Thursday, March 24, 2011
Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen
It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.
A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
I have a confession to make....I have never before read a book by Sarah Dessen.
There. Now that I have that off my chest, I can review.
I loved this book. I read it straight through while sitting on my sofa in the sunlight, wishing that it was summer. This book made me want summer so badly, I cannot even tell you.
The character of Auden was endearing in her awkwardness. She'd spent so much of her childhood trying to be mature for her age, that she'd never learned how to have any fun--or how to have any friends. She's not perfect by any means. She's too much like her mother--overbearing and opinionated--which is only a hindrance when she goes to stay with her father and her stepmother for the summer before she starts college.
She doesn't fit in at all in a town where everyone knows everyone and she's the only outsider. But she's happy that way, at least, in the beginning. But as her father and stepmother's relationship begins to fall apart after they have a new baby, Auden is left feeling very alone. Slowly, she begins to bond with the girls she works with, and she begins to spend more time with Eli, the town loner, who has problems of his own to deal with. She and Eli have a very sweet, gradual relationship that was full of mistakes. I loved it.
And slowly, Auden realizes that she can't make everyone else happy all the time, so she starts focusing on making herself happy for once.
This was a really sweet and touching read. I loved it a lot. I'm definitely going to be picking up more by Sarah Dessen in the future.