5 stars · fiction · young adult

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer

Author: Sarah Dessen [also wrote Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, What Happened to Goodbye and The Truth About Forever]

Pages: [hardcover]: 240

Memorable Quote: Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.

Favorite Characters:
Haven & Sumner

Summary:

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.

Review:

 I loved this book just as much as every other Sarah Dessen novel I’ve read, though this book takes a different route than the easy summer romances I’ve become used to. That Summer is more about a girl growing comfortable with herself and her own skin than her finding the perfect guy. That makes this book stand out more, and is exactly why I liked it.

Once again, a book by Sarah Dessen has supporting characters that are just as amazingly thought out as the main character. Sumner is brilliantly off the wall, doing things the opposite way that anyone else would do them. Haven’s sister, Ashley, who could get very annoying at times, was still interesting and stuck true to her personality. I easily fell in love with this cast of characters.

Although when I first started this book, I expected something different from what was given to me, I ended up loving the story all the same. Haven has insecurities just like every other teen girl. Hers take form in her height, which at 6 feet tall, isn’t exactly typical for a girl her age. So she hates it. I think this makes her easily relatable, because everyone I know hates something about themselves that they have absolutely no control over, and eventually have to learn to accept.

I give That Summer 5/5 stars. It was an awesome read that wasn’t too hard, perfect for the beach or a long car ride. I’ll be reading this one over and over, and I hope fans of Sarah Dessen as well as other young adult readers give this a chance.

5 stars · fiction · romance · young adult

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen [also wrote Along for the Ride, Lock and Key, and The Truth About Forever]

Pages [hardcover]: 416

Favorite Characters: Deb & Dave

Memorable Quote: When you can’t save yourself or your heart, it helps to be able to save face.

Summary:

In the past two years, Mclean Sweet has moved four times. At each stop, she assumes a new persona, but it never quite works. Whether she’s an effervescent cheerleader or an intense drama queen, nothing can permanently dispel the turmoil and rage at her mother since her parents’ divorce. Sarah Dessen’s novel about a teenager and her restaurant manager father captures the vulnerability that young people often experience after the dissolution of their family. A compelling story; strong characterization; and with a touch of romance.

Review:

I love Sarah Dessen’s books. Every single one I’ve read has been addicting from beginning to end, with the most creative characters, wonderful plot twists, and moving revelations-no pun intended. What Happened to Goodbye is about a girl, Mclean, who has moved around so often that she’d not even sure who she is any longer.

As in other Dessen books, the characters are fantastic. While in some the main character may seem lacking as a result of the incredibly defined minor roles, Mclean is wonderfully portrayed, and I quickly grew to love her. Jason from The Truth About Forever, who also makes an appearance in Along for the Ride, is also in this book. I love how every novel connects to the others in some small way. It feels like a game, looking for all the little details that hint at past characters.

I loved this book because I never knew what was going to happen next. Mclean was slowly losing her own identity while her relationship with each parent frayed. The plot could have spun off in several different ways, and I liked the direction it took.

While Dave might not be as mysterious or intriguing as other boys from Dessen books, he’s still awesome in his own way. I love how he’s geeky, knows it, and doesn’t care. He lets people know the real side of him, without being embarrassed about his true self. I think that he’s a really strong character because of this, and I really liked him.

I give What Happened to Goodbye 5/5 stars. I loved it! This is definitely one I will remember for a while and will pick up to read again!

5 stars · fiction · romance · young adult

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride

Author: Sarah Dessen

Pages [hardcover]: 383

Memorable Quote: It was so weird, because usually I was totally nervous talking to guys. But Eli was different. He made me want to say more, not less. Which was maybe not a good thing.

Favorite Characters: Maggie & Auden

Summary:

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Review:

I love all of Sarah Dessen’s books, and this is one of the few that I haven’t read yet. Along for the Ride is as sweet, funny, romantic, and fun as every other novel written by this author.

I really liked how Auden wasn’t the only one who needed her life to change for the better. Eli is still attempting to pick up the pieces of his life, and one summer of sleepless nights with Auden could help him heal. They both rely on each other evenly.

This book didn’t put as much emphasis on the minor characters as others by Sarah Dessen have. Instead, the plot circles around Auden, focusing on the miniscule changes in her life. I like how the reader can see each step of her transformation, even when that step is backwards.

I really enjoyed Along for the Ride and already have another Sarah Dessen book lined up on my to be read pile. I recommend this for any previous fans of her work or anyone looking for a light, fun summer read or romance. I give it 5/5 stars.

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Best of 2010!

It seems like this entire year just flew by! I’d like to ring in 2011 by revisting some of my favorite reads this past year:

 Best Historical Fiction:

Annexed by Sharon Dogar! I absolutely loved this book and it is highly recommended.

Best Mystery:

 

Juliet by Anne Fortier! This book kept me on the edge of my seat, and I loved every minute of it. From the romance, to the historical aspect, to the plot twists, it was perfection!

Best Romance:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen! I love her books, and the chemistry between her characters is awesome. Macy and Wes are definitely my favorite couple.

Best Fantasy

 The Iron King by Julie Kagawa! I’ve read the first two books of this trilogy, and cannot wait until the third is released! I’ve fallen in love with the characters, especially Puck. (:

Best Steampunk:

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld! He’s one of my favorite authors, and this steampunk version of WWII does not disappoint.

Best Classic:

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a disturbing yet gripping tale about good and evil.

Best Modern Twist on a Classic:

Beastly by Alex Flinn! I read this because the movie’s set to come out in 2011, and I absolutely loved it!

Best Series:

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series may be for a slightly younger age set, but I love it! The action, humor, romance all fit together perfectly, and I could not stop reading! Thankfully, there’s a spin-off series to keep me going. 😀

 

Best Trilogy:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! This trilogy was gripping and had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. The world it was set it was fantastically described, and the characters were awesome!

Total number of pages read in 2010: 32335
Books Read: 102

All in all, a great year! How was your 2010?