Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publish Date: June 16, 2009
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a young adult fiction fan.
- You're looking for a book that discusses issues.
From Goodreads.com: "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."
My Two Cents:
This will be my third Sarah Dessen book. I can definitely see why she's such a big young adult author. Her writing is great. The story lines really pull you in and all of the characters are memorable and really well written.
Along for the Ride is a good story. Auden, the main character, has always felt like she had to be the grown-up in her family. I really liked her character. She's definitely one of those people that holds it all in even when they feel like the world is falling apart. I could see a lot of myself in her. Both of her parents, who are professors, think very highly of themselves and are almost snobbish about their achievements. Auden's brother has been free to roam around the world without any real direction. Because of those things, Auden has felt like she's the one that has to stay grounded and serious. She hasn't gotten out much because of that.
On a whim, she goes to visit her father and her super young stepmother who have just had a new baby. She discovers some of the things that she's missed out on because she's been so super serious and feeling like she had to pick up the slack. She's still reeling from all of the changes happening in her life (her parents divorce, her baby stepsister, etc.) but the people she meets and the places she goes really begin to change her perspective over the summer.
One thing that I really like about Dessen's books is that they don't seem to suffer from some of the typical issues in young adult books (disappearing parent syndrome, etc.). She tells really good stories about the interconnections between all of the characters in her book. It's so awesome to see the web she weaves.
Bottom line: This is a great young adult read.