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.
I’m a Sarah Dessen fan, straight up. I specially requested this one from the library because I needed a Sarah Dessen fix and it was her newest release.
Dessen is known for her great contemporary stories. Just Listen and The Truth About Forever are some of my favorite contemporaries of all time, so Along for the Ride kind of had big standards to live up to – and while it didn’t fail, it wasn’t able to surpass the others to become my favorite.
I enjoyed the relationship between Auden and Eli – though I didn’t particular connect with either. They both had good character development, and had many realistic relationships… but when I was finished with Along for the Ride, it didn’t hit me quite as much as Just Listen. I wasn’t wishing the story was still going like I was for my favorite Dessens.
This isn’t a review to tell you the book was bad, however – it certainly is not. And I’ve actually seen quite a few individuals claim this is their favorite Dessen book – which goes to show that personal feelings and experiences impact how you feel about a book. If you’re a fan of Dessen, this one is another winner – if you haven’t read Dessen, I’d (personally) suggest you try Just Listen first… but I don’t think you would be disappointed no matter where you start.