Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

Posted November 9, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Main Characters: Auden, Eli
Series: None

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 those authors that can do no wrong in my book. She’s writes the kind of books that I can totally see come to life right before my eyes. She has a way with words that never fails to entertain the socks right off of me and with this book it was no different.

Auden is a night owl. She’s totally nocturnal and the reason why is because when her parents were together, they fought all the time at night time. In the beginning, if Auden was awake at night then her parents wouldn’t fight but it got to the point where it didn’t matter if Auden was awake or not, they fought and not too long after, they divorced.

Auden strived to be the perfect daughter. She got great grades, she didn’t get into any trouble and the only thing that was off for her was that she didn’t sleep at night. She stayed up all hours of the night at a cafe where she studied. She lived her life through her school work and because of this, she was socially awkward. After her parents divorced, she stayed with her Mom and her life became very staid. She soon grows tired of her academic life and decides at the last minute to spend the summer with her Father, who re-married someone that Auden cares nothing for.

Auden’s father lives in a small beach town where her step-mother, Heidi owns a small boutique and before Auden knows whats what, she is working part time for Heidi, helping her with the bookkeeping at the shop and it is there that she makes friends with Maggie and the girls.

What I liked about Auden was watching her grow from the socially awkward girl that we first meet in the beginning to a normal teenage girl. It was a long road but with the help of her new friends (including her new night time buddy Eli), she learns to live a little. Growing up with two professors was pretty hard on her because she never really got to go outside, play and get dirty. She was always too busy for all that normal kid stuff. There was always a test to study for or a class to take and what not and time just flew right by her. It was nice to see her bond with other human beings over that summer and I think what made it special was Eli.

I really enjoyed the friendship that blossomed into something more between Eli and Auden. It was pretty crazy how they lived this entire life at night time. They ran errands, they hung out, they did everyday normal things that people usually do during the day time …at night time. It was an enjoyable ride watching them get closer and closer and Sarah Dessen did a fantastic job of stringing their relationship together, leaving me biting at the bit until the end.

The storyline with Auden and her Mom was another part of the story that I actually liked. When we first meet the Mom, she’s a total snob and thinks she’s so much better than everyone and that’s just what Auden knew about her. She strived day in and day out to be a better person for her Mom and I kept thinking, “How in the world will Auden ever live up to these monster expectations that her Mom seems to have for her?” and I’m glad to see that things worked out for the better between mother and daughter. The way that Auden acted because of the way she grew up drove me nuts while reading parts of this book but in the end, she finally gets it right and I enjoyed watching her come into her own.

I also enjoyed getting to know Auden’s other family (Her Dad, sister and Heidi), I thought that overall, this story was just a fantastic read and I can’t recommend it enough. Between Auden and then sexy Eli and Maggie and the girls and just everyone, even the bike riding was cool and getting to know Eli and feeling for him and cheering him to get things right was just icing on the cake. This book was an enjoyable ride and I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a wonderfullly realistic contemporary YA romance to fill your hours. This book can’t be missed!

..and that’s your scoop!

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9 responses to “Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

  1. I just finished this one today! I loved it, and I enjoyed reading your review. It was my first Sarah Dessen novel…I can’t wait to read more.

  2. I don’t think this is my favorite Dessen but I liked it. Auden’s mom and dad got on my nerves too much.

    But I really liked, Heidi and the girls from Clementine’s.

    Lovely review,

  3. Rowena


    YES! Dessen is great!


    This book was great as well as The Truth about Forever, Just Listen and Lock and Key. Adored all of those books.


    I’m so glad to see that you enjoyed the book as well and thanks, I do love running this blog so I’m glad to see that others are enjoying it as well.



    I follow her all over the web, Facebook, Twitter, her Ning, I pretty much cyber stalk her so that I don’t miss any of her great news.


    I loved the girls at Clementine’s too. Heidi was great too!


    Me too!

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