Perfect for a summer read.

Summary:

Emma Saylor's life was neat and tidy. She would stay with a friend while her Dad and grandmother were away. Her father and stepmom were going on their honeymoon, and her grandmother would be on a cruise. Then plans changed. Emma's friend had an emergency and Emma couldn't stay over. She didn't want to ruin her Dad’s honeymoon or Nana’s vacation so she went to stay with her other grandma, her mother’s mom, at North Lake. Emma hadn’t been to the lake since she was four. Her family lived there, but after her mother died of an overdose, she and her dad hadn't been back. So Emma saw this as a great time to catch up with relatives and friends she hadn’t talked to in years. In her time at North lake, Emma realizes how much she had missed it and how much her mother hadn't shared in her stories about the lake. Meeting her cousins, aunts, and grandparents, she realizes that she isn’t just Emma, but maybe Saylor? She learns how her name - her real name - plays a big part in her family history. Caught between two worlds, Emma doesn’t know what to do as she learns more about her heritage and where she’s really from. 


BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen is a great coming-of-age novel for young adults. It presents themes of finding yourself and understanding who you really are. The character development is center stage and needed, not just for Emma but those around her. For example, Trinity, a cousin, is an enjoyable, fully-developed character whom readers will enjoy getting to know. Ultimately the knowledge characters gain about themselves helps them find acceptance that things might be different. The story is mainly about needing to choose a side in your life and can be related by many as the two sides may not be rich and average, but two different cultures, or two different families.

I also liked the way Dessen used setting, crafting the story to which side of the lake the events take place. Something else I really liked and know other readers will too, is how Emma slowly realizes that she is Saylor and how much of her life she missed. Her self-journey is something that inspired me and was primarily why I really loved the book. 

Those interested in realistic fiction and contemporary books might enjoy this book. It is appropriate enough for pre-teens and young teenagers but still interesting for older teenagers, so readers 12 to 17. I believe this is a great book to gift to teenagers as it might cheer them up on a bad day. 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

If you already love Sarah Dessen, you're in for another great book. If you like realistic, contemporary, coming-of-age stories you won't be disappointed either.

Content Awareness Factors:

Alcohol and drug use, parental death (offstage). 


Type of Book:
This is a coming-of-age story where the main character is relearning her family history.
Educational Themes:

Read this for pleasure reading. 

Reading Level:
4.5
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 14
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is a realistic novel that falls into the "great beach read" category.

Title The Rest of the Story
Author Sarah Dessen
Publisher Balzer + Bray, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2019
ISBN 9780062933621
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Family, Coming of Age, Realism | Realistic Fiction, Romance
be the star you are Cybils
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