Review: That Summer by Sarah Dessen

So for July's Challenge (book of your choice) I chose to read That Summer by Sarah Dessen, you know, since it's Summer and all. I wanted something that was Summer-y and a little different from my usual paranormal and dystopians.

That Summer

Author: Sarah Dessen
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.

Haven's life hasn't been the same since her father cheated on her mother with Lorna Queen a.k.a. Weather Pet and announced that he was leaving. Haven has been strong for her mother ever since then, feeling like she's the only one that can keep her mother together.

That Summer begins on the day of her fathers wedding where he marries Lorna Queen. From the very beginning Haven recalls her life before her parents split, where her parents were happy and her sister Ashley is the drama queen, always popular, always dating. Haven envies her sisters shortness, wishing she wasn't 6 feet tall and towering over everyone in the room including her own father. She remembers the events of her past according to who her sister was dating at the time, and her favorite memories where life seemed perfect was when Ashley was dating Sumner Lee, the carefree boy who fun things just seemed to happen to, who brought her whole family closer together just by walking into the room.

Haven soon learns that life is never as it seems to be, even the events of the past. Her life starts spiraling out of control, one thing at time and the only person that can seem to help is the one boy from her past who has suddenly dropped back in it: Sumner Lee.

Throughout the book Haven is insecure and depressed but feels like she has to be strong and quiet and keep her feelings to herself, always feeling like she's in the shadow of her sister Ashley who the world seems to revolve around. And then she has a breakdown right before her sisters wedding and basically blames Ashley for everything that has happened only to finally realize that they're more alike than she thought.

While I didn't absolutely love this book, it was a quick enjoyable read about a teenage girl coming to terms with the changes in her life and a past that isn't as perfect as she once believed. I would definitely recommend this book to a girl who is going through a lot of life changes to show her that even though the things that seem perfect aren't, you can always find happiness if you look for it and you don't dwell on the bad things.

I rate this book: