Also by this author: Lock and Key, Saint Anything, What Happened to Goodbye
Genres: Contemporary, 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 beach 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.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
Sarah Dessen never fails to surprise me. You would think after reading so many of her books I would just expect her fabulous writing and to fall in love. I’m still always stunned by how much depth she infuses her characters with. The story and issues are never one dimensional. There’s always layer upon layer of emotion and it always blooms into such a beautiful story. Maybe the next time I pick up a book by Sarah Dessen I’ll remember this.
Along for the Ride had been languishing on my shelf for quite awhile and then all of a sudden it just called to me and I had to pick it up. Auden’s story is a somewhat slow journey to be okay with who she is and who her parents are. When I say slow, I definitely don’t mean that as a bad thing. Dessen has a way with unfolding a story slowly and beautifully. I never lose interest. Plus, her descriptions of Colby are just gorgeous. It’s so easy to picture it.
Auden wasn’t the most likable character at the beginning of the novel. She has very rigid and judgmental opinions about everyone. She was the smartest person in the room most the time, or so she thought. My favorite part of Along for the Ride was hands down Auden’s growth. Watching her get to know these people she had formed such negative opinions about and realizing she was so far off the mark was amazing. I’ve also noticed that Sarah Dessen fills her books with incredibly strong female characters from all different backgrounds. Auden’s mother and stepmother are about as different as two adult women can be, but they both represented a part of Auden. They were her role models and she learned so much from them.
There’s also swoon worthy romance, of course. I adored Eli. He was kind of broken and lost. Doesn’t that always make for the best YA boys? While I really enjoyed their relationship, I still like Auden’s growth was the focus of the story. Eli was just a bonus. I certainly recommend this one if you haven’t read it–but you probably have.