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?
Every time that Sarah Dessen comes out with a new book, I feel like a little piece of my soul that I didn’t know was missing clicks into place.
I mean it so much this time
♥ When Emma is sent to stay with her mom’s family for the summer, she isn’t sure how to feel. She hasn’t seen any of them since her mother died years ago, and now she’s kind of stranded there, with these people she doesn’t know, trying so hard to find her place. Is she a guest, or is she someone they can fold right into the crew?
Spoiler: she fits just right
♥ I keep running into cousin stories, and I’m really loving this alternative to sibling stories. Emma (Saylor? What name does she want to go by because they’re all getting confused) fits in with Bailey right away, and Jack and Gordon are kind to her. Trinity is a harder sell, but eventually Saylor (she feels like a Saylor at the lake, she decides) wins her over. Saylor learns so much about her mom from everyone there, but also about herself. She doesn’t really remember her last visit to the lake, and she doesn’t really remember her cousins or her childhood best friend. But he does.
Roo! Roo! Roo! Roo! Roo!
♥ Roo and Saylor were the best of friends as kids, but once Saylor left the lake, they never saw each other again. The second that Roo sees her, he recognizes her immediately and over the summer they fall back into their easy friendship. Roo is…Roo is wonderful, guys. He has six jobs but never complains about one of them. This boy is full of kindness and light every day, and he shares it so willingly. He also has a house full of photographs of his father and Saylor’s mother, who were best friends as teenagers. Saylor borrows some of the photo albums, and every day, Roo tells her another story about her parents. He also helps tries to help her overcome some of her anxieties about driving, which is super cute.
I get it Saylor, I also got my license at 16 and didn’t drive anywhere until I was 18
Favorite Quotes: “Everything changes tomorrow, I thought, but then again, that was always the case.”
“Life is huge and big and scary. But you have to go and take your part of it. There’s a reason the saying is ‘Seize the day’, not ‘Wait for it to come along as some point.'”
“‘This already sounds like a bad idea,’ I said.”
“‘Why?’ Which is what the planners of bad ideas always say.”