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.In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
Do I really need to tell you how good this book is? I mean, it's Sarah Dessen. How can it not be good? The day Sarah Dessen publishes a bad book is the day I stop obsessing over David Levithan.*
I really don't know what to say about Along for the Ride without making it sound like I'm talking about every Dessen novel. All of them, including this one, have her signature well developed characters, and plots where a girl is trying to figure out and deal with stuff. Auden is so similar to the other Dessen narrators in that there's something about her everyone can relate to. Auden's relationships with her new friends and parents are so well done that it's impossible not to find something you can relate to. But this stuff is present in every Dessen novel; there's always the realistic, relateable characters. Which isn't bad at all; it just means I can't find anything new to comment on about the characters.
I've seen pointed other people who have reviewed this that they wish there was more of Auden and Eli going around town at night. I completely agree. Maybe I only wished that because that was what I was told would be heavily present in the book, but either way, I wished there was more. If there's something Along for the Ride has that not many other Dessen books do, it is that it's not as centered on the Girl and the Boy. Dessen books are famous for their romances, so the friendships and family problems often are overlooked. I'm sure the Auden-Eli romance will take center stage to many people, but Auden spends so much time with her new friends, her stepmom, and sister that I see the book as more about Auden learning to be comfortable with people and learning to open up.
Sorry this book is more of a review of all Dessen books rather than Along for the Ride, but all you really need to know about this one is that it's just as great as any other Dessen book.**
Along for the Ride will be released on June 16- two weeks from now!
*Great comparison, right?
**Except This Lullaby. Because that one is the best.
Links: Sarah's website/blog/the Sarah Dessen ning.
Viking/Hardcover/$19.99/Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Borders/IndieBound