From the title of this post, I hope you’ve gathered that I’ve finally read a Sarah Dessen book, since they’ve been on my list since eighth grade. And, I’m happy to say, even though at the end I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the way it turned out, I’m so glad that Along for the Ride was my first. I enjoyed it so much that I never put it down since seven last night, and finished around eleven thirty last night.
Riding a bike is only one of the many things Auden’s missed out on. Even before her parents’ divorce, she was cast in the role of little adult, never making waves, focusing on academics to please her demanding mother.
Now she’s spending the summer before college in the tiny beach town of Colby with her father and his new wife and baby. A job in a trendy boutique introduces her to the world of girls, their friendships, conversations, romances. And then there’s Eli, an intriguing loner. A former star on the bike circuit and a fellow insomniac, Eli introduces Auden to the nocturnal world of Colby. Together they embark on a quest: for Auden, to experience the carefree teengae life she’s been denied; for Eli, to put a tragic episode behind him. Combine two lonely people with a charming beach town and an endless supply of long summer nights, and just about anything can happen.
Once again, Sarah Dessen creates a rich and satisfying world that readers will hate to leave.
Okay, go ahead and scream at me because this is my first Sarah Dessen novel, but you’ll be happy to hear that I’m now hooked. I LOVED everything about this novel. The cover(!!!!!). The inner conflict that Auden has, trying to discover her inner child that never had a chance to come out and play. The romance and late nights that this story revolves around. Heidi and the new baby, Maggie, Esther, and Leah, especially Eli, and even the town of Colby itself. All the characters made the town come to life, as if I could go there at any time I liked and find my way around with only this story as my map.
I think my favorite scene in this book was the food fight. I loved how Auden had gotten to know Eli so well, while none of his other friends understood how to get through to him. Their late nights simply magnified the entire conflict, and I wish that I could just reread those passages for forever.
My least favorite character was definitely Auden’s dad, but her mom came in a close second. If my parents were like that, I’d probably break something. But then again, I wouldn’t be the same person. I do think that there were definitely some parentish traits though that a lot of parents have, which made the story even more realistic and made sure that my attention never wavered. However, I loved Auden even more because of the way her parents treat her.
I can’t say much about my favorite secondary character because it would give too much away, but I’ll tell you that it was Maggie, and the reason is because she was such a surprise. Anything else I say would kind of give away something, so I’ll move on to Eli. I absolutely LOVED him, from the first vocal exchange that he and Auden have. You get the feeling that he’s wise, even though he’s still learning how to live. I think that he and Auden balance each other out perfectly, and Sarah Dessen did an amazing job in writing this book. If you haven’t read this book, GO DO IT NOW!!!