Sunday, February 21, 2010

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along For The Ride

When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating. from GoodReads

Auden is the girl who plays it safe. Smart student whose whole life is studying. Her parents, ever since she's young, have encouraged her to focus on the academic parts of life. Unfortunately, this has made Auden lack in some things, such as socially. But when Auden takes off to her Dad's house, everything seems just the opposite as it should. Driven by her insomniac nights, Auden meets Eli, a boy that seems shy like her but unravels himself during the sleepless nights. Auden faces things she has never faced before, including making friends and falling in love.

Let me start by saying that I love Sarah Dessen. I have all her books and they are definitely welcoming this new release. Sarah Dessen does wonderful characterization in ALONG FOR THE RIDE. Unlike past Sarah Dessen characters, Auden has pimples in her face and is the ultimate die hard study-holic. You get the sense that what Auden really wants is to break free. Personally, I can relate to Auden's story. Having the pressure of parents to succeed in school sometimes leaves you with little fun times. Auden acts out of impulse when she decides she wants to go to her Dad's house in Colby.

Auden and Eli's relationship is one that is so beautifully unraveled I want to put it in a box and a ribbon on top. I love how their relationship is not based on the physical attraction but is more in depth with an emotional one. Eli is charming and sweet and completely believable. As I said before, Dessen is a wonderful character writer. I also love it when she does the cameos from past novels. Pst, I won't spoil it.

The parents are perfect! They're annoying enough to make you squirm yet you still care about them and somehow believe in what they're trying to do.

Although the ending was not my favorite Dessen ending, I must say that it is how it should be. I couldn't imagine it any other way without it seeming totally cheesy and unbelievable. Again, Dessen achieves the perfect combination of letting the reader sort of fill in the blanks at the end and making sure that the book DOES have a clear ending. I love it!

In one sentence: "A Dessen classic that won't disappoint fans and will lure new comers!"

Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 5
Cover: 4
Overall Feeling: 5
Average: 4.8

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