It has been years since Auden has slept at night. It all started when her parents started fighting, and even though they have moved on and gotten a divorce, Auden is still an insomniac.
The summer before she heads off to college she is give a choice. Spend the summer at home with her professor mother and get a head start on her college reading or go off to the small beach town where her dad, step-mom and new baby sister, Thisbe Caroline, live. Hoping for a chance for a carefree summer and to escape the craziness of her mother, Auden opts for the charming beach town. What she gets though is not what she expects.
Auden is quickly introduced into the world girls and the normal teenage life – something she completely missed out on growing up with her demanding mother. Theirs talk about clothes, make up, boys, and more boys, and Auden isn’t sure if its really what suits her, especially the girls at her job. Then Auden meets Eli, a fellow insomniac and absolutely adorable guy. He soon introduces her to the nocturnal world of the small beach town and their friendship blossoms. Auden soon finds herself having quite the unexpected summer, but it may just be exactly what she needs to cure her insomnia.
Sarah Dessen is amazing, plain and simple. Her books are so lifelike and real that you can relate to them in an instant, her characters are beyond believable, and of course her style is just impeccable. ALONG FOR THE RIDE is definitely one of her best books, in my opinion, and the absolute perfect summer read.
The plot was extremely detailed, which made the story come alive. Every little street corner popped up right in front of the reader’s eyes and all aspects of the story were relatable, whether it be putting up the girly girls, riding a bike or learning how to act around your crush. All these regular activities really made the reader connect with the little beach town and made the book that much more enjoyable. Another aspect that made the book so good was even though the book was very realistic; it still felt like you were being transported to a parallel universe.
Now the characters, I think, are what made the book. Auden was extremely relatable, especially for me, and I couldn’t get over how well Sarah Dessen knows the teenage mind. I considered Auden more of a friend then a character early on in the book and really got to know her throughout the story. I also loved Eli. Dessen always comes up with really cute guy characters, but I think that Eli definitely is the best so far. It was really interesting to see that he had issues too and they added a small side story that kept the reader intrigued. I also loved how even the side characters, such as Thisbe, all had personality. This made the book come even more alive and it made the story hard to forget, as it felt like you were meeting realy people.
Overall this was a fantastic book that I highly recommend; it is easily one of my favorite books of the year. I cannot wait to see what Sarah Dessen has in store for us next, while we’re waiting though I suggest a re-read of all of her books!