Monday, June 1, 2009

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Publish Date: June 16, 2009
Pages: 384
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Group

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.

Just like Lock and Key, Along for the Ride went above and beyond the high standards I set for it. Sarah Dessen has yet again outdone herself.

Along for the Ride is only the second Dessen novel I have read and so I was surprised by the connections between L&K and AFTR. Both novels used the same schools, locations and even jewelry. The strings that held the two books together were perfect, not too much but just enough to make you think back.

One of my favorite parts of Dessen's writing is her structure. Just the other novel of hers I have read AFTR started off explaining background information about the main character. Then they were introduced to a new situation where they slowly come out of their shell with the help of a cute boy. And best of all, there is the happy ending! Okay, so that might sound corny, but Dessen uses this structure perfectly.

Firstly, I love Auden's name. It is unique but somehow familiar. I also think that it reflects her personality. Its sounds formal and studious, but also has this soft ring to it.

I think I am officially crushing on Eli. His character is so unique. Like many male characters he is beautiful and will only talk to the main female character. However he has a depth that makes him so much more than just eye candy. Although the book is centered around Auden, I felt as though Eli's character was just as developed as hers.

The complexity of relationships in this novel surprised me. There was so much conflict between Auden and every character in every second of the novel, yet there was never any confusion. With everything that was going on I always knew exactly what was happening.

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about AFTR. If I am forced to say something negative, it would be that it wasn't long enough. I never wanted it to end.

AFTR is beautifully written and highly anticipated for good reason.



  1. Great review! I am totally looking forward to this book. =D And the fact that you have no negative things to say about it makes me want to buy it even more!

  2. Yay! You've come back to blogging! :) It was nice to read another well-written review from you!

  3. How can you not just LOVE Sarah Dessen? I thought this was one of her best.

  4. Good review! I am waaaaay behind because I have not read a single Dessen novel. I don't know what I'm waiting for. I've heard great things about her.

  5. I can't believe you've only read TWO of Sarah's novels! Go out and read more of hers NOW!!!!

    Hehe, nice review though. I'm even more excited to read it.

  6. WOW - lucky you, getting a copy of ALONG FOR THE RIDE in advance. Haha, I've actually only read two Sarah Dessen books so far as well; Lock & Key, and Just Listen. But, as anticipation has been pretty high and reviews thus far say it's great, I might just check this one out as well! Great review =)

  7. Great review! I can't wait until this is available for us less fortunate to buy! :)

  8. I completely know the feeling of dreading the end of a book.
    I should check into this one.

  9. I have to read this book!!!
    Great review!!!

    -Tempestt (book reviews and author interviews) (entertainment news and reviews)

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  10. I so cannot wait for this book! I just finished L&K an this will make a great addition to my collection!

  11. I absolutely love Sarah Dessen! She is like a god to YA novels! Great review, can't wait to buy it myself!


  12. I haven't read any of Dessen's books yet, but they look like great reads. I'll have to check this one out!

  13. Great review, I'll definitely be looking for this when it comes out.

  14. I think it was her best book yet. I'm looking forward to reading more from Sarah Dessen.

  15. I just recently did a review for this book, its a great book!

  16. Great review! Not really my type though.

  17. Nice blog! I'm following you. =) My book home is at Ruz's Bookshelves

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