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.
Along for the Ride is my second Dessen novel, the first being Lock and Key. I definitely think Along for the Ride was more enjoyable for me, I connected with the main character Auden a great deal more than Ruby in Lock and Key. Instead of just being a nice book it made me feel something.
This book has a wonderful message, it's never too late to live your life the way you want to and you are never too old for anything. I admittedly probably cannot ride a bike. I learned when I was young and had a nasty encounter with one in my early teens I believe, never touched one again. I really applaud Auden's determination to make up for the things that she missed earlier in her life when she was acting more like an adult than a child.
Another really interesting thing the book has going for it is what can two kids getting to know each other do in the middle of the night? Where can they go what can they see? I loved reading about Auden and Eli's routine they fell into. And Eli, what a sweet boy. I definitely can say I'm on Team Eli. I think most boys would never take the time to help Auden on her journey but Eli does. I loved how they both came to lean on each other and help each other through some tough times.
I really liked the secondary characters as well, from Auden's mom (I kind of hated her dad) and her stepmother Heidi and her little baby half sister Isby to the boys at the bike shop and the girls that worked at Heidi's boutique. They all helped her on her journey and really rounded out the story.
Since I've read only one other book this probably isn't saying much but this is by far my favorite Dessen book so! I'm excited to dig into her back list and find some other stories that really speak to me as well!
Along for the Ride was released June 16th!
Genre: Young Adult
ARC provided by publisher