Nature vs. nurture, people vs. place. Emma Saylor (Emma to her dad and Saylor to her mom) only knows the safe life she has with her dad. Her mom passed away five years ago from a drug overdose, but their marriage ended long before that. Emma is now 17 and must spend three weeks with her mom’s side of the family in their lakeside town. Emma is thrust into a family she doesn’t know, full of history and legend. Is she Emma, Saylor, or both? Do yourself a favor and hijack a boat to speed through this summer (her)story of family, love, and discovering your own history.
-Clare— From Clare's Recs
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen comes a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl—and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer.
Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was twelve. 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 that 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 also divided into two people. 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—Emma or Saylor—will win out?
About the Author
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, including Once and for All, Saint Anything, This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, Just Listen, and Along for the Ride. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. That Summer and Someone Like You were made into the movie How to Deal. She is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature. A North Carolina native, Sarah currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family. Visit Sarah at www.sarahdessen.com.
“There’s no magic that lets us actually live in books yet, but plunging into the cold, clear waters of Dessen’s slowly winding summer-spell, a tale of family lost and found, is pretty darn close.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A beautiful addition to Dessen’s repertoire, and an examination of conflicting social classes, strained familial relationships, and delightfully evolving romance that is unforgettable.”
— School Library Journal
“With one foot in her father’s world and one in her mother’s, Emma Saylor tentatively navigates issues of class, addiction, and identity. Hers is a summertime journey of self-discovery, family secrets, and first love, and it’s exactly where Dessen shines brightest.”
— ALA Booklist
“A rich, patient story about a teen girl who craves family and an understanding of her roots after suffering a tragic loss.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Dessen’s latest novel is largely about the ups and downs of family… [with] heartwarming reminders of the inherent connections, despite time and separation.”
— Horn Book Magazine