Friday, June 12, 2009

Along for the Ride

Dessen, Sarah. 2009. Along for the Ride. Viking. 382 pages.

The emails always began the same way.

I love Sarah Dessen. I do. I know that there are other great romance writers out there for teens. And there's always room for more in this giddy-making genre. But for me, it doesn't really get much better than Dessen. Along for the Ride is her latest YA novel. It stars Auden, a teen girl with a bit of a sleeping problem. (Whether you think it's a problem-problem, or just a reinforced bad habit, I'll let you decide.) Ever since her parents began fighting, she has had trouble sleeping at night. (So she might stay up til the wee morning hours, but then she'll get in her hours of sleep in the morning and early afternoon.) When she was at home, she found refuge in a diner that was open 24 hours a day. But now that summer is here, now that she has decided to pay a visit to her father and stepmother, Heidi, (not to mention her new little baby sister) in a beach-resort type town, she's got to begin to adapt.

At first, Auden isn't quite sure what to make of her new situation. Heidi is exhausted; her dad is aloof--locked away in his office busy working on his new book. And she's really left on her own most of the time. Which isn't a bad thing. Sure, she'd hoped to catch up with her dad and get to know him a bit better before she heads off to college in the fall. But it's not like she expected to spend all her time with good old dad. This summer instead turns into a quest of sorts. Her quest to catch up on all the things she missed out on growing up--making new friends, hanging out, going bowling, flirting, etc. And this being a Dessen novel, expect a great hero.

Eli, like Auden, is a night owl. In fact that is one of the reasons they bond. He shows her all the local delights. They spend weekfuls of nights together, hanging out, laughing, being silly and carefree and forgetting about some of the problems that plague them during the day.

New stepmother. New baby sister. New job. New friends. And her first ever 'real' boyfriend.

Is it my favorite Sarah Dessen novel? Probably not. I think I'll always heart The Truth About Forever the best because it was my first. And while I've truly enjoyed all of her books which I've read (I still need to read Dreamland, by the way), none have quite been able to take the place of it as favorite.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


JessicaLeigh said...

I've yet to read a Sarah Dessen book. I really want to though. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!!

Janssen said...

Sarah Dessen just KILLS me with her continual excellence. This one is probably my third favorite book, after The Truth about Forever (you cannot beat it) and Someone Like You.

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Great review! I'm reading it right now and almost done with it. I love Sarah Dessen's style and how easily it is for me to slip into the character's world. She always manages to make me have a new character crush too.


Suko said...

I'll look for this author, and especially for her book, The Truth About Forever.

Weronika Janczuk said...

Oh, I love, love Sarah. I haven't read The Truth About Forever yet--it's still on my to do list--but thus far my favorite has been This Lullaby. Loved it.

Thanks for the review!

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

I would love to read something by Sarah Dessen, but perhaps this isn't where to start?

I have an award for you :)

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

I read Dreamland last week. Loved it. I'm on a mission to read all of hers..

Lily said...

The Truth About Forever is my favorite too! However, Along For the Ride is definitely my second favorite! No one beats the awesomeness that is Wes! I cannot wait for another Dessen novel! I always end up crying at sometime during them but I love them anyways!

Ellie said...

I have read most of her books and can't wait to read this one! My favorite so far has to be the truth about forever. I don't think any of the other guys in the books have been able to live up to the awesome Wes <3

Is this lullaby worth reading? I think I'll read it regardless just to say I've read all her books because they really are quite special.

Thanks for the review!

Tami said...

I just discovered your blog and it's really complete! I read every single Sarah Dessen book and the best by far is the one you haven't read, Dreamland. it;s so out of the ordinary for Dessen to write something like it and it was great. it went so much deeper than all the rest. i strongly recommend it =) hope you read it