Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (June 11th 2009—Viking)
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Summary: “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.”
Review: Sarah Dessen has made a name for herself in this tough industry, so it was no wonder that Along for the Ride would be an enjoyable read. But to what extent can Ms. Dessen bring something new to the table?
It was of no doubt that Along for the Ride was a wonderful story of love and triumph. Auden faces the pressure of her mother and the selfishness of her father forcing her to become a social failure. Trapped to the confines of the books and studies, Auden has never actually had a childhood, bowling, food fights, or even learning to ride a bike. That is where Eli comes in. Eli, with his troubled past and distant take on life, he might be the one to show what Auden has been missing all this time. Together they embark on a quest to what may be love?
There always seem to be family troubles in young adult books nowadays. Along for the Ride was no different.
Overall: Along for the Ride will be on my bookshelf because I greatly enjoy. New fans of Sarah Dessen will fall in love immediately but returning fans will be somewhat disappointed with the same ol’ same ol’ material. If this had been my first Sarah Dessen the grade would have been much, much, higher.
This is actually one of the more favorites of the Sarah Dessen books. Great summer colors, fresh and bright.