That Summer

Sarah Dessen, Author
Sarah Dessen, Author Orchard Books (NY) $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-531-09538-6
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
At five-foot-eleven (""and counting""), Haven is ""all bony elbows and acute angles, like a jigsaw puzzle piece that can only go in the middle, waiting for the others to fit around it to make it whole."" But it is not just a sudden growth spurt that prevents the 15-year-old from fitting into the comfortable grooves of her ""old"" life; her family is also changing at an alarming rate. Her sports-anchor father divorces his wife for Channel 5's ""Weather Pet."" Her jilted mother joins a set of aging, Barry-Manilow-listening, swinging singles and Haven's once plucky sister, Ashley, seems to wilt on the arm of her all-too-boring fiance. Amidst the flurry of preparations for her father's second marriage and her sister's wedding, Haven finds a connecting link to her more serene past when one of Ashley's former boyfriends appears on the scene. First-time author Dessen adds a fresh twist to a traditional sister-of-the-bride story with her keenly observant narrative full of witty ironies. Her combination of unforgettable characters and unexpected events generates hilarity as well as warmth. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
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