"The Rest of the Story"

Today we welcome a new reviewer to the MO Books Blog, Caroline Miller, a junior at Washington High School. Caroline enjoys reading fantasy, mystery and romance. Her favorite series is “Throne of Glass,” by Sarah J. Maas.

Caroline said she hopes reviewing for the blog will enable her to have a wider range of reading materials, that reviewing will help her “improve her writing,” and offer the opportunity for her to “share her opinions” about the books she’s reading.

We happily add Caroline to the MO Books list of community bloggers.

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In the latest novel by author Sarah Dessen, “The Rest of The Story,” encapsulates the essence of summer. The book tells the story of Emma Saylor a girl who has faced great loss with the death of her mother when Emma was 10.

The story opens when Emma is 17 at her father’s wedding. Her father and his new wife are going on a honeymoon, and her grandmother they share a house with is going on a cruise. When Emma’s plans to stay with her friend while her family is away fall through, her father takes her to her mother’s family, a family she hasn’t seen since she was four.

Emma arrives and is out of place among these unfamiliar people. But as the story goes on Emma realizes there is more to her mother’s story and even more to her own. With the help of her cousins, and perfect boy Roo, Emma is able to fit in among her mother’s family and connect more intimately with her father. This is a perfect coming of age novel as Dessen shows how past prejudice and pain develop into new friendships and growth.

I’ve read many books by Dessen over the years and “The Rest of the Story” did not disappoint. I went into the novel thinking of it as another young adult romance book but it turned into a story more about family and one's own self. Anyone who is a fan of “funny mixed with sad” would love this book. Each chapter is its own adventure and I’m glad I took the chance to join the characters as they experienced them.