Book Review: Along for the Ride
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Click on the cover to see which libraries own this book.
SUMMARY: Riding a bike is only one of the many things Auden has missed out on in the past 17 years. Even before her parents' divorce, she was cast in the role of little adult, never making waves, focusing on academics to please her demanding mother and missing out any kind of a social life. Now she's spending the summer before college in a tiny beach town with her father and his new wife and baby. A job at a trendy boutique introduces her to the world of girls, and their friendships, converstations and romances. And friendship with Eli, an intriguing loner, begins a quest for Auden to recapture the fun she missed in her childhood and teenage years. It may be true that anything can happen at the beach in the summer. (adapted from the inside cover)
OPINION: This book made me want to have an IHDP (Impromptu Hot Dog Party), and maybe a food fight to go with it! Sarah Dessen always manages to create believable characters that I would like to get to know (and I don't just mean Eli). As a night owl, I think Auden and Eli's late-night ramblings sound like a perfect way to pass the time. The cover is cute, but misleading because this story is not just fluff (and Auden would never be caught dead in a pink polka dot dress). There are plenty of family issues explored, especially as Auden has a front-row seat to her father and stepmother's struggles with a new baby in the house. And the idea of finding a balance between academic and social life affects everyone in high school and college. The book did wrap up a little too neatly at the end (lots of relationships), and the epilogue from college seemed unnecessary, but over all I would say this is an easy read with plenty of substance. Whether you are already a Sarah Dessen fan or picking up her books for the first time, this one is worth the effort.