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—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.
When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.
Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.
For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?
Sarah Dessen is one of those authors I come to knowing I will love their book. I've spent at least a decade now getting excited about them coming out and loving every page. In this book's case I honestly had no idea it was coming out. Things have been busy at work and while I most definitely knew I was due a new Sarah Dessen at some point you can imagine the excitement when it arrived unannounced completely by surprise at my house.
The book is pure Sarah Dessen. Young girl spends the summer finding out more about herself in a lovely location with sun and parties and cute boys. While some might say this could be a be predictable I am all for it. This is exactly what I sign up for every single time I open a Sarah Dessen novel and makes them a perfect comfort blanket summer read. I loved every second of getting lost in them and this latest title was no exception.
The rest of the story follows Emma. Emma lost her mum at a young age and due to circumstances ends up one summer staying with her mother's family who she hasn't seen since she was young. I loved following her story as she met members of her family who were so very different from herself in so many ways and as she started to find out more about the place she came from. I loved the dynamic of her new large family and the organised chaos of it all. I also enjoyed the romantic elements of the story.
If you love romantic contemporary fiction set during the summer make this your next beach read.