2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

REVIEW for Along for the Ride

A big thank you goes out to Penguin Group and Viking for sending this great book along to me!!!

TITLE: Along for the Ride

AUTHOR: Sarah Dessen


RATING: 4 Stars

I am a big fan of Sarah Dessen, although I have to admit that I have to be in the mood to read her books. The thing with Dessen is that her stories need to be read, digested and mused over. Unlike some other YA, her stories always have deeper meaning than what is on the surface and I can never managed to "just" quickly read one off and then forget about it. This is a testament to just how well Dessen writes.

In Along for the Ride, Dessen again introduces us to a smart but slightly broken teenager by the name of Auden. Auden's family life - while to the outside may appear good - is anything but. Stuck with a mother who is both a snob and clueless about anything other than herself - Auden decides to spend the summer in Colby, with her dad. Sadly, when Auden arrives in Colby and starts living with her dad and his wife Heidi and their son Thisbe (hated this name for some reason), she realizes that her father is not there for her either. On top of which, she soons discovers that Heidi has problems of her own.

But some good things are happening behind the scenes for Auden, which so realistically echoes real life actually. She meets up with a strange guy by the name of Eli who ends up spending long evenings with her, as they walk around - due mainly to Auden's inability to sleep. Auden also finds herself more than just a little responsible for taking care of her stepbrother and even finds herself in a job at Heidi's store - which will eventually be a godsend as Auden will become friendly with the other girls who work in the store.

What I love about this story is that the old saying "when life throws lemons at you, make lemonade" reasonates so well here. Although things appear to be going downhill very quickly on the surface, behind the scenes, life is re-arranging itself for Auden. However, before Auden can see all the good that is going on around her, she also needs to understand that most of her unhappiness stems from inside herself. If only she would let herself open up and receive what is around her.

Another great point in this book is about prejudging people and putting them in a little box - even if you don't know them. Auden is a product of her environment having been raised, essentially, by snobs- she is also a snob. She will need to get pass her own judgments of people before she can be happy and truly appreciate those around her.

This summer in Colby will end up being quite a life experience and Dessen does a wonderful job of showing us just how much Auden actually ends up growing during this period.

As always, the writing is beautiful and touching and I loved this book!!!!


bermudaonion said...

A lot of people seem to be fans of Sarah Dessen - I think I need to read one of her books.

Wall-to-wall books said...

I personally have not read one of hers yet. I know she is very popular. My 20 yr old daughter likes her. There are a couple that I would like to read.
Thanks for the review!

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