Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen
performed by Rachel Botchan
Published 2009 by Recorded Books
12 hours, 46 minutes. Unabridged.
Rating: 5/5

It’s been so long since Auden slept at time. 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.

I must have more Sarah Dessen immediately. I loved this book. It had much more depth than I expected. I thought it would be a little more romantic than it was, but I didn’t mind too much. It was good enough that it didn’t matter.

The book is more about Auden and her issues more than anything else. Her relationship with Eli is part of it, but it’s a smaller part, in my opinion. It’s much more about her figuring out who she is than anything else. Eli is just a part of all that. I loved all the characters and their various flaws. There was a lot of depth to all the characters, and I really appreciated that. Her mother is especially complicated. I really enjoyed discovering the different sides of everyone with Auden.

I think because the book is more about characters than plot, it moves a little slower. It doesn’t really matter because the character development is really interesting. Somehow I expected this book to be a little more simple than it was. It surprised me by dealing with some really deep issues. Auden has to learn not to shut everyone out. Auden’s mother has to learn to be more sensitive and less judgemental. And her father has to learn to check his selfishness at the door. What’s great is that, though I was angry with her parents sometimes, I never hated them. There was too much there to absolutely hate them.

Along for the Ride is an engaging coming-of-age story about second chances. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Rachel Botchan is an actress with the Pearl Theatre Company and a narrator with Recorded Books. She did an excellent job reading this book. Her voices were great, and I really loved her fluency. This is a very well done audio book.

Source: Emmet O’Neal Library. Mountain Brook, AL.
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Recorded Books | Book Depository | IndieBound | Audible

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  1. Great Review. Sounds like an interesting read.

  2. Yes, you really must have more Sarah Dessen immediately! I've read all of her books and love them (even though I'm 26 years old – far from her target audience!). Glad to hear that you liked this book and the depth of Auden's character. Thanks for sharing your review!Erin @ Quitting My Day Job


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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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