Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review for Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride"Along for the Ride"
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin Group
Source: Public Library
Challenge: 350 page Challenge, Library Challenge
383 pages

    Riding a bike is only one of the many things Auden's missed out on. Even before her parent's divorce, she was cast in the role of little adult, never making waves, focusing on academics to please her demanding mother.

   Now she's spending the summer before college in the tiny beach town of Colby with her father and his new wife and baby. A job in a trendy boutique introduces her to the world of girls, their friendships, conversations, romances. And then there's Eli, an intriguing loner. A fellow insomniac, Eli introduces Auden to the nocturnal world of Colby. Together they embark on a quest: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to put a tragic episode behind him. Combine two lonely people with a charming beach town and an endless supply of long summer nights, and just about anything can happen.

  Auden is what we today call a 'smarty pants' BUT her life, unlike her awesome grades, is upheaveled and lonely. Auden is still struggling with her parents divorce, insomniac nights, and of course her lack of childhood. Then, she decides instead of spending all this lonely time studying for college during the summer, she'll go visit her dad. That's when the story starts rolling. But things are not as she expected them to be.

    Let me say, I really liked this book. Why did I not give it five stars? I hate and I mean hate, to have to take a star away from a beautifully done book but it just was really slooww. The plot at times was really slow and nothing interesting happened (I know that something interested can't happen every page but still).

  The characters in this book were AMAZING! Basically all the characters grew throughout the story and they were well developed, real and unique. From Auden, Robert, Heidi, Hollis, Eli to even Auden's mom! The plot was very good! How Sarah tied in friendship, marriage, romance, tragedy, remembrance, fun and made the reader in the end feel uplifted still amazes me. Eli and Auden's relationship was kind of in the background until the middle and end of the book... I really liked how they connected. Also I just loved how she made the baby a big part of this story! Even though I didn't give it five stars does not mean that I didn't love it, I just didn't feel right not rating it four because the story is a bit slow starting and throughout the book which I'd feel wrong not mentioning. I do recommend it, I love Sarah Dessen and if your like me be sure to check it out!

  The e-mails always began the same way. 
   Hi Auden!!
It was the extra exclamation point that got me. My mother would call it extraneous, overblown, exuberant. To me, it was simply annoying, just like everything else about my stepmother, Heidi.
I hope you’re having a great last few weeks of classes.
We are all good here! Just getting the last few things done before your sister-to-be arrives. She’s been kicking like crazy lately. It’s like she’s doing the karate moves in there! I’ve been busy minding the store (so to speak) and putting a few final touches on the nursery. I’ve done it all in pink and brown; it’s gorgeous. I’ll attach a picture so you can see it. Your dad is busy as always, working on his book. I figure I’ll see more of him burning the midnight oil when I’m up with the baby! I really hope you’ll consider coming to visit us once you’re done with school. It would be so much fun, and make this summer that much more special for all of us. Just come anytime. We’d love to see you!  
Heidi (and your dad, and the baby to be!)
    Just reading these missives exhausted me. Partially it was the excited grammar—which was like someone yelling in your ear—but also just Heidi herself. She was just so…extraneous, overblown, exuberant. And annoying. All the things she’d been to me, and more, since she and my dad got involved, pregnant, and married in the last year.