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. (GoodReads).
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen is my first Dessen novel! I had a hard time with the first half of the book, however, since Auden's parents are SO FREAKING TERRIBLE--selfish, pompous, self-involved--that I could hardly read the passages featuring them. Luckily the summer town, boardwalk, beach, and boys helped and I ended up enjoying this book.
Level of Originality:2/10. it's hard to give this grade to contemporary books. They are supposed to feel like real life, right? On the other handI read this book and then immediately read Keeping the Moon. SO the two is for the fact that I have been to Colby before, but the 10 is for the fact that I lovvvvvee that Dessen returns to this little beach town. I feel like I am on my way to being a local, and it is so satisfying to have characters orbit that I am familiar with from other reads.
Level of Absurdity: 6. Even with the worst parents ever, are teenage insomniacs REALLY allowed to stay out all night?
Romance: OK so the thing with these books is there is just not enough romance for me. Sure Eli is swoon worthy, and there is something lovely going on between these two, but we have no build up details. Give me more electric touches and breathy lean-ins!
Level of Harry Potterness: 4. This PG read feels a BIT after-school-special-y, but I still liked it.
BONUS POINT ALERT: These characters are at least on their way to college- huzzah for adult sleep overs and beers in books!