TITLE: The Rest of the Story

AUTHOR: Sarah Dessen

Rating: ★★★★

PAGES: 400

PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray


GENRE(S): Contemporary, Romance

The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen - The Contented ReaderEmma 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?


I am so happy to have another Sarah Dessen book to read! When I first started reading books in the young adult genre, she was the first author I discovered. And, she’s stayed a favourite ever since!

The Rest of the Story follows Emma Saylor who spends the summer with her Mother’s family, who she hasn’t seen in years. As a result she discovers stories about her Mother and she learns more about herself.

Emma Saylor is such a sweet main character. She’s caring and considerate and is desperately trying to navigate a world without her mom and her dad’s new married life. I absolutely adored the North Lake setting and all the characters we’re introduced to. One of the reasons I love Sarah Dessen so much is because of her ability to write such relatable characters that extend off the page of the book. My favourites are definitely Roo, Bailey and Trinity.

The storyline in this book is really great. It’s all about self-discovery – which is definitely a constant theme for Dessen. But, for some reason, this book feels different. Maybe it’s the different setting or maybe it’s just the mood I was in while reading it. Either way, it’s a journey worth reading. Emma Saylor’s experience in North Lake is relatable and it’s really endearing.

I will forever be a fan of Sarah Dessen’s books – they’re always super easy to read and always enjoyable. Whether you’re a fan of hers or not, I highly recommend checking The Rest of the Story out. I think it’s the perfect read for summer, and definitely perfect for a day at the beach!

If life is a journey, wouldn't you rather be the person behind the wheel than the one just being carried along?

Favourite Quote

About The Author

Sarah Dessen Author Photo - The Contented ReaderSarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.

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Let’s Chat in the Comments!

Are you excited for The Rest of the Story? What is your favourite Sarah Dessen book? Do you like slow burn romance?

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen - The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!


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