Review: Along for the Ride

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen

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.

This story about Auden was another great book by Sarah Dessen. Again, she had the predictable storyline, but was able to pull it off as usual. As all her stories are, Auden experiences some problems, in this story, it’s with her parents. Her father and mother is divorced, but her father and her mother are still causing her problems. Heidi, her new stepmother, just had a baby, but the dad doesn’t really care. He just ignores all the baby problems and works on his books. Auden, however, is there to see her father’s carelessness, and helps Heidi. As she does, she meets three (I believe there were three) girls who work for Heidi and teach her about being a regular, teenage girl. It’s kind of crazy, a little bit different. And what about the guy?

Eli and Auden meet one day, of course. They find that they are both insomniacs who suffer from their own various problems. They start hanging out together, and help each other heal and make up for what they lost and missed out on.

It’s a charming and very well written book by Sarah Dessen, who once again successfully made this regular storyline, amazing and intriguing.

“An ending was an ending. No matter how many pages of sentences and paragraphs of great stories led up to it, it would always have the last word.”

“Life is full of screwups. You’re supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of the human existance”

It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing, then everything would be. It’s the thing you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder–or impossible– to lose.

“I don’t know,” I said. “What else did you do for your first eighteen years?”
“Like I said,” he said as I unlocked the car, “I’m not so sure that you should go by my example.”
“Why not?”
“Because I have my regrets,” he said. “Also, I’m a guy. And guys do different stuff.”
“Like ride bikes?” I said.
“No,” he replied. “Like have food fights. And break stuff. And set off firecrackers on people’s front porches. And…”
“Girls can’t set off firecrackers on people’s front porches?”
“They can,” he said… “But they’re smart enough not to. That’s the difference.”
-Eli and Auden

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