her
Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin)
Fear not, I am not deterred from reading Sarah's other books and enough people have told me this book is one of their least favorites that I feel confident that I'll like her other books. Being so short, this one was a quick read but it felt like almost nothing happened? Also, so much angst. ...more
Tessa  Herondale~Carstairs
DNF at 14%

I do not have the patience for this book right now. There's 10 pages that explain the backstory without any dialogue, and I am going slowly crazy. I wanted to give this a chance, but I really can't. It's moving so slowly, and I literally can't go any further.
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
I have read this book, possibly multiple times, since it has been released but it has been a few years since my last reread (prior to at least 2015 when I began writing my reviews).

I am quite a fan of Sarah Dessen’s work but with this novel, I feel that it’s obvious that it’s one of her earlier books that have been published. With some of her more current works, she has definitely improved on her craft. With that being said, I would read this before some of her recent publications or with the e
Neil (or bleed)
First time I've read Sarah Dessen novel and definitely will never be the last. ...more
Mar 17, 2008 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
was this sarah dessen's first book? this better have been sarah dessen's first book. there's no excuse otherwise.

this was like...the worst. but still sarah dessen. so not the worst?

who knows. the reread continues.
Oct 12, 2015 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 unders
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Aug 06, 2014 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! ...more
Sam! at the bookstore
Rating: 3 stars

This was such a sweet book. It was Sarah Dessen's first novel, and you can see how much she's matured and grown over the years. This is the only book she's written where the girl doesn't get a guy, and also the youngest mc at fifteen. Instead, That Summer centered around sisterly love, and family relationships, something else Dessen is well known for. I really enjoyed this story, and all the little things that went into it.
Aug 17, 2010 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. ...more
Katie Mitchell
Nov 11, 2008 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
Jun 01, 2011 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
Grace, Queen of Crows and Tomes
This was a cute short read about summer and about change. I liked the emphasis more on sisterhood than about boys and romance. Ashley did get on my nerves in the beginning but she grew on me.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
That Summer was okay. There were a few things I liked, but overall the story seemed pointless. I was somewhat bored throughout the entire story, so I'm glad it was a shorter read. The book was written well, but I didn't care for any of the characters. ...more
Cal  (Cal's Reading Corner)
Read more bookish goodness on my book blog: Cal's YA Reads

4.5/5 stars.

This was my first ever audiobook; and I finished listening to it within 1 day. I speed it up to 1.5x, because I find Americans are quite slow at talking.

A few thoughts on the format itself;

wonderful speaker, however I'm really confused why everybody but Haven had a bloody southern accent??? She had a more western, Valley accent, which left me in hysterics when I heard every southerner accent. Also, when the speaker read the
Zøe Haslie
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
· “Some things you don’t have to tell. Some things, between sisters, are understood.” ·

Last year, I was lucky enough to travel to the West Coast (US) and spend an entire month there. During that month, I decided to make a tour through second-hand bookshops and that’s how this beauty came into my life ♥

While I grew up watching “How To Deal” on repeat, I never really knew it was half-based on this book. So, finding that out was a nice surprise.

However, what I liked the most about the book was tha
Bark  |  Laurie  |  LOHF
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jan 16, 2009 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
Jun 28, 2011 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.
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YA Buddy Readers'...: That Summer by Sarah Dessen- Restarting May 5th 2018 71 140 May 25, 2018 06:12PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Pair 7: Hannah and Alyssa Wilson (March Besties) 6 13 Mar 28, 2017 06:20PM  
SE Reading Buffs 1st: That Summer Book Review 3 13 Oct 28, 2015 06:41AM  
That Summer Book Review 1 31 Oct 26, 2015 07:49AM  
That Summer 2 14 Jun 12, 2015 05:19PM  

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