Review: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

“We’re going to be stuck with each other forever. That’s what family is.”

– Sarah Dessen

Thank you Blazer and Bray for an ARC of this novel!

When you think of Summer what do you think of? I think of Sarah Dessen. The stories she writes always happen during the summer, the ones that change everything. I discovered Dessen at a time when I needed her writing the most and I still look back at her stories and find them not only relatable, but inspirational when I need direction.

The Rest of the Story is no different and might in fact slide into the number two slot of my favorites list, right after The Truth About Forever but before Lock & Key. The Rest of the Story is again about a summer of change, about Emma Saylor finding her family, finding herself, and finding out that there was more to the stories her mom use to tell her.

I was really caught up in the family storyline and thought the romance in this book took more of a backseat for once. The Calvander’s were wacky and I loved every minute of them. From their toast addiction to their traditions out on the lake, I was hooked and even felt like I got to be one of them for a bit.

The romance was also different than how it’s been in the past. Not only did it take more of a backseat, but it also had a nice friends to lovers spin we’ve yet to see in any of Dessens’ other novels. I adored Roo! He was so swoon-worthy and he had me hooked from his first gap-toothed smile towards Emma. He might just knock Wes out of my top Sarah Dessen book boyfriend list. *Might* (it’s cause he drives an ice cream truck which is basically the way to my heart).

It was also nice to add to the Dessenverse by getting outside of Colby and Lakeview. We get to explore the new town(s?) of North Lake and Lake North right alongside Emma.

There were some of the usual tie-ins/Easter eggs to the rest of the Dessenverse though. Colby was mentioned along with Spinnerbait (Hate Spinnerbait!). I’m also pretty sure there was a character crossover but I think I need a re-read to be sure.

The Rest of the Story is a great addition to Dessens’ other works and can be enjoyed whether you’ve read all of her other novels, like me, or is a great starting point if it’s the first one you’re picking up. It’s the perfect way to kick-off the summer, but I don’t want to limit it by saying that it’s just a summer read. It is the perfect mix of summer, romance, adventure and family.

Comment your favorite Sarah Dessen novel below and tell why you love it!

P.S. If you love Dessen as much as I do, pick up a signed and exclusive copy of The Rest of the Story from Barnes & Noble!

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