STARRED REVIEW
June 03, 2019

The Rest of the Story

By Sarah Dessen
Review by

The Rest of the Story stands apart as a perfect summer read. It’s lighthearted and poignant and sure to give readers all the feels.

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What better way to start the summer than with a new Sarah Dessen novel? In the tradition of her previous bestselling novels like This Lullaby and Once and for All, The Rest of the Story captures a young woman’s first big steps on her journey to self-reliance, reconnection and first love.

Emma Saylor lost her mom to addiction at a young age, and she hasn’t seen or spoken to anyone in her mother’s family for as long as she can remember. But when her summer plans fall through, Emma’s last-minute decision to return to North Lake to visit her maternal family propels her into a summer of discovery—not only about her mother, but about herself.

As always, Dessen’s vividly defined characters—with the sprawling cast of secondary characters adding as much complexity and depth to the story as Emma herself—will feel as familiar to readers as their own friends and family. But the real strength of The Rest of the Story is the deft way Dessen handles the tough subjects of addiction, grief, anxiety and class, unpacking these topics with nuance and a gentle hand.

While her latest novel brings us to a new fictional beach town, Dessen has scattered an Easter egg or two for avid fans throughout the book. But The Rest of the Story stands apart as a perfect summer read. It’s lighthearted, poignant and sure to give readers all the feels.

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Get the Book

The Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story

By Sarah Dessen
Balzer + Bray
ISBN 9780062933621

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