Book Review

Book Review: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult contemporary
Length: 440 pages
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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?

VERY CHARACTER DRIVEN.

This was very different than the previous four (maybe five?) Dessen novels I have read. Not in a bad way, just different.

This was heavily character driven and was a bit of a long book. It took a bit to get into because I didn’t know when it really began. I kept looking for a love story that I didn’t see. Once I realized that this was going to much deeper levels than that, I was able to get on board.

NOW, not to say there wasn’t a little bit of romance. Saylor does meet someone, and things end well. It isn’t the forefront of the novel though. The big focus is on Saylor and her growth over the summer. After a family tragedy she grows up not really remembering having spent any time there when she was younger. Her time spent on the lake allows her the opportunity to learn about her mother’s family. She’s able to reconnect with so many people and learn through them about her mother and more.

Saylor changes a lot over the course of the novel and helps her Dad do the same. He was a bit more stubborn (because of grief) and she is able to help him release the tension he had been carrying way too long. At times I would be upset with her Dad because I couldn’t grasp WHY he couldn’t relax a little. By the end, the rest of the story is out and we’re able to understand the decisions at play.

Lots of lasting re-kindlings with family are made and has given Saylor back apart of her life she didn’t realize how much she needed.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary
  • Language: a little strong language
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: mentions of a boat crash (off screen) and a sailing boat capsizes
  • Trigger warnings: alcoholism, drug abuse, off-screen heroine overdose, underage drinking, loss of a loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 662 pages
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: March 27th, 2007
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a novel that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. 

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS BOOK.

Okay, first I’m going to start out by mentioning that I started this book on Audible. This was my mistake. I still gave it four stars (when I was truly contemplating three) because I really enjoyed The Name of the Wind much more reading it. My library happened to have a digital copy so I downloaded that because it took me almost two months to listen to it. There was something about the way it was done that never clicked. I didn’t love the voices and couldn’t appreciate the characters.

Now that I chugged along twice as fast with reading it I appreciated the story as a whole so much more.

Kvothe is an interesting child. I’m actually annoyed that he’s so good at everything, but maybe that’s the point? I did find it amusing how poor he was with women. I mean, the book ends and he’s barely 15/16. IT TOOK 600+ PAGES TO GO THROUGH THIS MUCH OF HIS LIFE? Talk about a slow burn build of a fantasy.

Everything was definitely explained well. The world-building was fantastic. I loved the differing characters and the romanticism of the story. He’s the amazing, warrior, kingkiller and everyone wants to know the tale. Since Kvothe takes his dang sweet time, nothing is left out. I haven’t read a book where I truly felt nothing was left out.

The book picked up once Kvothe made it to the University. More and more continued to happen and a lot more webs were being weaved. Kvothe is pushed by one thing, and one thing alone (spoiler if I say more!). His sheer determined mindset had me hoping he would get his answers.

The only thing I stand wondering now is, do I want to read book two?

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult epic fantasy
  • Language: A little
  • Romance: a kiss or two
  • Violence: knives, killing creatures, poison, physical, whipping

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