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Along for the Ride

A book by Sarah Dessen

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Insightful and enjoyable

  • Jun 16, 2009
  • by
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 late to grab on to all the life has to offer.

Along for the Ride is a heartfelt, humorous, and thoughtful read by popular author Sarah Dessen that readers will devour. Dessen creates an enchanting setting in the beach town of Colby, one that every girl can't help but fall for, and a cast of characters that are charming, witty, and captivating. Auden's epiphany of all the things that she missed out on while concentrating on her academics and her resulting mission to make up for all of the things she missed out on is entertaining and perceptive, and sure to resound with many readers. Her other discovery, that people aren't always as they appear, may be cliché, but nonetheless meaningful within the context of the novel. A reoccurring debate within the novel is whether or not people ever really change, and Dessen does an exemplary job relating that issue to Auden's story. Full of all the wonders of summer time, Along for the Ride is an insightful and enjoyable read full of romance, healing, discovery, and wonderful friendships that will charm readers and inspire them to take advantage of every opportunity to live life to its fullest.

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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 . November 07, 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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
Tirzah Price ()
Ranked #276
I have a blog called The Compulsive Reader on which I review Young Adult novels, interview authors, post book trailers, and hold contests. I'm interested in anything YA book related!
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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
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"Insightful and enjoyable"
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