Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Review

Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen
Released: June 16th, 2009
Pages: 383 (hardcover)
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Source: Bought
Riding a bike is only one of the many things Auden's missed out on. Even before her parent's divorce, she was cast in the role of little adult, never making waves, focusing on academics to please her demanding mother.

Now she's spending the summer before college in the tiny beach town Colby with her father and his new wife and baby. A job in a trendy boutique introduces her to the world of girls, their friendships, conversations, romances. And then there's Eli, an intriguing loner. A former star on the bike circuit and a fellow insomniac, Eli introduces Auden to the nocturnal world of Colby. Together they embark on a quest: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to put a tragic episode behind him. Combine two lonely people with a charming beach town and an endless supply of long summer nights, and just about anything can happen.
After the first chapter, I was internally panicking. Auden seemed like a Macy-clone, whom I love, but far less likable and more uptight. However, as I went on, I found Auden to be different from Macy (The Truth About Forever). Auden's a smart girl, but she has not lived life. I loved how this novel really gives hope to people that haven't done everything they wish they could have in the past. Auden shows you that it's never too late to learn something new, no matter how old you are. The characters took a bit longer for me to grow to like, but I grew to love them, nonetheless.

I actually found Heidi, Auden's new step-mom, to be one of my favorites, oddly enough. Eli turned out to be a sweet, loner guy, and the girls at the boutique are the type you want to be best friends with. Although, at times, I found Auden's relationship with Maggie, Leah and Esther to be unrealistic. I highly doubt they would have liked her as much as they did, so quickly. Auden comes across as cold-shouldered (to me anyway), and I couldn't help but think that she wasn't likable.

Highlights: Isabel and Morgan made a short appearance, which I loved. Dessen got her super-fantabulousness back with this book, and it shows. Also, I love the name Auden. It's so original and beautiful. The nightlife that Dessen explored in this novel was great too, the whole what-goes-on-while-you-are-sleeping concept. And pink! The cover is so daring: pink and red? But it looks great, and it is just as great inside.

Lowlights: Jason. Jason? Really? What about Auden's father? What the hell is wrong with that guy? I realize no one is perfect, but what on earth could Heidi have even saw in him? He cannot even care for his children, he doesn't seem to want them. He wouldn't even compromise on their child's (Thisbe??) name. 

Allusions: Isabel, Morgan and the beach town of Colby from Keeping the Moon. Jason Talbot from The Truth About Forever. (I need to reread and look out for more references, so I'll update once I do)

Rating: 4 out of 5

My reviews of Other Novels by Sarah Dessen:

Keeping the Moon
What Happened to Goodbye

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for an honest review. I haven't made my mind up on whether I want to read this book yet.