#ReadADessen Week 5: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Review Source: Speak

Up all night.

Nights have always been Auden's time, her chance to escape everything that's going on around her.

Then she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and he becomes her nocturnal tour guide.

Now, with an endless supply of summer nights between them, almost anything can happen...

Along for the Ride has been on of my favorite Sarah Dessen books to date. Auden hasn’t been able to sleep during the night long before her parents divorced, though they are the beginning of what made Auden stay up through the night. When Auden decides to visit her father and step-mother for the summer she finds herself navigating a new town, with new places to visit during the night; where she finds herself a fellow insomniac, Eli.

Along for the Ride had a lot more depth to it than some of the other books I have read by Dessen. Auden is navigating a new life for the summer, getting a second chance with her father, learning to “deal” with her step-mom, becoming a well rounded person, and experiencing a lot of things she really missed out on as a child. Her parents kind of made her into an adult kid, and she didn’t get to scrape her knees or get in trouble, she stayed inside and studied, she was the perfect daughter to her mother. A lot changed over the summer and she became more self aware and I just love that about these books. People tend to shun YA for some unknown reason and act like these characters aren’t going through real life problems, and self-doubt, but we all do at one point in time and teenagers especially need to know they’re not alone in this, that it’s okay to change and become a better version of themselves. Auden followed a lot in her mother’s footsteps and that really held her back on experiencing things as mundane as riding a bike or even playing outside.

Then besides Auden, the characters around her made me fall in love. Her step-mom had me worried, I loved when Auden stopped being so judgmental towards her and realized the person she actually is. The girls at the shop, who became more than what she saw on surface. Then Eli, I swear Sarah Dessen knows how to make you fall for a boy and fall hard. I just wanted to hug him tightly. But that’s the best part of a Dessen book, it’s not just about the protagonist but the stories she weaves around them as well. She puts a lot of depth and time into her work and it shows. I know when I pick up a Dessen book I won’t be disappointed when I put it down.

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