Author: Sarah Dessen
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.
My Thoughts: Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen, is a fun and enjoyable read. I have to admit, at first I could not stand the main character, Auden. She was self-centered, clueless about others feelings, snobbish and down-right annoying. I almost put the book down and called it a day because if I don’t like the main character, chances are I’m not going to enjoy the book. However, all that altered by mid-book and the story took a sharp turn down Enjoyable Avenue. I feel Dessen’s technique was deliberate, well timed and executed with precision.
The story is about Auden who decides to spend the summer before her college freshman year in the beach town called Colby, where her father now lives with his new wife and newborn baby. Auden’s parents had a rocky marriage and were divorced a few years prior, forcing her to take on an adult role and missing out on the luxuries and experiences of childhood and adolescence, which had a negative impact on her personality and approach with people. When Auden arrives in Colby, it is obvious she has no intention of bonding with anyone or making any friends during her stay. All that changes when she gets a job at a clothing boutique meets Maggie, Leah and Esther and a great guy named Eli that show her how much she’s missed out on during her childhood. The summer she spends in Colby drastically changes her way of thinking and acting, and it is refreshing to see her transformation.
I really enjoyed this book, but it took me a while to get there. So if you read it and find yourself annoyed with Auden, don’t give up on her. Great book that I recommend as a light read