Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: That Summer

Title That Summer
By Sarah Dessen
For Fun
Source Library

Um, let's see, what is this book about? A girl named Haven who is really tall which really isn't that unique but with the way she whines about it you'd think she had a lamppost growing out of her back! Meanwhile her Dad's just remarrying some new young thing as the book opens and Haven whines about that for awhile and her older sister Ashley is getting married and the wedding plans litter the book as a reminder that, hey, Ashley is annoying, but not really. OK, yeah, I get it!

General thoughts
As you can see by my synopsis of the book I was not very fond of it. This is the first Sarah Dessen novel I've read and maybe I should have picked a different one or maybe they're all like this and it wouldn't have mattered. Anywho, It just wasn't that impressive. First off, as I mentioned above, I didn't get why Haven was soooo upset and self conscious about her height. Several times she has people tell her she's pretty or overhears people commenting on how beautiful she is and yet all she can whine on and on about it her height. Now, I know we're all like this, we only see the bad in ourselves but since when has being tall been bad? Seriously, this girl never spoke up and when she does it's like a freaking dam has burst and there's only a few pages left in the book and you're thinking: that's it? That's what I've been reading this for? A meltdown?!!! Grrrr.  I'm not completely stupid. I got the moral of the story, I understood what the author was trying to say but the storyline to teach said moral could have been a little more interesting. Just sayin'

Haven was completely un-relatable to me. One, I'm not freakishly tall. Two, I speak up if something is bothering me and three, I don't base my whole existence on other people and what they think of me. Wait, maybe it's because I related to her that I hated her. Who knows.   Ashely was seemingly self centered but I had the impression that if we read the book from her perspective we would have sympathized with her.  Obviously there's a lot more characters but the truth is I felt that they were all rather trivial and yet, as with Ashley, the author could have picked anyone of them to use as the main protagonist and we would have seen their side of things and disliked Haven instead. Maybe that was the whole point. Well, I don't know if my ramblings make sense but there you have it.

Would I recommend it?
Fat, freaking chance! But, hey, what do I know, maybe it was amazing and I just didn't get it.


  1. Thanks for this review. Good for you for finishing it. Your blog is a favorite of mine. I have an award for you. Check the awards page on my blog

  2. I love the honesty in your reviews. :) I know a lot of people really like Sarah Dessen's books, so maybe this is one of her weaker ones? I've only read one (The Truth About Forever) and thought it was pretty good. But I don't think I'll be picking this one up.

  3. Thanks for stopping by today. I'll be starting Die for Me tonight, so yay! I have to say, I got a good chuckle out of your synopsis. This probably wouldn't be a good one for me to read. I've been taller than average since kindergarten and it's really not that bad. I'd probably get pretty annoyed with her whining over it. :)

  4. Dana, Thank you! I'll go check it out right away.

    Kathy, Yeah, the writing didn't bother me so I think I just didn't like this one. I'll read another or two just to be sure.

    Marla, I have a friend who has been tall her whole life too and she loves it so I don't know what this books deal was.

  5. Now THIS is why I love that you've started blogging! FAT FREAKING CHANCE! :) Just Listen is my favorite of hers so far, and I've read a bunch. It's got lots of music talk in it, and I thought the guy was really cool. So, when you are ready, try that one!

  6. Suey, I'm not giving up on Sarah Dessen books. This one was just dreadful! I'll add Just Listen to my list and try it.

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by at my blog and for the sweet comments. Your review made me laugh! Never read anything by Sarah Dessen, but read some good reviews on her other books, so I might try those instead :)

  8. Selina, I'll definitely try some more of Dessen's books but I hope they aren't like this one. And I really do LOVE your blog.

  9. I've got a couple of Dessen books on my shelves waiting for a chance to be read, but not this one - thank goodness. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this review. I've written so many lukewarm reviews lately, that it almost makes me WANT to read a bad one so I can rant a bit.

  10. Jessica, Yes, I'll admit it's much more fun to have a strong feeling towards a book, even if it's a bad one, then to not be moved at all.