About the book:
Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult
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.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads
Along for the Ride wasn’t my favourite Sarah Dessen read, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Though I loved the writing; as always with Dessen’s books, this book just failed to be super memorable to me.
To sum up, this book is about a girl named Auden, who has insomnia. There are always just so many things on her mind at night- from her parents’ divorce to friends to academic worries. When she gets an opportunity to stay at her dad’s place all summer, along with his new wife and new baby stepsister, she jumps right at the chance, only expecting good things. There, she is hired as a saleskeeper in a clothes boutique and meets kindred spirit Eli, who also experiences insomnia and anxiety. As a couple, they plan to discover the lives that they’ve been missing, and see if they’re really worth living.
I guess Auden was okay, I didn’t really see anything special about her. She basically just fit into the crowd of normal teenage female protagonists, and I didn’t feel like she was unique in any way. The character development lacks for sure in this book, which made me kind of disappointed.
Eli was mostly depressed and moody throughout the story, and found it hard to warm up to Auden, as well as all the other characters. I get it that he had just lost one of his best friends, but he was stuck in the depressed stage of grieving, and it wasn’t necessarily fun for me to read about him. Again, he was also quite forgettable, and is too much like other teenage characters.
I really liked how Eli and Auden came together to discover the lives they’d been missing, though. I thought they did make for good friends- but that’s it. I honestly didn’t really see much potential for a romantic relationship between them.
Overall, this story was okay, but it didn’t really have any special flair to it, or add much to the young adult genre as a whole. As a devourer of YA contemporary stories, this one didn’t really embark on anything new, boasting a predictable storyline and average characters. It had good morals, though, I’ll give you that!😉
Anyway, if contemporary isn’t normally your go-to genre, I’m sure you’ll love Along for the Ride! It just didn’t tickle my fancy bone, is all.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars