Along for the Ride is an enjoyable read by a renowned YA author Sarah Dessen. Dessen has gained wide spread popularity by writing genuine stories about coming of age, friendship and love. Her characters are typically well developed and true to life. People can relate to her characters and their predicaments and that is what makes Dessen’s books so popular and loved. You will not find any paranormal creatures in her books.
Auden Penelope West is the central protagonist of Along for the Ride. She is an accomplished, highly intelligent girl who quite does not fit among her peers. Her adolescence was influenced by her parents’ stormy relationships followed by their divorce. Furthermore, the combination of being treated like an adult by her parents and lack of friends of her age made her miss out many teen milestones and experiences. Fortunately, Auden decides to spend her last summer before heading to college with her newly remarried father, his young wife and their baby girl in a beach town of Colby. Here, at first unwillingly, she gets immersed in the world of girls and boys her age and finds out that she is not the only one with troubled past. Most importantly, she not only gets a chance to catch up on a carefree teenage life, but also find peace within herself. Finally, Auden learns that first impressions are not always true, that people can surprise you and that people can change.
Along for the Ride was recommended to me by a fellow librarian. I quite enjoyed it, even though, the story moved along little slower that I would like to. However, I did like the characters and I think that Dessen did an excellent job especially with the supporting/secondary characters. Overall, I recommend Along for the Ride as a fresh summer read for young adults and those young at heart.