Review: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Today I have the wonderful Kayla from Kayla Reads and Reviews sharing her review of Sarah Dessen’s upcoming novel The Rest of the Story! Kayla is the sweetest and I’m so glad to call her my friend. After you read the review make sure you visit her blog and follow her on Twitter!

Title: The Rest of the Story
Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository | Indiebound

This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?

*Before I jump in I want to thank HarperCollins and Clover letter for providing me with an ARC in exchange for this honest review. This is no way impacted my opinion or feelings towards this book*

Emma Saylor is ready for the summer before her senior year of high school, she can’t wait to hang out with her best friend and basically do nothing while her dad is on his honeymoon. But when a curveball is sent her way, her summer plans change and she spends time with family she didn’t even know she had. But slowly she sees that this is the summer she needed.

I have always loved Sarah Dessen’s books. I think she is the QUEEN of summer contemporary romance. And this was AMAZING.

Emma suffers from OCD, everything NEEDS to be clean and organized but thats the exact opposite of her mother’s family. They have dishes pilling up, messes all the time and the last thing you would say to describe them would be organized. If anything its organized chaos in their house.

Family is a very strong central theme in this novel and that is something I loved more than anything. Emma learns about her family and finds that her cousins are the people she has needed this whole time. As someone who considers herself to be best friends with her cousins, this is something I loved.

Trinity is a fierce, smart and intense cousin of Emma’s who is expecting her first child while her fiancé is deployed. She teaches Emma how to clean and brings her under her wing as a younger sister. I think Trinity was by far one of my most favorite characters in this novel.

And we have Roo, who is the boy who captures Emma’s attention and makes her realize there is more to life than organizing her drawers and the things around her. Roo helps Emma learn more about her past and connect to her family more.

And then we have Emma’s dad, who started out as one of my least favorite characters in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD until I really got to know him better and understand where he was coming from. We learn more about his relationship with her mom and his fears for her, that she may eventually spiral into what her mother became.

This was a novel about love, grief, family and learning so much. I truly recommend this to everyone looking for a fun and meaningful summer novel. Sarah Dessen’s novels are a summer essential in my opinion. Don’t miss this one!

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