BOOK REVIEW: Along For the Ride, by Sarah Dessen

Date(s) read: November 6 – 9, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary

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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.

My Thoughts
Wherever I go, I see Sarah Dessen. EVERYONE is talking about her novels, she’s all over Twitter, and whenever I see her little avatar, or see someone else read a book of hers on Goodreads, I ask myself why I haven’t read any of her books. So I finally decided to change that and grabbed the first book of hers that I saw on the library shelf. I was VERY glad to have done that!

This book was a very special book. The instant I started reading it, I was reminded of books by Morgan Matson, John Green, and Stephanie Perkins – all authors I love – and really didn’t want to stop reading. I loved the characters, the setting, and the fact that it wasn’t a light book about going away for the summer. The characters were complex and complicated and the whole situation of the story made me very uncomfortable at times.

I loved Auden’s character and how she was so normal. There were times I wanted her to just SAY SOMETHING to numerous characters, but she was normal. Not everything happens how I want it to happen. There were also times I hated her parents, especially her father, but I rolled with it and let Auden figure things out on her own. I loved seeing her character change and grow. I loved that she had to figure out that not everything and not everyone is what and who they seem.

And can I just say that I LOVE summer books? It might be winter where I am, but a summer book is ALWAYS welcome.

By the time I finished reading the book I wanted more. I wished it was longer! I am so intrigued by Sarah Dessen’s writing and can’t wait to read more of her books. I’ve heard that the books can be kind of similar, but I kind of like that. I’m very eager to pick up another one!


© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


23 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Along For the Ride, by Sarah Dessen

  1. I’m so happy to hear your first time reading Sarah Dessen was a success! I read my first book by Dessen, Just Listen, last year but we didn’t hit it off. I found the beginning boring and even when it picked up a bit later on I still didn’t like it much BUT in 2013 I’m going to give her another and it just so happens to be with this book! Hopefully I’ll enjoy it just as much as you 😉

    • I’m slooowly working my way through her catalogue — some have been major favourites, and others are good, but not *quite* up there. Still, this one was a lot of fun! I hope you can read more of her next year! I hope you like this one!

  2. I like that you say it made you uncomfortable at times. I always see these covers and think that they look a little too…. cutesy so I have never picked one up either. Good to know that they is some raw content and it’s not all just a pretty summer story.

    • C’mon, Jenni … sometimes a cutesy cover is NECESSARY! Of course, not all of us like to completely have our SOULS ripped out while reading, so this is just about as much as I can take. 😉

  3. Oh my gosh! I am the same…I keep seeing her books and lovely covers and reviews everywhere and asking myself why I’ve not read her yet! This sounds so good! Great review!

  4. I’m on a Dessen kick right now, I’ve been waiting for this one to come in to my library so I can read it! (I just love the cover!!)

    I have found that her books look so cutesy, but they really face “issues” that It hink is absolutely fabulous.
    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  5. I’ve only ever read ONE Dessen book, so I feel your pain on this. And I LOVE the redesigns of her gorgeous covers. I highly recommend checking out This Lullaby. It has a Seth Cohen type love interest and those are my favorite freaking kind ❤

  6. So glad to see you loved this one! I haven’t read it yet.. in fact I think it’s the only one of Sarah’s novels we don’t have on our family bookshelf (I have two teen daughters). The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite YA novels, though.

  7. I’ve never read Sarah Dessen either but I really need to. Seems like everyone loves her books. And if she’s similar to John Green I’m sure I’ll love it – although maybe I will save it for the beach next summer!

  8. YEEEEEEES. Haha, I’ve been waiting for you to post this review for a while, haha! Everyone who read that review has been telling me to read This Lullaby and The Truth About Forever… I picked This Lullaby up but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I hope you like it!

  9. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (16) | Reading In Winter

  10. This is one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books. (My absolute favorite being The Truth About Forever). I love that Auden was normal and smart and had to deal with things that all teens deal with. I loved her stepmother as well. She was so sweet and quirky.

    • Definitely one of my favourites, too! I still need to read The Truth About Forever … I’m sloooowly working my way through Sarah’s catalogue.

      Auden’s stepmother was very sweet and quirky — I liked her, too!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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