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The Rest of the Story

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  5,095 ratings  ·  923 reviews
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—
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,095 ratings  ·  923 reviews

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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
If you'll all excuse me, I'll be over here, being Sarah Dessen trash for my whole entire life
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was so very quintessential Sarah Dessen. If you like her books, I can't imagine you won't like this one. If you're not a fan, I doubt this would be the one that would make you fall in love. It was a fun time, but very middle of the road.
Oct 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
6/30/19 - Wow! My very first DNF of a Dessen book. I never thought I'd live to see the day. There wasn't anything bad about this book that turned me off it was just very, very, VERY (did I mention very) slow paced. If you are looking for something fun, fast-paced and excited, this is not the book for you. If, however, you want something that is heavily character oriented and takes its time building up to the action, you will probably love this. This is the kind of book that you have to be in the ...more
You can make life, or life can make you…

The Rest of the Story, by Sarah Dessen, will likely land as one of my favorite reads this year. That’s a bold statement because we haven’t even hit the mid-year mark, and I’ve read over 50 books. However, as my reading buddies can attest to, it hasn’t been a good year. So, thank you Dessen for coming out with a story I can fall right into and feel like I’m walking alongside family and friends. This is such a great book because Dessen does what she’s best a
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably more of a 4 star book overall but I had to bump it up to 5 because it made me so damn happy while I was reading it.

Listen, Sarah Dessen is the queen of teen for a reason - she writes solid books. I've probably read all of them and while I didn't love all of them, I at least enjoyed them while I was reading.

But this one.

I don't think I've liked a Sarah Dessen book this much since I read Lock & Key for the first time. And it wasn't just because Emma had major anxiety associated with d
May 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
the day sarah dessen writes a gay book, my heart will finally be satisfied
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Because the story can change so much depending on who's telling it.

I read my first Sarah Dessen book half my life ago and I still become teenage girl excited every time one comes out. Literally nothing makes me feel the way her books do.

Side note: I've been reading this while watching Stranger Things and let me tell you my life has not been tonally consistent whatsoever.

This is really cute. I'm really happy that the romance takes a backseat to the more important part, family and roots.
The Nerd Daily
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Teralyn Mitchell

I’ve been a big fan of Sarah Dessen for years now so I was happy that I got the chance to read The Rest of the Story and it was the perfect summer read. It takes place on a lake in the summer, surrounded by family. It’s a coming-of-age story for Emma Saylor who has always been neurotic and cautions about everything and it seemed to escalate after her mother died. She never knew her mother’s side of the family since she hadn’t see
Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
I don’t think that I have ever read a Dessen that I didn’t enjoy. Her books are like food for me. Definitely perfect for fans of contemporary YA fiction. I think that The Rest of the Story is going to tug at some heart strings.
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
It's always a good idea to read one of Sarah Dessen's books. They always bring a smile to my face and make me feel like everything will be okay.

One of the things Dessen excels in is writing about different family dynamics. I kind of wish we got to find out more about the family members because I was more invested into that storyline. Romance know...predictable.
Jen Ryland
Aw, loved this. Classic Dessen featuring some of her most beloved and familiar themes and a new setting - if you want my complete break-down, check out my review here on Jen Ryland Reviews!

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

Read more of my reviews on! Check out my Bookstagram!
Shannon (leaninglights)
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really good and perfect for summer. In the vain of past Dessen books, this one did not disappoint! I’d give it a 4.5!
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it

3.5 Stars

For me, Sarah Dessen is synonymous with summer. The woman showcases the season on the pages of her books perfectly. And I’m not just talking about the sun, sand, and water. It’s more than that. A Dessen read captures that bright, epic feeling of freedom summer can bring. The feeling that anything can happen. Plus the changes it brings. Summer can mean changes in scenery, routine, and people that surround us every day. Summer can change everything!

Emma Saylor lost her mother as a child,
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a great book by Dessen. I do enjoy her Young Adult books though the last couple I have read have been misses with me. This one is expertly written, but some things as the time line shifting back and forth and the mess with Saylor's father prevented me from giving it five stars. I really enjoyed this one and hope that we see more from characters that she introduced to us in this one.

"The Rest of the Story" follows 17 year old Emma Saylor. Emma is excited that her father has remarried to
Rahma Abdelrahman
June 26, 2019
First of all, let me start by stating how awkward it feels to be writing a review for this book after meeting the author, especially that it was my first time meeting any author. It also means I'm probably biased, considering how Sarah Dessen has been my all-time favourite author for years.

Now that that's out of the way, let me get to the review.

The Rest of the Story is about Emma Saylor whose father goes on a trip to Greece with his new bride. After her original plan to stay with h
Definitely among my favorite of Dessen's books. It is a little different in the sense it feels especially personal and explores life outside of one's previously-understood sense of self and place in the world. Emma Saylor's mother died of an opioid overdose and she's lived with her father since she was young. When her dad remarries and plans for Emma to stay with her best friend during his honeymoon falls through, she stays with the grandmother from her mother's side she only has ever met once. ...more
Christy Rogers
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dear Sarah Dessen,

For the last twelve years you have held my heart in your hands. You've broken it, and mended it again with the stories you weave together. Thank you for introducing me to Saylor and Roo, the pair whose lives were always intertwined and destined to be. If you're looking for the perfect summer love pick this book up, get a glass of sweet tea ready, and settle yourself in your favorite porch chair.
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Emma Saylor hasn't lived an easy life by any means despite the fact that she lives in a nice house in a good neighborhood and has many friends. She lost her mother to addiction and her father has been busy with his career as a dentist. Also, her Nana has helped raise her, but Emma still suffers from anxiety. Her father has remarried and is planning on taking a honeymoon this summer. Emma is ok with this as she will be staying at her best friend's house. But things happen and plans change and now ...more
😍😍😍😍😍😍 I love this book so much!!

I love Sarah Dessen’s books and this one is truly amazing. I immediately fell in love with it. One of the reasons I love Dessen’s stories so much is that in each story there’s real-life issues and personal struggles that everyone can relate to...


Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

4.5 Stars

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

From the minute we started reading The Rest of the Story we were immediately transported back in time. It’s been some years, pre blog days, since we’ve lived between the pages of a Sarah Dessen book and boy, we’ve missed her. This book felt like coming home, wrapping ourselves up in the sweet, relatable characters synonymous with Sarah Dessen’s stories.

The Rest of the
Taylor Knight
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Of all the Sarah Dessen books I’ve loved and read over and over, The Rest of The Story has become my new favorite.

Emma’s summer takes an unexpected turn when she ends up with her estranged family
from her mother’s side, who has since passed away. Emma learns how to cope with her anxieties, reconnect with family, and discover herself along the way.

I fell right into this book and it was love at first page. Dessen is a master at family relationships in books and The Rest of the Story is no exceptio
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Sarah Dessen, I really do. But also -- it's possible I might finally be outgrowing her somehow? Which is a weird thing to say about a YA author who I didn't even encounter for the first time until I was an adult.

This book was tricky. I loved it initially. I really liked Emma Saylor as a character, and enjoyed experiencing North Lake and Lake North with her. Navigating the different sides of the lake and all of the family there that she never really knew she had. I found the Calvanders in
ضحى الحداد
Everyone knows how I LOVE Sarah Dessen and I was anticipating this book since the moment I heard about it .. of course I will read the heck out of this book and as usual it was such an enjoyable ride with The North Lake with our main character Emma (Saylor ) who suddenly finds herself in the middle of a new family she never knew she had .. there were so many great moments and character development and it was a really nice summary read :D
I gave the book 4 stars because the romance was somewhat l
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
As usual, good old Dessen did not disappoint. I don’t know what it is about her books but they always give me this warm and fuzzy feeling. There’s always romance, yes, but usually, just like here, it’s not the main focus of the story. It’s also very "clean"; if we even get to “see” a kiss we can count ourselves lucky and while this is usually something I don’t particularly like, somehow, in Dessen’s tales of family, friendship and growing up, I don’t mind.
In the last year I’ve often found myself
Ginger at
I think I just found my new favorite Dessen read. All the ingredients of a summer YA filled with so much heart are simmering throughout this novel. I found myself wanting to linger & savor it in parts. It’s definitely a sigh-worthy book.
Angela Staudt
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The lake keeps us.”

What another stunning read from Sarah Dessen, she did not disappoint. The Rest of the Story actually exceeded my expectations.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin, I still am in awe of how much I adored and cherished everything about this book. I loved the small lake town atmosphere and how everything revolved around family as well. Emma Saylor, who in my mind is forever Saylor, is such a great main character. I enjoyed getting to know her and getting to know all of her
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I used to read all of Dessen's books. I was hooked for years then gave them a break and picked this one up to see if I still liked them. Dessen has a way of writing YA fiction that I really like. It is true to life without getting to gritty or crude. There is swearing and some great humor but it is never anything I wouldn't read my grandma too. This is a great coming of age story that I enjoyed. I like her characters. She really captures the teen years and takes me right back to High School. Thi ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, june2019
Loved this book! It's definitely a Sarah Dessen classic, issues with parent(s), getting a job, cute boy, and summer. The story was different and a lot of fun. Emma Saylor gets a great opportunity to get to know her mother's family and their interactions were great. Her tough but loving grandma, a sweet aunt, and a plethora of cousins that show her what family is. Roo was a great love interest, so cute and kind and patient. I also liked the almost sisterly bonds Emma Saylor made with Gordan, Bail ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book hit almost all of my triggers. It still gets five stars. RTC.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
update after reading: yayyy so happy I read this I loved it so much!! It took me a while to get into this book because I was busy and stuff but once I got into it I read this in like two days! I had so much fun reading this book and learning and about this lake setting and the characters we got to meet. I loved roo!! And I loved all of saylor’s family. I now want to live at the lake and work there during the summer. Such a cosy book. The conflict in this felt very realistic too. I thought the di ...more
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