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 does such a good job of getting you really annoyed with the parents featured in her books! Like just remembering how unfair your parents were in high school and how you somehow have to obey them still… and how much it sucks that they just plain don’t get it! OMG her ability to capture that feeling is uncanny!
There were a couple of moments while reading that I laughed out loud.
I really liked Roo but I had a hard time picturing him.
Roo reminded me a lot of Dexter from Sarah Dessen’s book This Lullaby. I really enjoyed his and Emma Saylors humor.
The ending was good…well good-ish… but felt rushed with Roo. I know a lot of people like YA books that are a bit more open ended bc teens don’t know where they’ll be in life. But I didn’t like that as a teen and I don’t like it now either. (Seriously, I remember feeling this way in high school… like “What? Do authors not believe we can meet the loves of our lives in high school?! Like we’re not deep enough for that?!” I still feel that way! Give me the ending I want!)
There are so many things I wanted from the ending! (Kind of/ but not really spoilers ahead) :
I felt like we could have had a scene with a mention of her dad apologizing to Roo.
I felt like we could have had a good reminiscing scene with her dad and her mom on the lake.
Also,Saylor should have met roos mom and she could have told a story!
It just felt lacking. But also made you wanna be on the lake and you were rooting for Emma Saylor, I just didn’t feel a huge payoff in the end…