Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen demonstrates how great Dessen is with her character development and ability to weave her characters into one world, and always love it when you get to take a trip to Colby.
In Along For The Ride Auden is getting ready for college and decides to spend the summer with her dad, his new wife and her baby half-sister Thisbe. However, Auden’s dad is too busy writing to spend time with her. After a one night stand with the ex of one of her stepmum’s employees it seems like Auden’s summer is over before it has even begun. Auden spends most of her nights wandering, a habit she developed due to her parents fighting before they divorced. Through her night wanderings Auden develops a friendship with Eli, and the novel falls into the familiar (but always wonderful) pattern of a Dessen novel.
I think one of the most interesting parts of the novel was the way Auden navigates her relationship with her parents. Her father is, well, a d***. Auden’s mother treated Auden like an adult all her life, and the relationship they have is interesting, especially in comparison to that of the one her mother has with Hollis, Auden’s brother.
I loved that romance wasn’t the main focus of the novel, and the way Dessen slowly developed Auden, ensuring the changes in her character remained realistic. Plus, the amount of references and crossovers with other novels was fantastic!
Another fabulous novel by Dessen! Whilst it isn’t in my top 3 it does a great job of exploring the parent/child relationship and what happens when you haven’t been allowed to have typical childhood experiences.
For another Dessen novel check out my review of Dreamland, a much more serious book that delves into some heavy, but important, issues. And for even more books check out The Book Club page for a list of books I’ve reviewed so far.