Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

dessenThis was a prepub and as I’m a big fan of everything she writes I was thrilled to get my hands on this. Like most of  Dessen’s other books, this features a very smart girl (Auden) who doesn’t quite fit in eventually getting together with a quirky guy.  In this instance the girl is really quite brilliant and models herself after her academic mother, eschewing “normal” social activities to immerse herself in academia.  Her father and mother are divorced and her father is remarried to a perky young woman named Heidi, who has just had a baby.  For reasons she doesn’t quite understand herself Auden chooses to spend the summer with her father and Heidi. And of course it’s a summer in which she learns to make connections to others, has fun, and actually connects more with Heidi than with her dad.  Reading this was a different experience for me than reading Dessen’s other novels because of the whole part of the story that deals with Heidi, Auden’s dad, and the new baby (unfortunately named Thisbe.)  I couldn’t not read this from the point of view of a mom of two young children.  I was so disgusted by Auden’s selfish dad for not caring for his child (I need 9 hours of sleep, can’t you deal with her?), Heidi for not standing up for herself and demanding that she not be the sole caregiver of her screaming newborn, and even Auden for not calling her dad out on being a selfish a-hole.  I couldn’t decide if it was just irritating or if it was irritating and unrealistic (I found it incredibly unrealistic that Heidi would not have known about swaddling infants.)  I’m afraid that’s why Auden had to get the “unlikable main characater” category, because of that and also because of her initial unkindness towards Heidi because Heidi is so girly and likes pink things and so on. Also, she is an insomniac and drinks coffee all night (and day) long and midway through the novel I realized she must have the world’s worst breath (perpetually).   All that said, I thought it was a great novel and, like in most of her other novels, I really really liked the secondary characters.  Well written and engrossing with a very satisfying ending.

3 thoughts on “Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

  1. I agree with your review. The Sara Dessen really pulled me into Along for the Ride. The characters seem so real to me. I dreamed one night, after reading part of the book, that the book was a movie and not a book. It was that real in my head.

    I just saw your blog for the first time and really like it!

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