Dessen, Sarah. That Summer.

NY: MacRae Books, 1996.

I discovered Dessen’s Young Adult novels awhile back and was taken with her abilities as a storyteller. She’s done about fifteen of them now, all of them very popular, and I had been reading them pretty much at random. I decided it was time to go back to her first published effort to see how her work had evolved.

Haven McPhail is fifteen, a high school sophomore somewhere in the southeast U.S., and she’s very tall. It’s now late summer and she’s grown four inches just since April, putting her a hair under six feet. This is one of the three main facts of her life.


Published in: on 8 August 2017 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Haddon, Mark. A Spot of Bother.

NY: Doubleday, 2006.

I was very impressed with Haddon’s first novel, the award-winning Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This one is about as different as it’s possible to be, and it’s also pretty impressive. George Hall is in his sixties, a retired builder of playground equipment, who has always been a little off-center in his method of dealing with life. Mostly, he tries to ignore things that make him uncomfortable — even more than your typical Englishman. Things like potential jetliner crashes and the possibility of dying of cancer.


Published in: on 10 April 2011 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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