Google+ Reading Teen: Book Review: Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review: Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670011940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011940

Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

Dessen has built a well-deserved reputation for delicately depicting teen girls in turmoil. Her latest title showcases a socially awkward young woman who seeks solace in the comforting rigidity of academic success. Auden is about to start college in the fall, and decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new young wife, and their brand-new baby daughter, Thisbe. Over the course of the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, making real connections with peers, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas. The cover may mislead readers, as despite the body language of the girl in pink and the hunky blue-jeaned boy balanced on a bike, this is no slight romance: there’s real substance here.
As you can see here, I read this book and wrote a review in March. I wanted to read the book again, to see if I felt the same way then, as I do about it now. So read and compare my reviews... 

Review from: March 25, 2010
I really loved this book. There were definitely some flaws though. I really wish Eli was a more established character than he was. The moments Eli was mentioned felt rushed. The end didn't seem to pull together properly. The book had some main objectives that did not come together in the end. It felt incomplete.
I really loved that Heidi - Auden's stepmom - became a really awesome character.  I ended up loving her. I also liked how there were strong friendships throughout the book, that in the beginning didn't seem possible. The parts where Auden and Eli couldn't sleep at night and instead would have quest's together and finish together was cool.
I thought the whole thing was very cute. I probably would not read this book again, just because there are better books. But there might come a time where I crave the characters.

New Review! 1-13-11
By reading the review above, you probably would have never guessed that I would read it again.
Well, ever since I read Along For The Ride for the first time,
I have found myself thinking back to it.
Thinking about all the characters, and parts in the story.
Every time I would go to the library and pick it up and debate on if I should read it again.
But then I would always set it down and decide to read something else.
Well I actually took it home with me the other day, and finished it in 3 days.
I loved it.
I mean the whole time I was reading it this time, I was thinking,
"I was completely insane when I read this a year ago. How could I NOT like this?!"
I so did not appreciate Sarah Dessen's amazing writing.
She does such a great job on developing all the characters.
 Even the small characters that didn't really even matter,
she made them memorable.

I have to say, even after all the books I have read,
Eli is one of my favorite guys.
I freaking love him!
I mean yeah, there's a lot of great guys in other books,
but in my book, Eli is amazing.
I just love how he is with Auden.
I thought all the things they did together in Along For The Ride was just so cute!

What I have noticed, and loved in Sarah Dessen's books is that she makes all her main
girls actually have a backbone.
She doesn't make them dizty and sleezy.
And yet, she doesn't make them unrealistically perfect.
Understand what I talking about here?
In the three Sarah Dessen books I have read, you read inside the minds of teenage girls where they have the realistic wants and temptations without being obnoxious and stupid.
Which (in what books I have read) is hard to find.
Sometimes I will yell at a book because the main character (usually girls) is just so ridiculous.

Alright, to wrap things up here, second time around I LOVED Along For The Ride.
I will probably read it again in the future.

Oh and you're probably thinking,
"Why the heck would I want to read a book that's only good the second
time reading it??"
Well, it was good the first time reading it,
I just didn't enjoy it as much, but my taste in books have majorly changed.
I read things now that I wouldn't have liked at all a year ago.

PS. Parents, if you wanna know the dirty details of this book check out 
Parental Book Reviews!


  1. Actually, I agree with you. I loved the book the first time I read it but then I re-read it...and wow!

  2. I never read any books by this author. But maybe I should find one or start with this =)

  3. Sarah Dessen's covers are so sweet but I've never read any of her books...


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