Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Author: Twitter | Website | Goodreads
Published: April 5, 2011**PB Version
Source: School Library
My friend kept on insisting that I read a Sarah Dessen book and I finally picked one of her books up. Along for the Ride was the first book of hers that I've read and I absolutely loved it! I'll have to read a few more books before she has a secure place in my list of "favourite authors".
It starts out with Auden, a girl who is all about academics and getting good grades. And all of a sudden, she makes the bold choice to spend the summer with her dad at a beach. Throughout the summer, her life is irrevocably changed. She finally has a social life and is trying new things. Though the one thing that hasn't changed is her inability to sleep at night, and that's when the most interesting things start to happen.
The book started off at a good steady pace, it didn't drag but it didn't rush me either. Even from the beginning, I could kind of relate to Auden. I tried to achieve the best marks, didn't go out much, and even when asked to go out, I usually deny it. You could say I'm a homebody, but I don't want to spend time with just anybody, they'd have to be like my best friend. (Or book bloggers now...) I could relate to her in that sense, but her family situation was something that I couldn't relate to. Her parents were divorced and her brother was off in Europe. Her family was just all over the place!
I didn't like her dad much from the start, but I could see why Auden struggled with how she felt about him. I mean, he was her dad after all, but he was also selfish and self conceited. And her mom was just always a cold hard shell. I enjoyed watching Auden as she came to terms with herself and also as she tried to fix up her relationship between herself and her family.
Sarah Dessen did a great job at building up the relationships. Not once did I feel as if I had to question why she may have hated someone, or liked someone. She may not have directly stated things, but I think it's those indirect statements that are made that really have an impact.
I loved the metaphors that were used in here, primarily referring back to biking. The bike symbols a lot, and as I read the book, I absolutely loved and understood what it symbolized. I shouldn't be analyzing books, but I actually love hunting for "Easter eggs".
All in all, this is a great first book for me to read that was by Sarah Dessen. I'm eager to read some of her other books. This was a very good contemporary novel about second chances, or really just not giving up.