Along For The Ride

Reader: Avi G
Age: 15
Title: Along For The Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking
Pub Date: June 2009
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I was most compelled by the character of Auden. The decisions she made throughout the book and her attitude towards new experiences frustrated me, but they also kept me reading to find out if she would change her ways by the end of the summer. It was interesting to see how certain traits possessed by her parents had been passed along to her. For example, her mother's habit of judging people immediately was present in Auden as well. She writes off Maggie as a fashion-obsessed air-head when she first meets her, and later is quite shocked to find out that Maggie was accepted into the same prestigious college that Auden was attending in the fall. I was also interested in her relationship with Eli; how it first started and evolved throughout the book. Although, during the middle of the book it seemed as though their relationship was stuck in the same place.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I'm a big fan of Sarah Dessen but this book was definitely not one of her best. I felt that the only likeable character in the book was Maggie, and her role was a secondary character. Auden and Eli, the two main characters, were somewhat annoying throughout the book. Also, I felt like the middle of the book was filled with nothing. There were no major plot advances or changes in character, and it made the reading dry and tiresome. I felt it was unrealistic that all the failed relationships (Heidi and Robert, Auden and Eli, Adam and Maggie) were resolved in one night when nothing had been mended in the previous months. Over all, I was very disappointed in Along For The Ride.
Did the cover reflect the contents: The cover made it clear that there was a romantic relationship present in the book because of the girl and boy on the bike. I love a book with a little romance in it so that was one of the factors that tempted me to read it. Also, Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors so her name on the front was another contributing factor. I think the cover accurately portrayed the contents of the book. I thought Auden learning to ride a bike was good symbolism for her also learning to step out of her comfort zone and take chances in her life. I think learning to ride gave her the power to overcome her fear of relationships and pursue one with Eli.
Age Range: 14-15
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

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