Along for the Ride is a story about Auden, a girl who is in the midst of the seemingly predictable summer before her first semester of college. Auden has lived with her control-freak college professor mother her entire life, and in order to get away from her mother and the grad student she’s currently sleeping with, Auden decides to go visit her flaky father and his young wife, Heidi, and their newborn baby.
Arriving there, Auden realizes her father is as flaky as ever, her stepmother is a mess, and the baby is extremely colicky. She almost immediately she regrets her decision to visit after her carefree summer is taken away from her.
Auden attracts negative attention from several local girls after she unwittingly hooks up with one of their exes. Then she gets stuck with helping Heidi out with the baby and being a bookkeeper for her store. But as Auden gets to know the people in the small town around her, especially Eli who is alike Auden in so many ways but still a mystery to her, she grows into a person who is so unlike her mother and unlike her father that she can’t be described as anyone but herself.
I really enjoyed Along for the Ride. Like almost all of Sarah Dessen’s characters, Auden can easily be related to by even the average reader. She has her flaws and her good points, and nothing about her screams too perfect, or too much of a mess. She’s socially awkward, and it’s interesting to watch her grows as a person and become more at ease with everyone around her. Eli is cute, mysterious, and the perfect romantic interest for Auden and Sarah Dessen portrays their story wonderfully.
Along for the Ride is not my favourite Dessen book, but if you’re a Sarah Dessen fan, or even new to reading Sarah Dessen, it’s definitely a must read.
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2010/09/along-for-the-ride-by-sarah-dessen/
Before a few weeks ago, I had never even so much as picked up a Sarah Dessen book, let alone read one. And, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't all that impressed. I would have been very disappointed if I had paid full price for it. But I purchased it along with That Summer and a few other books (some good and some dreadfully bad) at a yard sale for 50 cents each.
As much hype as Sarah Dessen gets, I expected this to be really good. I read That Summer as well, and found them both so hauntingly similar that I just had to skim through them before writing this review to remember what happened in which book. Of course, they have their subtle differences, but it's the same basic story structure.
Plot: Auden can't sleep. Eli can't sleep. They go shopping at a gas station at night. Or ride bikes/learn how to ride a bike. That's about it. The story had enough to go deeper, but the part that had the potential to be gripping and emotional wasn't delved into enough, in my opinion.
There is a subplot of Auden helping her stepmother, Heidi, with her new baby. I found myself pitying Heidi quite often, but it's an over done story line. Dad leaves for younger woman, but he wants nothing to do with their kid.
Characters: Auden is your typical stressed-by-parents-with-impossibly-high-standards girl that I've noticed a lot of in this genre lately. That's not to say that she wasn't likable. I did find myself rooting for her and Eli to get together, though.
Eli has this great back story of why he's the typical brooding-mysterious-hot-coveted guy we all know so much, but, as I mentioned above, it could have been done better.
Maggie, Leah and Esther were good for a few smiles throughout the story, but over all they were just typical teenage girls with nothing to make them stand out. Maggie has this great guy in love with her and everyone knows but her (big surprise there, right?), but she's to busy crying about the guy who hooked up with Auden right after they broke up. Just more typical characters with typical story lines.
I loved her brother, Hollis. He's traveling all over Europe dating tons of girls. I almost laughed when Heidi points out who the girl he ends up with resembles. Almost.
Writing Style: There was nothing that stood out about the way Sarah Dessen wrote to me. It wasn't bad, but I didn't find it mesmerizing either.
Overall: It really wasn't my cup of tea. Normally, I'm a huge fan of chick lit and curling up with a good romance book. There was just nothing special. I didn't find myself wishing I was Auden or wishing the guys at my school were more like Eli. It was just all very typical; when I was finished, I put them right into my own yard sale box.
A Few of the Characters:
Auden –College bound girl who grew up too fast. She did not have the typical childhood. Academics is where she feels safe because that is what she is good at, and she doesn't like to fail. While spending the summer with her dad she meets some people who help her see life differently.
Eli - A mysterious boy who had had some hardships in his life, but who helps Auden regain some things she never experienced in life.
Maggie, Esther, and Leah - Unlikely friends to Auden, who turn out to be just that and more.
Heidi - Auden's stepmother, who proves to be more than Auden first thought she was.
What made me keep turning the page?
Watching Auden grow and learn about herself
Seeing how Eli helped Auden, but also how Auden helped Eli without realizing it
Wanting Auden to find a balance in her life between fun and school
Observing Auden and her mother becoming closer
Contemporary/Realistic YA Fiction Fans
This was my first Sarah Dessen book, but won't be my last! I loved this book! It was such an easy read, but it was also complex. It made me reflect on things in my life as I read. The characters were so easy to fall in love with! I quickly began to care for Auden and her family. Along for the Ride was hard to put down, and I could have read it in one sitting if life hadn't gotten in the way. :)
I loved this book, even though I don't usually read realistic fiction. What I liked most about the book was it was easy to relate to. The beginning of the book talks about the main character, Auden, who is very dedicated to her school and doesn't have many friends because of that. I liked auden the most because she was easy to relate. I think Auden was the perfect example of what teenage girls feel like sometimes which that they have to be perfect. I think as the book goes on, she begin to realize she has to be perfect, and in a way she shes that she should enjoy herself before college. By the end of the book she changes alot and becomes more herself without worrying about who her parents want her to be. I think the changes and realization she had from big events that happened made the book more relatable.
It was also just a fun book to read. It was fun because at first when Auden arrives in her father new town she doesn't know anyone, seeing how she interacted with the other girls around her funny because all of the girls were interested make up and girly stuff, while Auden is more interested preparing for college.
Another thing I liked about the book was the love story of it. It's one of the things I like about Sarah Dessens novels. She includes a love story, but the book isn't completely based on it. I think when meets Eli she changes a little bit. I think eli plays a large role in how Auden realizes everything she missed out on. Through out the book he shows her alot of things she missed in her high school years, and they share those experiences. I think Auden and Eli liked each other so much because they have so much in common but are so different at the same time. they both have insomnia and spend many nights together and they both are running away from their problems. But Auden is very dedicated to school and what people think while Eli doesn't care much about college and doesn't care about what people think and is very open about everything.
this book was great because it really did seem to reflect on alot of issues teenage girls have. it was also a great book because in only a few words it was funny, relatable and sweet.
This review is about the book "Along for the Ride" by Sarah Dessen. I have read other Sarah Dessen books before, this being my third. I wasn't too sure what it was going to be like, because I loved the cover, but I'm told that's not how you're supposed to chose a book :). So I started reading this book, and I have to say that it definitely on my top ten favorite books I've read in 2010. I love love LOVED the characters in the book, and the plot was awesome too! I read it page by page, always looking for more clues to how it was going to end, and when it finally did, Dessen didn't let me down. From the beginning to the end, she had me falling in love with a new fictional character. This book is definitely worth reading if you love a good love story, or if you just love Sarah Dessen!!!
Auden is given an oppurtunity to get away from all the bad air when she gets to spend the summer with her dad and his new family. There, she is introduced to a new world filled with all the things she'd missed out while playing to her mother's demands. She also meets Eli, a boy who shows her a whole new world at night, and together, they start a new chapter of their lives.
Dessen's books never disappoint, and this was no different. Like many of her previous books, I love how much of a role friendship plays in these protagonist's life. In a typical YA book, you usually have some guya love interest, no doubthelp the protagonist find her way. But those YA books fail to include the importance of both friend and family support, too. But Dessen has the perfect balance of that. She'll conjure up a love interest with an equally touching background, a bunch of quirky but lovable friends for laughter and support, and the intricate webs of family drama that always followed. It's really hard not to fall head over heels in love with a Dessen bookthere's just so much stuff to grasp, to learn, and to relate to. Because it's not just a story, it's also life lessons packed into one novel. And you could tell this one was especially dear to Dessen herselfafter all, the featured baby, Thisbe, must have been the inspiration from the author's own baby.
This book is AWESOME! I couldn't even think
to put it down! but hey! of course i couldn't the author is Sarah
Dessen, I mean what else can i say??? who hasn't loved all her books? this
book is written as well and good as the others, and i just can't help
learning all the time from her writing and amazing stories. It really
a great book and I really recommend it, a great read, i cant even find
words to say how truly good it is! Read for yourselves! This is another amazing book by a great author