Saturday, April 07, 2012

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

♔ Details

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin Books
Release date: 1st June 2009
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♔ Summary
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.
♔ Review

Finally, I read a book written by Sarah Dessen for the first time. And now all I can say is, I'm very glad I did!

Auden decides to spend her vacations at her dad's house in another town (her parents are divorced). Her wife, Heidi, just gave birth to Thisbe, so Auden takes the chance to get to know her new stepsister. Not that she's planning to spend her vacations bonding with her dad's new family. Auden is a very special girl. She was raised by very strict parents that, tired with her difficult older brother, didn't give her a chance to be young. She was always the perfect daughter. She had no need for friends, for their usual talk or girly stuff. But on her vacations, she starts seeing things from another point of view. She's a little socially awkward. I found that awesome; no popular, or out-of-the-bunch girl. She was really something!

What struck me first was that I had no clue how the story would develop. In my case, in books I'm always in the lookout for potential male love interests, guessing who the main character will end up with. It's part of the fun! But, in this book? I didn't know what would happen. Everything was unexpected! Which made it even more fun to read. Then there's Eli... you don't know how happy I was that he wasn't the typical perfect, kind of prince-like love interest I usually read about. He was... like a real guy. My first impression of him wasn't that good, but later, as I got to know him, I adored him!

Auden, because of her parents' fights when they were about to divorce, developed different sleeping habits. She always spends the night awake, doing something, exploring her new town, having a cup of coffee at a 24h bar. And when the sun arises, she goes to sleep and wakes later on the afternoon. Okay, so I'm NOT a night person. I'm a hundred percent morning person. You can guess my surprise when I started LOVING her nightly escapades.

There were some situations that, while vital to the story, made me want to slap someone. Her dad just had a daughter, but he was just so... UGH. He couldn't do A THING for the baby. He left all the work to her new wife and the baby's mom, Heidi. Believe me, if you read this book, you'll want to smack him with something as much as I do. As much as I tried sympathizing with him a little, I couldn't.

What surprised me more about Along for the Ride was how real it all felt. The story revolves around Auden, but you get to know all the other characters around her so well, you end up feeling like you could literally go into the book's setting and live that story. It felt like real life! The characters, the feelings were so beautifully well portrayed.

I'm so happy I read Along for the Ride! It was an awesome adventure, and it even gave me very powerful life advice. An absolutely must read, in my opinion.

♔ Rating



Hazal said...

I adore Sarah Dessen's books. They're so REAL and they address a lot of teenage issues. I could read one in a day if I let myself!

A. Knight @ Paranormal Indulgence said...

This one of my favorites of Sarah Dessen's! Auden is so real and relatable and don't even get me started on ELI. And the emotion, the realistic situations, all of it just cooked up one amazing book. You should read The Truth About Forever! It's another absolute favorite :D


Mimi Valentine said...

I love it when our thoughts are almost IDENTICAL with a book! ♥ This was my very first Sarah Dessen book and I felt the exact same way. I loved how real and flawed her characters were (especially Eli, who you can't help but grow to adore late on!), even though I was on the verge of slapping people at some parts too LOL x) Along for the Ride was just so sweet!

Beautiful review, Sophie! I'm so happy you enjoyed this book like I did! :) ♥

Sophia said...

I'm such a huge Dessen fan! I've read almost all of her books, although this is one of the few that I haven't. This one sounds just as great as her other ones! I'm so glad you liked it, Sophie. :) Eli sounds so sweet and the realistic feeling of the book is always very appealing. Fabulous review, Sophia! And WOW. The cover is so different!

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