Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
ISBN: 9780670011940
Pages: 384
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the publisher’s website:

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 is one of my favorite YA authors. She writes amazing novels – in fact, she was the first YA author I read as an adult. Her books are well-written and moving, with very well developed characters.

I absolutely loved the character of Auden in Along for the Ride. Sarah Dessen really has a talent at writing sympathetic female teenagers. Auden was completely realistic – sometimes she was selfish and bratty, but more often than not she was just trying to figure out how to do the right thing. She was so damaged in her own way by her mother’s high expectations and her parents’ constant fighting and subsequent divorce. I really sympathized with her and understood her despair at not having experienced a normal teenage life.

I have to say, from an adult perspective, my favorite character in Along for the Ride was actually Maggie. Why? Because I love her as a role model for teens. Don’t get me wrong, Auden is great – smart and pretty. But Maggie is admired by everyone around her for being gorgeous and popular, but also for being unbelievably smart. It’s a wonderful thing to see in a YA book.

I loved the end message of Along for the Ride. Auden was so quick to judge much of what she saw around her, yet she was wrong in so many cases. She underestimated Maggie just because she talked about clothes and boys. She misjudged Heidi, her father’s new wife. In the end, Auden realized that she couldn’t just judge people based solely on her first impression.

Also, I loved the idea of working at something and not giving up on it. Dessen really puts forward a great message here: to be good at something, you have to work hard at it. You can’t just give up at the first obstacle, whether it be learning to ride a bike or trying to understand your family. The things that are really worth it are those you’ve worked for.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop myself here. Suffice it to say, Along for the Ride was just a great read, and I definitely recommend it!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a fun one to read with my niece. I haven’t read this author . . . yet.

  2. This sounds like a fun one to read with my niece. I haven’t read this author . . . yet.

  3. I just started this yesterday. It’s very cute so far!

  4. I just started this yesterday. It’s very cute so far!

  5. Fantastic review — I have heard great things about this author, I will add this to my TBR list.

  6. Fantastic review — I have heard great things about this author, I will add this to my TBR list.

  7. I’ve been waiting for this one – I must buy it asap. Great review – I’m really looking forward to reading it now.

  8. I’ve been waiting for this one – I must buy it asap. Great review – I’m really looking forward to reading it now.

  9. Sarah Dessen seems to be a favorite of everyone. Sounds like a great book!

  10. Sarah Dessen seems to be a favorite of everyone. Sounds like a great book!

  11. I just received this book from author Melissa Walker and I haven’t read a novel by Sarah yet. I’ve heard this is such a good book and I’m very excited to read it.

    I really enjoyed your review! =)

  12. I just received this book from author Melissa Walker and I haven’t read a novel by Sarah yet. I’ve heard this is such a good book and I’m very excited to read it.

    I really enjoyed your review! =)

  13. selfish and bratty, trying to figure out who she is and what she’s doing with her life… That sounds very familiar 🙂 Could’ve described me not that long ago 😉

    I’ve never read any of Dessen’s books, but I’m thinking I should try one out. I might have to pick this one up and see if I like her.

    Loved your review 🙂

  14. selfish and bratty, trying to figure out who she is and what she’s doing with her life… That sounds very familiar 🙂 Could’ve described me not that long ago 😉

    I’ve never read any of Dessen’s books, but I’m thinking I should try one out. I might have to pick this one up and see if I like her.

    Loved your review 🙂

  15. Sounds really good! I love the cover of the book 🙂
    And the message is great! Something I tend to forget!

  16. Sounds really good! I love the cover of the book 🙂
    And the message is great! Something I tend to forget!

  17. I just finished this. How awesome is it? I can’t wait for her next one. I wish she wrote more books a year! 🙂

    <3Nisha

  18. I just finished this. How awesome is it? I can’t wait for her next one. I wish she wrote more books a year! 🙂

    <3Nisha

  19. This looks like another YA that I’d enjoy!!!

  20. This looks like another YA that I’d enjoy!!!

  21. i just finishes this book last night. i loved it so much i read it in one day! its absolutely fantastic and makes you comfortable of being jealous of Auden and not feeling quilty. Sara Dessen puts so much detail into her writiong that the charecters grow to become your bast friends!<3

  22. i just finishes this book last night. i loved it so much i read it in one day! its absolutely fantastic and makes you comfortable of being jealous of Auden and not feeling quilty. Sara Dessen puts so much detail into her writiong that the charecters grow to become your bast friends!<3

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