Along for the Ride
February 4th 2010 (UK)
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.
Ha, and you thought that Sara Dessen had stopped taking over my reading life, but you were WRONG. In this month, Sarah Dessen has become one of my favourite authors, so there'll be no escaping her here! Anyway, I'd been expecting quite a lot from Along for the Ride, because my friend Alice (from The Reader Room) tells me it's her favourite SD book. And I was not disappointed.
Along for the Ride was just what I was expecting, and sometimes I like knowing what I'm going to get. Sarah Dessen's characters make up for the fact that the plots are rather predictable (in a good way, of course) as they're always just so individual, so different from each other. So normal and relatable, and yet so unique. And Eli! Oh, Eli. Sarah Dessen knows how to write nice boys. Seriously, she is a master. I have yet to not fall for the boy in SD's books. And Eli was no exception. I think I liked him more than Owen and-dare I say it- Dexter. And I loved Dexter (what?! I have a thing for curly hair and nice boys... ;P) But Eli had the whole, longish, dark hair thing going for him. Plus he was lovely, even though he didn't seem it for the first 100 pages or so. Their nights together were so cute! I just wished I could've been there with them, but I'm not a complete insomniac. And also, they're fictional, so it ain't gonna happen :(... ;)
Maggie and the girls at the sop were lovely, Maggie especially. And the boys down at the bike shop were lovely too! They were all so sweet :) And Heidi was a really good character too, not how Auden thought she would be. Auden's mother was a bit harsh at first, always judging people, but she grew, and Auden's father, well I don't think there'll be any character development from him any time soon. He was a piece of work, such a lazy old man! I wouldn't put up with him. And Auden herself was wonderful, though there were a few similarities between her and Macy, which I suppose would be unavoidable seeing as they're in fairly similar predicaments (ish), but I could still separate them completely in my mind. And I love how her books are always set in the same places! It just makes me smile :)
Along for the Ride was a sweet book, full of lovely people (apart from her Father... *shakes head*) and a quick read, yet still with the deepness that comes with every Sarah Dessen book. (Okay, I fail at trying to be 'profound'. I shall not attempt it again.) 4.5 stars :)