I really think Sarah Dessen and I could be best friends. She’s fun and quirky and writes amazing books. Plus, I hear she really likes dessert. We’re meant to be! She’s also a brilliant author that can truly channel the teen mind and the need for “real” fiction. Though I love them all, Along for the Ride is definitely my favorite and the perfect book to get teens geared up for summer vacation!
Auden is an incredibly smart girl, a girl with a great head on her shoulders, but also a girl forced to grow up quickly to impress her academic parents, even after they divorced. Always studying, always doing the right thing. This summer, Auden is just sick to death of putting up with her overbearing, uncaring mother and all the graduate students that flit in and out of the woman’s life, so she decides to go spend the summer at her father’s beach house, with his new wife, and new baby sister.
Taking a job in her stepmother’s fancy beach boutique is about the last thing Auden planned to do, as were falling in love with both a guy and her baby sister, or forgetting to study all summer long. But work, fall in love, and become a “real girl” she does, and the experience is both satisfying and terrifying. Her simple, lonely life has become one filled to the brim with people and emotions and Auden isn’t quite sure how to live anymore.
In true Sarah Dessen fashion, the reader gets a perfect YA book experience. The characters feel like they could be kids you go to school with (and they all have fabulous names), the situations are ones that teens today really find themselves in, and the connections Dessen makes between plot, character, and reader is truly remarkable.
Plus, cute guys and the beach?? You all need this book.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen; $9.99; Penguin Group USA; Ages 14+