Heather's Pick: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating.
Auden has spent her entire childhood reeling from her parents divorce which has led her to an isolated life of academic ambition, relentless insomnia, and no friends. The summer before college starts Auden decides to spend it in the coastal town of Colby with her father, stepmother, and new stepsister, Thisbe. There she meets Eli, a mysterious local who works in the town's bike shop who also suffers insomnia. Auden and Eli soon embark on a quest that allows Auden to experience some of the rights of passage she missed during her sheltered childhood. Can Auden learn to conquer her social awkwardness and live the life she was meant to live?
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen is a fast-paced, character-driven novel that reminds us all to live life to the fullest and most importantly to let people in. I found myself relating to Auden even as an adult. I believe this is attributed to Dessen’s writing. She has a way of creating and presenting characters that are not “typical” teenagers, but are human beings that have flaws and insecurities that can be felt at any age. I loved seeing Auden come out of her shell as she explored people and experiences she was afraid to or never had the opportunity to have. It was inspiring. Even though this novel is labeled as fast-paced, I found it to be slow at times and I found myself wanting the novel to move on. However, this novel is a must read and I am anxious (and maybe a little apprehensive) to see the movie version of the novel which came to Netflix on April 22, 2022.
Availability: Book Rating: *** (I liked it) Reviewer: Heather, Thibodaux Branch Manager
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AWARDS: Goodreads Choice Awards: 2009; YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 2010
GENRE: Page to Screen; Realistic Fiction
WRITING STYLE: Engaging; Well-Crafted Dialogue
TONE: Bittersweet; Reflective; Upbeat
SUBJECT: Bicycling; Children of Divorced Parents; Guilt; Guilt in Teenage Boys; Insomniac; Interpersonal Relations; Romantic Love; Self-Discovery; Self-Discovery in Teenagers; Summer; Teenage Boy/Girl Relations; Teenage Girls; Teenagers
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