Title: That Summer
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Teen Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: April 6, 2006 (originally published in 1996)
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
ISBN-13 Book: 9780670061105
Audiobook Publisher: Random House/Listening Library
Length: 4 hours and 39 minutes
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of the book from BAM and checked out a copy of the audiobook from my public library. This is my honest review!
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It seems like everything in fifteen year old Haven's life is suddenly changing this summer. First her father divorces her mother and marries another woman, and at the end of the summer her sister is marrying and leaving her alone with a mother. Haven just wishes thing could go back to the way they were the summer when her sister dated a boy named Sumner. When Sumner reappears in Haven's life, his appearance reminds her of the good times of that summer so long ago.
I have read several of Sarah Dessen's books and I love how she can get into the mind of a teenager. Her realistic fiction is probably some of the best in YA fiction and I have enjoyed everything she writes. Unfortunately, of all the titles I have read by her, I would have to say this is my least favorite.
First let me start off by saying that some of the characterizations in this novel are very well done. The main characters feel real, and Haven's reactions are very believable for a teenager. She has so many changes going on in her life, and her reactions to these changes are believable. At other times however, she seemed too mature for her age. It was an interesting dichotomy sometimes spot on, and other times too wise for her years. Other characters like Lorna and Haven's father came across rather flat.
The plot of the story, a teen adapting to changes in her life, was realistically done, but I felt the story ended rather abruptly. I was hoping for more resolution.
The audiobook is produced by Random House/Listening Library and is narrated by Mia Barron. The production is unabridged and relatively short. At 4 hours and 39 minutes this is a great book for those that don't want a longer production. My only comment is that sometimes the narrator sounded to old for Haven's age. This could have been either the reader or the dialogue. The production is free of flaws and was entertaining despite the minor flaws.
This was an enjoyable audiobook and a book despite its flaws. I still love Sarah Dessen's book and just wish there had been more to this one. It is enjoyable and entertaining, but not one of Dessen's best works. To this day my favorite is still The Truth About Forever.
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