Author: Sarah Dessen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 16, 2009
My Edition: ARC
Plot - 18/20
Characters - 19/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
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:
Oh, Sarah Dessen, have you ever not written a great novel?
Dessen's new novel, Along for the Ride, hits the spot of all her other fantastical novels she has written. This one, not as exciting as some of her others, but nonetheless, just as good. This novel starts out with the beginning of her summer after graduations. Auden doesn't have anything to do all summer, so she goes to live with her Dad and her step-mom, Heidi. But she gets a surprise when she realizes her dad is just busy with his book, Heidi is busy with her newborn, and she ends up getting a job, which changes the course of the novel.
Auden is smart, she's a loner, never really doing anything else but studying for school. Auden reminds me of one of Dessen's other characters, Macy from The Truth About Forever. I kept on thinking that she reminded me of Macy through the whole novel, but the were definitely some changes from her. But, really. Dessen's high point in her novels are her three-dimensional characters. She did not disappoint from that.
I still found the plot and the originality a bit of a downfall from the novel. I mean, everything was there. But I guess, I was just reminded of her other novels, like when Auden meets someone, get's close to him, then distances herself from him. Has that not happen in The Truth About Forever and Just Listen? It has, and I began to think of it as repetitive.
But other then that. Auden's discovery of herself and the person that she has always wanted to be was just as good as you'd imagine it. It's just as honest and deep as you'd expect from Dessen.
The plot was good, not great, as I've mentioned. The idea of Auden being an insomniac and going around town with Eli is what I really was looking forward to every time a chapter ended.
Okay, so you want a overall. Well, you got it. Overall: This novel was great, not a good as Dessen's other work, not at all, but nonetheless, this is Sarah Dessen, and any of her books are books not to be missed. You've got to read it.
**Much thanks to J. for this novel to me.