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 love Sarah Dessen and her wonderful contemporary novels! They are sweet, light, and wonderful, and Along for the Ride was no exception!
Auden has not slept since her parents divorce. She is a straight-A, hardworking student who has no time for a social life. She has missed out on many rites of passage that children and teenagers all go through. She spends the summer with her unaware dad who has just had a new child with a new wife. She meets a partner insomniac, Eli, who guides her in a quest to experience everything that she has missed in her life. Eli also needs Auden to help deal with his demons that have been following him since his friend died.
I liked Auden, although she was way too focused on schoolwork and proving something to her mother. I suppose it was not her fault because her mother was horrible, and she was definitely tough on Auden. Auden just needed someone to teach her to come out of her comfort zone and live a little. That help came in the form of brooding Eli. Although Eli had been different ever since his best friend died in a car accident, he was still super sweet to Auden. He also went out of his comfort zone to befriend Auden and help her accomplish her quest.
I dislike both of Auden’s parents at the beginning. Her mom is petty and her dad is self-centered. I honestly think the roles have been reversed between Auden and her parents. They redeemed themselves a bit at the end. One of my favorite characters is Heidi, Auden’s stepmom. She was caring and really loving to Auden, and she did all she could for her new baby, despite the blatant lack of help from the father. I also loved their whole group of friends: Maggie, Adam, Esther, and Leah. They are loyal and hilarious friends!
I absolutely adored the romance between Eli and Auden. When Auden came around, she brought Eli out of the shell he had been hiding in. They needed each other to fulfill a part of themselves that had been missing for quite some time. They had some really cute moments together, and I was like swoon. Sarah Dessen’s writing is beautiful and simple. The plot was addicting and I couldn’t stop reading.
If you’ve never read a Sarah Dessen novel, you are definitely missing out. Along for the Ride was sweet and cute. I am really looking forward to her new novel, The Moon and More!
Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: He raised his eyebrows, opening his mouth to respond, but before he could I reached out, taking his hand, and pulled him closer to me. Then I stood on tiptoes, bringing my lips to his. The kiss was slow and sweet, and while it was happening, I had that image again of us so small, standing in the middle of Colby, under that stoplight, as the entire town and world turned around us. And in that moment, if only for that moment, we were right where we were supposed to be.