by Sarah Dessen
Originally published by Viking
on January 1, 1996
Original synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Source: I received a copy of That Summer as part of the #ReadaDessen campaign. But was a Dessen fan long before that!
My take: Here are some things I'd forgotten about early Dessen:
1. It's the 90s -- no technology. No cell phones, no Facebook, no Insta. For me, this gives theses early books a timeless feel!
2. These earliest few books feature younger characters and just a hint of romance. Haven is only fifteen and her life is in turmoil -- her father's getting remarried, her older sister Ashley is in the midst of planning a wedding on her own, and her mom is embracing single life with a new BFF. So Haven feels a little lost and left out.
Enter Sumner, an ex-boyfriend of Ashley's who is holding down multiple jobs, including one at the mall where Haven works. Haven always liked Sumner and can't really figure out what went wrong between him and her sister. As Haven looks at all this coupling and uncoupling, she tries to figure out what love means.
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THAT SUMMER Quiz: how much do you remember?
1. Haven's sister Ashley is NOT worried about which one of the following things ruining her wedding to Lewis:
A. Haven growing out of her dress.
B. Whether their cousin Carol will be in the wedding
C. That Lewis' parents don't like her
D. That Sumner will crash the wedding
2. Haven's dad has a new fiancee, Lorna. What is Lorna's job?
A. Kindergarten teacher
B. TV Weather forecaster
C. Marine biologist
D. Clinique salesperson
3. Haven's job at the Lakeview mall is at:
A. Little Feet
B. Yogurt Paradise
C. The Candy Shack
4. Haven runs away from her job after she:
A. Gets caught kissing a boy in the storeroom
B. Shows up late every day for a week
C. Throws something at a customer's head
D. Gets caught giving free merchandise to her friend Casey.
5. Sumner does NOT do which one of these jobs:
A. Mall security guard
B. Dog walker
C. Encylopedia salesman
D. Dance partner at the senior center
How did you do? Answers are here on my #readaDessen page