Published by Penguin Teen on June 16, 2009
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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.
Auden is not your typical teenage girl. Ever since her parents divorce, Auden doesn’t sleep. Instead she wanders around town, finding new ways to entertain herself. She spends a lot of time at the local diner and other times just reading. Unlike most girls her age, Auden is more focused on her schooling then on the boys. It’s not that she doesn’t like the boys, it’s that she doesn’t know how to act around them. Auden has never been the type to make friends so she doesn’t know much about being a teenager. Everything changes, though, when she spends the summer with her dad, step mom, and her new baby sister.
As Auden gets settled into her new life on the beach, her feelings start to change. Suddenly school isn’t as important as she thought and the people she thought she knew begin to show their true side to Auden. Her new step mom isn’t as bad as she thought and she even finds herself making some friends when she decides to help out at her boutique.
On one of her late night jaunts, Auden meets Eli. Eli is a fellow insomniac who is plagued by troubles from his past. As they spend more and more time together, Eli helps Auden reclaim her missing childhood but will Auden be able to help Eli reclaim his future?
My love of Sarah Dessen books is even stronger after reading Along For The Ride. Some may say that all of Sarah’s books follow the same plot line but I don’t agree. I have read every single Sarah Dessen book that is published and there may be some similarities but no two books are alike. Every new book is fresh and memorable, full of wonderful characters and stories.
Auden and Eli are even better than I expected. Their characters are so well-developed. They have their own personalities, their own quirks, and their own pasts. Sarah Dessen always does such a wonderful job of telling you everything you may want to know about a character without overdoing it. She never leaves me guessing at the end of the book and I love that about her writing.
Another really good point about this book was the whole story. Yes it’s a love story but that doesn’t mean it is cliche. It was definitely something I have never read before and I loved that it was different than past books. There is a bit of a subplot and another romance in bloom between other characters but the main focus is on the growth of Eli and Auden’s relationship.
I don’t think I can think of a negative comment about Along For The Ride. Also, if you have read Lock and Key, they are a few references in Along For The Ride. I love how Ms.Dessen always manages to do that with her stories.
In the end I would recommend this book to anybody and I plan on having this to reread again and again. Ms.Dessen has earned all 5 stars in my opinion and I can’t wait for the actual release date on June 16.