That Summer (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

( 454 )

Overview

For fifteen-year-old Haven, there's just too much going on. First, there's her father's wedding to Lorna Queen, the local television "Weather Pet." Then, her sister Ashley's wedding to boring Lewish Warsher, who doesn't seem to suit Ashley at all. And Haven can't ignore the fact that she's nearly six feet tall and still growing. Haven can barely figure out who she is anymore, or where she fits in. Then Ashley's old boyfriend, Sumner Lee, shows up and sparks Haven's memories of the summer when her parents were ...
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That Summer

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Overview

For fifteen-year-old Haven, there's just too much going on. First, there's her father's wedding to Lorna Queen, the local television "Weather Pet." Then, her sister Ashley's wedding to boring Lewish Warsher, who doesn't seem to suit Ashley at all. And Haven can't ignore the fact that she's nearly six feet tall and still growing. Haven can barely figure out who she is anymore, or where she fits in. Then Ashley's old boyfriend, Sumner Lee, shows up and sparks Haven's memories of the summer when her parents were happy, her sister was plucky and carefree, and everything was perfect...or so it seemed.

During the summer of her divorced father's remarriage and her sister's wedding, fifteen-year-old Haven comes into her own by letting go of the myths of the past.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At five-foot-eleven ("and counting"), Haven is "all bony elbows and acute angles, like a jigsaw puzzle piece that can only go in the middle, waiting for the others to fit around it to make it whole." But it is not just a sudden growth spurt that prevents the 15-year-old from fitting into the comfortable grooves of her "old" life; her family is also changing at an alarming rate. Her sports-anchor father divorces his wife for Channel 5's "Weather Pet." Her jilted mother joins a set of aging, Barry-Manilow-listening, swinging singles and Haven's once plucky sister, Ashley, seems to wilt on the arm of her all-too-boring fiancé. Amidst the flurry of preparations for her father's second marriage and her sister's wedding, Haven finds a connecting link to her more serene past when one of Ashley's former boyfriends appears on the scene. First-time author Dessen adds a fresh twist to a traditional sister-of-the-bride story with her keenly observant narrative full of witty ironies. Her combination of unforgettable characters and unexpected events generates hilarity as well as warmth. Ages 12-up.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
As this realistic young adult novel begins, 15-year-old Haven is in the middle of a summer full of changes and difficult adjustments involving her family, friends and self-image. Told from a convincing first-person perspective, we struggle along with Haven as she deals with her father's remarriage, her rather self-centered sister's coming marriage, feelings of concern for her changing mother, a suddenly boy-crazy best friend, and a growth spurt causing her to reach almost six feet. While trying to confront her present problems, she often remembers and is influenced by a past summer when everything seemed idyllic and by her strong feelings for her sister's old boyfriend, who has reentered her life and seems to represent joy and security.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9 That Summer could refer to the current one through which 15-year-old Haven is suffering, or it could be the one a few years ago when everything seemed perfect. Nevertheless, both summers affect her and she is a different person at their conclusions. Dessen has cast her story with a group of forgettable characters who plod their way through a clich-ridden coming-of-age novel with a lot of subplots. There is the long-suffering mother and her scatterbrained best friend. Then there is toupee-wearing Dad, who honks from the driveway on visitation nights. Add the boy-crazy best friend and the moody older sister who is planning her wedding and making everyone miserable. The most memorable character is Summer Lee, a remnant of that long ago season when everything was just right, who shows up at the precise moments he is needed and offers support to Haven. The setting is a suburb where all the houses look exactly the same (kind of like the characters). There is nothing seriously wrong with Haven's life, except that she doesn't fit in, physically or emotionally; she is six-feet tall and still growing. She is unwilling or unable to accept change in her life, and pines for the days when her parents seemed happy and she didn't fight with her sister and the sun always shone...Sigh. Still, Haven has a good sense of humor, and her insightful barbs about everything from shopping malls to TV-news readers add some depth to the story.Lucinda Lockwood, Thomas Haney Secondary School, Maple Ridge, BC
Kirkus Reviews
A teenager reluctantly learns to face forward rather than back in this refreshing, unusually perceptive debut.

The winds of change are blowing bitterly around 15-year-old Haven as her parents break up, her father marries a younger woman, her sister Ashley turns into a termagant as her wedding approaches, and her own body becomes a stranger, topping 5' 11" in a sustained growth spurt. To shield herself, Haven clings to the memory of a summer vacation to Virginia Beach three years ago, when her family was still together and Sumner Lee, the best of Ashley's legion of boyfriends, came along. Suddenly, Sumner is back, as charming and comforting as ever; can he rekindle that memory's magic? Displaying a flair for evocative names and well-timed plot twists, Dessen takes her tall and usually levelheaded teen through two weddings and a succession of disturbing, often comic, surprises, to a climactic explosion. Haven enjoys a nicely articulated love/hate relationship with her sister, ostensibly a superficial cheerleader type who turns out to be wiser than she seems; she helps Haven shake off her dependence on a memory (not entirely accurate, as it turns out) of idyllic happiness. Seeing everyone else building new lives, Haven starts to think about her own future, too. A worthy theme, but the chief attractions here are the appealing cast and droll humor.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417626854
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the author of several novels for young adults. She lives in North Carolina.

Biography

Although she was born in Illinois, YA novelist Sarah Dessen has spent most of her life in Chapel Hill, NC. Both of her parents were professors at the University of North Carolina, where Sarah studied creative writing and graduated with a degree in English.

As far back as she can remember, Dessen has always wanted to write. She remembers churning out wildly imaginative stories on an old manual typewriter her parents gave her when she was eight or nine years old. So it was only natural that after college she would forego a "real job," choosing instead to support herself by waiting tables at a local eatery while trying to publish a novel. In 1996, just three years after graduation, she sold her first book, the witty, wry coming-of-age story That Summer. A second novel, Someone Like You, followed two years later. (In 2003, these two books were loosely adapted into the movie How to Deal, starring teen sensation Mandy Moore.)

Dessen claims she never set out to be a YA writer, but somehow her memories always bring her back to high school, a time and place that resonates strongly for her. Living in her hometown where she is still in contact with many childhood friends, she finds it pretty easy to get in touch with her "inner teenager." In addition, the books she read from that time have a special, magical staying power. She explains it this way on her website:

"[W]hile I couldn't tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry's A Summer to Die or Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them."
If one can judge from her growing fan base and continued presence on the bestseller lists, Dessen can safely say "mission accomplished."

Good To Know

Here are some fun facts about Sarah Dessen:

  • Most of Dessen's books are set in the fictional town of Lakeview and feature recurring locales and characters.

  • Dessen also teaches creative writing at her alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Among her confessed addictions, Dessen counts the Gap clearance rack, Starbucks mochas, multiple magazine subscriptions, and a penchant for black pants.

  • Dessen sometimes waxes nostalgic about her days as a waitress. "It was a great job for a writer, " she says. "Endless conversations to eavesdrop, tons of material, and fast money without ever taking work home."

  • In Just Listen, the character of Owen Armstrong was named for the young protagonist in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, as well as for Lance Armstrong, one of Dessen's proclaimed crushes.

  • Concerning her "tendency to embellish," Dessen says: "I think it's just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it's hard not to do it all the time."

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      1. Hometown:
        Chapel Hill, NC
      1. Date of Birth:
        June 6, 1970
      2. Place of Birth:
        Evanston, Illinois
      1. Education:
        University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 454 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (159)

    4 Star

    (124)

    3 Star

    (99)

    2 Star

    (41)

    1 Star

    (31)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 455 Customer Reviews
    • Posted September 22, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      That Summer

      This is the first novel Sarah Dessen ever published. It's very short but its a good read. It shows Sarah's style of writing pretty easily. She really dipitcs how a teenage girl thinks and the problems and struggles that goes on in our minds. Like all of her books this one has debth which is very unlike most chick teen novels. There is always a lessen learned at the end of the book.
      The bad thing about this book is that it's very quick. I could give a quick overview in about 5 minutes and you would know the whole book. Nevertheless it's a good day read.
      In lyrical and unforgettably graceful prose, Sarah Dessen's first novel is at first glance a dull and unsatisfying story, but the closer you read into it, you begin to see the connections and truths and metaphors hidden within every sentence. The characters are deep and dimensional, and though the plot is rather cliche at first, Sarah Dessen takes us to new heights. A story built solidly, spectacularly, and beautifully.

      18 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted May 20, 2008

      That Summer Review

      I was very disappointed with this book. I stopped in the middle, it was so boring. This book does not keep you awake so I think you shouldn't read it. Take my advice!!!

      10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 11, 2005

      It was okay

      This book was okay. It was sort of disapointing after reading someone like you and this lullaby. But it wasnt bad, just not as good at the other books by Sarah Dessen.

      9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted January 15, 2013

      I understand that this is Sarah Dessen's first book, but this bo

      I understand that this is Sarah Dessen's first book, but this book totally dissapointed me. The whole book is just about her sisters wedding and thats all, there was no relationships at all really, and her sister was really a total jerk and I didnt like the sister as a character at all. Haven is an okay character but she's pretty boring. I made myself read this book since i got it from the media center at my school. I was overall dissapointed with this book since it didnt have an interesting storyline at all. Her other books are truly exceptional and she is my favorite author, but this book was a TOTAL miss for me.

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 22, 2002

      OKay but it wasn't the best

      It was a great book if you like what the subject, myself i'm more of a romance reader, do NOT read this book thinking you are going to get romance out cuz your not, it's just like a sister to sister kind of book.

      4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 12, 2012

      Wonderful book

      I am obsessed wih sarah dessen and this is just another one of her masterpieces. I read this book in a day and loved it. I strongly suggest readibg this book for short read.

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 14, 2012

      Amazing

      This book is amazing!
      Its wonderful and truly great!
      I will read it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted November 8, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      .......

      This book was very much so a disapointment compared to most of Sarah Dessens other books. The book was very boring, but I kept reading it because I have read most of S.D. books and loved them, but this one never really got interesting at all. I was very disapointed after just finishing reading This Lullaby. It never quite got to the point and once it did I found it kind of stupid. It was not the worst book I hace ever read, but, more than likely, I would not re-read it.

      3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted June 22, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      PRETTY GOOD!

      I liked this book. It's about 15 year old Haven who's freakishly tall at almost 6 feet and is having a lot of family issues.Her mom and dad are divorced and it's summertime and she attends her father's wedding to the local weather girl that her mom calls the weather pet(who she finds out a month later is pregnant) She has to deal with her bratty older sister(Ashley) who is also getting married that summer.She meets up again with her sister's exboyfriend Sumner(who happens to be her favorite of all her sister's boyfriends) and thinks he's the only one who can make her feel like her life is normal. She goes back in her mind to the summer that her sister and Sumner were together and her life seemed happier. Haven finds herself and learns a few life lessons that summer!

      2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted February 6, 2010

      I Also Recommend:

      That Summer

      This book was very good! The ending was a great surprise. Overall, it is a good book as are most of her writings. I would recommend this book to others.

      2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 7, 2007

      ugh

      this book was horrible, the first Sarah Dessen book i read was The Truth about Forever and i feel in love with it, and then i read some of her other books and they were really good too but then i read this book and it was absolutely horrible it didn't even have a point to it it was one of her worst books in my opinion.

      2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted November 2, 2008

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      An Ok book...

      This book is just an ok book... Nothing majorly special or jaw-dropping... It is somewhat boring. I read the whole thing waiting for something amazing to happen but I was let down by the time I finished the book. This was my 2nd Sarah Dessen book (The first one I read was Someone Like You). I wouldn't recommend this to my friends like I did with Someone Like You. This is one of those books that you want it to be really good and fantastic but really, it's not. If you want to read/buy this book for the first time I suggest going to the library and checking it out. That way you won't waste your money.... Sorry but it's true...

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 23, 2008

      a can't. shouldn't and wouldn't book

      I had to force myself to read the whole book. Sarah Dessen is my favorite author but this book sucks. She could have done much better than this. The concept is well but overall-- its boring. You wouldn't want to read this book if you read her other books. This is below disappointment in my book.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted May 27, 2007

      A reviewer

      it was one of the worst books i have read. it just kept going on and on about how horrible her life was, and a summer along time ago with her sister old boyfriend.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 30, 2007

      i love sarah dessen

      This book was pretty good, not as good as some of her others. The middle was the best...i know that seems strange but it was kinda slow at the beginning and the end didn't really conclude anything

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 30, 2005

      Boring

      there was nothing special about this book. i really liked some of the authors previous books alot better. this one seemed to go on and on without a purpose.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 18, 2004

      Eww

      It was so boring! I mean the entire book was just her whining about her life. So her parents are divorced and her sister's getting married. BIG DEAL. Don't waste your time. Find something that's actually worth reading.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 23, 2000

      Sucks majorly!

      If I could rate this book any lower, believe me I would. Besides the swearing, and rude unnecessary comments that the characters make- the book is pointless, boring, and leaves you with no beginning or end! There is no plot, but if you had to make up one, it would run something along the lines of 'Haven's sister is getting married. Haven sees her sister's old boyfriend. The end.' This book left me in the worst mood ever- DONT EVEN WASTE YOUR MONEY! Go spend it on something worthwhile, like...

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 24, 2013

      Great

      This is great book but it could be better

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 22, 2013

      Anonymous

      I think this book is good its not really hooking you in so i dont recommend buying it. IT SUCKED

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 455 Customer Reviews

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