The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars (really all the stars)

I want to start off by saying that I love Sarah Dessen, I have been reading her since I was a wee teenager just trying to live her life and make it through my teen years. She has been one of the longest standing authors in my collection also. So it is far to say that I love her and will continue reading and buying her books. I mean I got to meet her will she was on tour for Rest of the Story and nearly broke down in front of the woman. Getting the chance to tell her the impact she made on my life, just about did me in. And I’m not one to cry and breakdown at book events.

Now on to my review. There have been a couple of misses for me from Dessen, that is not the case with this one. I adored this book, I mean to the point that I stayed up past my bedtime reading because I just couldn’t put it down. I also feel like I picked it up at the perfect time. I have been reading a lot of fantasy and needed a bit of a break. So I added ROTS to my TBR for September (which is all contemporary this month).

Rest of the Story is about Emma Saylor and her visit to North Lake, where her maternal grandmother runs a motel. Emma has been away from her maternal side of the family for a long time, especially since the death of her mother. The story follows her time there and what she learns about her mother and about herself.

There is so much to love about this story. Right off the bat, North Lake, when she describes it I’m instantly transported. To me. North Lake has a very Maine feel to it, which I love. She nailed the feel of the setting. Of course, Dessen has been connected to summer reads for a long time. This is one of the many reasons I love her. She makes me love summer and makes my heart swell. Currently, it is just starting to feel like fall, but this read came at the perfect time.

What I think I may love most about this story is that there is a love interest, Too, but it doesn’t overpower the story. Dessen has always had a way to include a love interest without making it the whole story. It’s one of the many reasons why I love her. For example, Wes from The Truth About Forever has been a long-time book boyfriend of mine, but now he has some competition with Roo. They just give me all the feels and I love them so much.

Let’s talk a little bit about Emma Saylor. She is a girl who only knows part of herself, she only knows one side of her family. This whole story is about only knowing part of the story and what it can feel like when you finally get the full story. She is the one that collects the stories when it comes to her friends and yet she doesn’t have many of her mom. This is what has not allowed to really grieve her mom. It’s really beautifully done how Dessen addresses addiction and death and how that can affect loved ones. Also how quickly things can change for a person.

If you enjoy contemporaries defiantly pick this one up and give it a go.

I want to leave you with my favorite quote from the whole book, “A life isn’t just the pages you know, it’s everything. We just can’t see what’s happened yet.”


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