Monday, September 24, 2012

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Publication Date: June 16, 2009
Publisher: Speak
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 383
Synopsis: 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.
Review: First thing's first: My copy of this has the new cover. You know the one. All of Sarah's books got makeovers recently. And although I do like the new covers, I'm still extremely fond of the old ones. I mean, look at that cover right above this! It's adorable! I don't know why they changed them. So I'm going to ask you guys: do you prefer the old or new covers? Anyway. To the review.

   I'm a solid fan of Sarah Dessen, although some books are better than others. This is definitely one of the better ones. In fact, Along for the Ride is currently competing with The Truth About Forever in my head for the title of Sophia's Favorite Dessen Book. (To be quite honest, though, TTAF is probably going to win--it just has that special place in my heart.)

   Auden is an intelligent girl. She's a hard-worker and very mature, which made her grow up quickly and took away her opportunities to experience normal teenage girl things, such as slumber parties, sneaking out, parties, etc. She reminded of Macy from TTAK in that way. However, Auden is also very judgmental and afraid, not wanting to go out of her comfort zone.

   That changes when she spends the summer in Colby with her father and stepmother, Heidi. I liked Heidi a lot. She was a character I could sympathize with, and I loved how the reader got to see lots of layers to her. Auden's father, on the other hand, I wanted to slap. Multiple times. Okay, basically every time he was in a scene. But whatever. Auden's new friends, Maggie, Leah, and Esther, were lovely characters. I became very fond of them quickly.

   Like in all of Sarah's books, the protagonist starts off very flat and then gradually blossoms. The plot starts off slow and quite a few pages pass before the reader can really get into the story. And--this is probably everybody's favorite part--there's a swoon-worthy boy.

   Eli was such a great character. I loved him. He was sweet and likable. He said so much but with so few words. Basically, he was a classic Dessen boy.

   I don't know what it was about this book that made it so much more likable than... I don't know, Just Listen or What Happened to Goodbye, but for some reason, I really fell in love with Along for the Ride. Along for the Ride is the perfect read, whether you're at a beach or at home, procrastinating on homework. It has the perfect blend of self-discovery, romance, and happiness.

   4.5 keys.


  1. I prefer the new covers actually! now on to your review :P I actually felt that something was missing in Along for the Ride ad I liked it the least in all of Sarah's books. However I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. I adore Dessen's books too and agree with you about this one being her better ones. Two of the other ones I really like are Just Listen (which you apparently didn't like as much :)and Lock and Key.

    I like the old covers much better too!

  3. I am sad to admit that I've never, ever read a Sarah Dessen book. Back in middle and early high school, all my friends were obsessed with them, and I really meant to read them. And they all said that Along for the Ride was the one I should start with.

    Maybe I should actually read this sometime!

  4. I've been listening to the audio of this for a while and I do like this one. But, I have to say my favorite Sarah Dessen book is Just Listen !

  5. Yayy! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Sophia! Along for the Ride was my first Dessen book, followed by TTAF and Just Listen and I have to admit, Just Listen is my favorite despite my undying love for Wes and for Auden from this novel. If you haven't read it, I'd suggest you give it a try!(: Wonderful review, Sophia! :D

  6. TTAF is definitely my fave book, and the old covers are the best! I love how they show you everything except the face in the covers. they're beautiful!
    BTW, could you check out my new blog?

  7. This was the first Sarah Dessen book I ever ventured to pick up in a bookstore...I skimmed through some of it and thought, "How lame!" and put it back down.

    Now that my bestie has gotten me into contemporary romance, I'm addicted, and now own most of Sarah Dessen's novels, even though I've read only 3. "Along For the Ride" is sitting on my shelf, right now, waiting to be read (FULLY this time) and I just can't even wait to begin it! Hopefully soon?? Your review has convinced me I must dive in very very soon! :)

    Thanks Sophia! :)

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  8. oHH I need to get a copy of this one, it sounds awesome !! I've only read 2 books by Sarah Dessen : one I didn't enjoy at all (This Lullaby) and one I absolutely loved (The Truth About Forever) !! I need to read more books by this author if the rest of them are as awesome as TTAF.

  9. So far I've only read one Dessen book and that was Just Listen but didn't enjoy it. I'm hoping to have a better go with one of her other novels but I've yet to decided which I should try. Who knows, maybe I'll give Along For the Ride a go!

    Amazing review. I'm glad you loved it so much and that this was one of Sarah's better ones.

    P.S - The new covers are brighter, more fun and match but they are also mass produced and have no personality. If I had to choose, I like the older covers too :)

  10. I really need to read more Sarah Dessen books. I think I've read about 3 in total, but I really enjoyed them all. This one sounds great! I have no idea what the other cover looks like so I'll head over to have a look. :) Great review!

  11. I prefer some of the new covers but I like the old cover for this one more. This book was alright for me, it definitely was one of her better ones but it wasn't TTAF or This Lullaby for me but I doubt any of them could. Eli really was a classic Dessen boy and this was a classic Dessen book. Lovely review, Sophia! <3

  12. I read Just Listen and thought it was so lovely and emotional, yet for some reason I haven't read Sarah Dessen's other novels. I plan to read this book and The truth about forever soon, though. :)

    Nicely reviewed, Sophia! I'm really pleased that the characters and relationships impressed you. :)

    And to answer your question: No preference really, although I really like this cover in particular. :)

  13. I adore contemps! Love, but I never tried any books written by Sarah Dessen. I def. want too, but a lot of new ones are getting in the way! :) Great review and I'm glad you really liked this one.

    J'adore Happy Endings

  14. Well I am going to have to go look up the new cover, this is definitley a cute cover, I have to admit I haven't read this author, I know you are shuddering, she is on my to read list! I know you don't give out those keys easily so this must be a good one!

  15. I LOVE the beach-iness of this novel. Love love love. And though AFAR wasn't my fave Sarah Dessen novel (Just Listen is), it still is in my top four I guess. Eli <3 Awesome review, Sophia :) Totally took me back to when I first read it!

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