That Summer

April 29, 2012

Realistic Fiction
Written by Sarah Dessen
Reviewed by H.Hill
Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

“It’s funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.”

 Nearly six feet tall and still growing, fifteen- year – old Haven’s life seems to be screwed up. Her father is getting re-married to the young and beautiful weatherwoman, Lorna Queen, the same woman that he was having an affair with a year-and -a half ago. Her uptight, “perfect” sister Ashley is also getting married to Lewis, a man who just doesn’t seem to be her type. Out of the blue Ashley’s ex boyfriend, Sumner Lee, returns to town and reminds Haven of the summer he and her sister were together. The summer her parents were happy, there was no Lorna Queen, her sister was carefree and kind, and everything seemed right. Haven can’t help to want what seemed so perfect back.

 Sarah Dessen is a great author but I didn’t particularly favor this book. It’s one of my favorite genres, realistic fiction, but I couldn’t really connect to it. It does go to show that sometimes in life our memories haunt us. We want to go back to the time we were happy because we can’t see if we will be again in the future. As human beings we want happiness and the things and people that make/made us happy. It’s just the way people are. This book also shows change, how it’s hard. Haven has to face the fact her mother and father will never be together again when he re-marries. That is a big change for someone and sometimes change is hard to accept. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the genre of realistic fiction and can connect to the changes Haven goes through. A connection to a character in a book makes it a more fitting read.

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