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Along for the Ride

A book by Sarah Dessen

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Along For the Ride

  • Nov 7, 2009
After the first chapter, I was panicking internally. Oh, no. Auden seemed like a Macy-clone, whom I love, but less likable.

However, as I went on, I found Auden to be different from Macy (The Truth About Forever). Auden's a smart girl, but she has not lived life. I loved how this novel really gives hope to people that haven't done everything they wish they could have in the past. Auden shows you that it's never too late to learn something new, no matter how old you are. It's never too late. The characters took a bit longer for me to grow to like, but I grew to love them, nonetheless.

I actually found Heidi, Auden's new step mom, to be one of my favorites, oddly enough. Eli turned out to be a sweet, loner guy, and the girls at the boutique are the type you want to be best friends with. Although, at times, I found Auden's relationship with Maggie, Leah and Esther to be unrealistic. I highly doubt they would have liked her as much as they did, so fast. Auden comes across as cold-shouldered (to me anyway), and I couldn't help but think that she wasn't likable.

Highlights: Isabel and Morgan (Keeping the Moon) made a short appearance, which I loved. Also, while this novel isn't my favorite, it's a huge step up from Lock and Key. I liked L&K, but I liked this more. Dessen got her super-fantabulousness back, and it shows. Also, I love the name Auden. It's so original, so beautiful. The nightlife that Dessen explored in this novel was great too, the whole what-goes-on-while-you-are-sleeping concept. And pink! I loved the cover. It's so daring, pink and red? You can't do that! But it looks great, and it is just as great inside.

Lowlights: Jason. Ew. Jason? Really? Jason. What about Auden's father? What the hell is wrong with that guy? I realize no one is perfect, but what on earth could Heidi have even saw in him? He cannot even care for his children, he doesn't seem to want them. He wouldn't even compromise on their child's name. Thisbe? Really? You named her Thisbe?

At first I thought it was going to be Auden's mother that I disliked, but it wasn't in the end. At least she was able to deal with everything, and be an adult. I guess I also wanted something more from Auden. At times I found her boring. I wanted some little quirk, something, that made me say, "Oh, you are human like the rest of us".

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More Along for the Ride reviews
review by . July 26, 2010
Sarah Dessen has been one of my most beloved authors since I was the same age as her teenage protagonists. I’ve kept up with her career even as I outgrew her target audience.  Granted, I read a lot of YA fiction as a high school teacher, but I go out of my way for Dessen.      Her books are pretty formulaic.  A little teenage tragedy, a little teenage romance, a little bittersweet happily ever after.  But her writing is always spot on and I recommend the …
Quick Tip by . November 06, 2010
Light but well written. A little more depth than the other Dessen books I have read. I really felt connected with the characters.
review by . July 12, 2009
Along for the Ride is my second Dessen novel, the first being Lock and Key. I definitely think Along for the Ride was more enjoyable for me, I connected with the main character Auden a great deal more than Ruby in Lock and Key. Instead of just being a nice book it made me feel something.    This book has a wonderful message, it's never too late to live your life the way you want to and you are never too old for anything. I admittedly probably cannot ride a bike. I learned when …
review by . June 16, 2009
Auden has always been highly motivated and focused on her schoolwork, pushed by her successful scholar of a mother and bestselling writer father. When her parents split up, Auden becomes an insomniac, and becomes all too familiar with the night. The summer before she starts college, she decides to live with her father, his new wife, and their newborn daughter. There, in a small beach town full of eclectic people, Auden realizes all that she has missed out on, and discovers that maybe it's not too …
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Lea ()
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I'm a bookaholic, wannabe author, stressed out college student, and so much more.      Check out my book blog, where I review YA literature, hold interviews with YA authors and … more
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About this book


Dessen has built a well-deserved reputation for delicately depicting teen girls in turmoil. Her latest title showcases a socially awkward young woman who seeks solace in the comforting rigidity of academic success. Auden is about to start college in the fall, and decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new young wife, and their brand-new baby daughter, Thisbe. Over the course of the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, making real connections with peers, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas. The cover may mislead readers, as despite the body language of the girl in pink and the hunky blue-jeaned boy balanced on a bike, this is no slight romance: there’s real substance here. Dessen’s many fans will not be deterred by the length or that cover; they expect nuanced, subtle writing, and they won’t be disappointed.

Grades 9-12. --Debbie Carton


When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating.
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ISBN-10: 0670011940
ISBN-13: 978-0670011940
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Children's Books, Teens, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Date Published: June 16, 2009
First to Review

"Insightful and enjoyable"
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