Title and Author: Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Publication Date: June 16, 2009
Paperback: 416 pages
Genre: Young Adult
It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce-or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
This was the first Sarah Dessen book I read and I have to say I really liked it.
"Along for the Ride” is an easy, fairly fast paced and entertaining read which has a plot that kept me hooked and turning the pages until the end.
The book might not be overly interesting at times but it surely is addicting. You want to know what will happen to the characters and how they will deal with their problems.
The main character, Auden, is an extremely studious girl, an overachiever and just too serious for her own good. She never truly got to enjoy high school, have fun or make friends and that’s why after receiving a present from her brother, who is the exact opposite of her and has spent the most part of two years travelling through Europe, she decides to spend her summer in a town named Colby with her father, stepmother and their newborn baby girl.
At Colby she finds her father completely immersed in his work, her stepmother near an emotion breakdown and a job she didn’t truly want at first. Working at her stepmother’s store, Auden, meets three girls who she immediately labels as frivolous. She comes to realize she is wrong about them as her story develops.
Auden can’t sleep at night and it turns out neither does Eli, a guy she keeps bumping into. Together they embark on a quest to give Auden the opportunity to enjoy the childhood she never had.
Auden is a likeable character and so are the supporting characters with their colorful personalities and friendships. I especially like Adam and Maggie. I do think the character of Eli could have been a little more explored and developed, though. He’s an interesting character dealing with some heavy issues and it would have been interesting to learn more about him.
I enjoyed how Auden and Eli connected because of their quests and how, even though, the book focuses on Auden, the issues her stepmother faced after having a baby were also mentioned and explored.
One other thing I liked was the fact that Sarah Dessen writes about the world in which we all live in and describes it beautifully.
All in all this was a very interesting book and a light and smart read that I highly recommend.
Rating: Worth Your Time