That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer

240 pages
April 6th 2006
by Viking Juvenile
(first published October 1st 1996)
  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 comes to grips with the future.
First off, I have to say that I am not a huge fan of the chick-lit type books.  I will say that this however was not what I exspected it to be.  I am by no means converted by this book but I am now more open to reading more of Dessens books.  I started with this particular novel because my middle daughter is named Hayvin and even though they are spelled differently it is very unusual to find someone even a fictional character named that.   I of course  love the name Hayvin and Ashley is the middle name of my oldest daughter so I felt that if I was going to read one of Dessens books  and get my friend off my back then this one would have to be it. 
The book was a fun short read that dealt with the very real life experiences.   Haven is a very unique character with very strong feelings that she hides through most of the beginning of the book.  Then, as with most of  us she gets to her breaking point at which she takes it out on a costumer at the mall that she works at.   I read that part in the book and I have to say that I could see myself doing the same thing.  I won’t say what she did because I don’t want to give it away but I tell you I so would have done it and been like so what!  I think there is so many moments for me like that in the book.  I found myself saying things like shut up and then Haven would say it in the next paragraph.  Ashley reminds me of people in my family with all the drama and hysterics and I can so relate to how Haven feels about her.   
 I feel Dessen has captured what its like after a split in the family happens.  She gets how people try to figure out what went wrong and how to cope with the change or even who to place the blame on.  I felt that this was going to be some silly love-sick type of book but I was gladly mistaken when I found that this book had real depth to it.   I would recommend it to anyone who is look for more than just a silly love-sick type of book.

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