Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Review: Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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.

I picked up this book the day it was released, but ended up waiting a month and a half to read it (oops). I always anticipate a new Sarah Dessen novel. I wasn't a huge fan of Lock & Key, which may have had something to do with the fact that I guessed exactly what was going to happen after the first few chapters. So, when I heard that this one was coming out I hoped it would be a little different. I was pleasantly surprised at how different this book felt. Despite my non-love for Lock & Key, I've found that in all Sarah Dessen novels the characters relatable, and the stories have satisfying endings, so I can't go wrong when I pick one up.

Auden was an interesting character, and was the character who I sympathized with most in the story (as was the point, I'm sure). She wasn't really sure of who she was, aside from a good student, and she spent most of her time trying to act like an adult for her parents benefit. Basically, she missed all the fun of being a child. Eli, the mysterious boy that she meets in town, has acted like a child a little t00 much over the course of his lifetime. After a tragic accident, however, Eli has shut himself off from everyone. Auden and Eli work together to help each other overcome their respective problems. I'm just going to say that it seemed like this book focused a lot more on Auden and her family then it did on her relationship with Eli. Sure, their friendship took up a big chunk of the book, but her main issues stemmed from her family. Eventually, Auden realizes that she needs to start doing things for herself, instead of doing them to gain approval from her parents.

I would have liked to see the book travel a little bit father from the typical path that some of Dessen's books take, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

Along For the Ride
By Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Group
384 Pages
Rating: C

11 comments:

Juju said...

Nice review :)

Kelsey said...

Nice review!- I really enjoyed this book, but I'm a really big Sarah Dessen fan.

Amanda said...

One day I will read a Sarah Dessen book. I really will. Of course, the one on my shelf is Lock and Key...

Andrea said...

I still haven't read any Dessen even though it seems everyone else has. One day, I swear!

The Book Owl said...

Nice review. I have yet to read this, but I'm excited :)

Faye said...

I just got this book yesterday and Just Listen and some others @ B&N(rampant & blood promise). I've been seeing some really good reviews.
Plus it's 4 my SD challenge :D

pirate penguin said...

I wish Sarah Dessen could've mentioned more on Eli's friendship with Abe. She didn't elaborate on how close they were! And yesss, another Lock & Key non-lover. I thought it was just bleeeh. (but I do like its paperback cover, lol)What i also wished could've happened was that Auden could've finally stood up to BOTH her parents. I would've given her father SUCH a verbal beating if I were in her place. I did love Heidi and Maggie. They were sweeties. And chicken salad! (which I totally use!) :D

Yes, I'm definely taking a map with me. I'm going to do a lot of walking...*sigh* I totally plan on targeting (I mean, befriending!) the professors, haha.

pirate penguin said...

award for you at my blog! stop by ;)

bookalicious said...

Great review! This was my first Dessen book and I liked it far more than I'd to! The cover is goooorgeous though, isn't it? There's just something about her writing that gives me the urge to read more of her books - that's why I've bought most of her works in the past week, hehe!

mfay2 said...

Sarah Dessen was one of the first authors I started reading. I remember like four of her books and after like, a year I found this one in Borders. I reread it I think last year and I spilled juice on it! I love Eli and the "elevator". I can relate to the insomnia. I'm going to have to buy a new copy now that it's in paperback. You'll love this book. One of her best!

TheJay2xA said...

I really want to read this book! I wish I have a copy.

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