It’s the height of summer where I am now and I’m sittin’ here chillin’. Or rather, sitting here feeling rather chilly in this cold (for January) weather. Good thing I’ve got more than just a few good books to keep me toasty. One of them is Sarah Dessen’s THAT SUMMER, which was her debut novel, first released in 1996.
At fifteen, Haven is almost six feet tall, growing at a rate of an inch per hour. Practically. Her TV presenter dad is building a version 2.0 of his family with another woman. Mum is always out with a new BFF, and her sister Ashley is about to marry boring and dependable Lewis. Everyone seems to be moving forward except Haven. She wishes she could turn back the clock and relive an idyllic summer spent at the beach with a guy called Sumner Lee.
At times I was frustrated by Haven inability to accept change. She seemed determined to let life happen to her, rather than be an active player. But I did cheer for her in a scene where she finally bit back at a spiteful customer in the shoe shop where she worked.
THAT SUMMER is set in the ‘80s, from what I can tell, before iPhones, Twitter and emails. The book plods along at a good pace and Haven comes up with some achingly funny insights about her family. It’ll have you thinking about happy times in your life that you want to hang onto forever.
For your chance to win a copy of THAT SUMMER, post a comment about your idea of a perfect summer. The winner will be announced next week!