It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. 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.
In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
what we thought:
m- i am obsessed with sarah dessen books. i have read every single one of them. they are so amazing and are great at capturing your attention. along for the ride is one of my favorite sarah dessen novels. i was immediately captured into the story when i was introduced to auden. i love auden. she is the typical high school college-bound/wallflower who has this corky personality that you just can’t help but like.
l- this book was just too adorable. sarah dessen’s writing style gives you such a personal connection with the protagonist. the story was slow-moving in a way that i really loved, because we really got a good feel for the character progression. we saw auden start the story with such a fear of people in general and of becoming vulnerable, to really opening up and growing as a person. it was coming-of-age in some ways, because auden was almost reclaiming lost pieces of her childhood, but in other ways she started the series as somewhat of an adult. it was really the difference of how she presented herself – which was the sort of shield she had to put up – becoming “grown up” at a really young age, to how she truly felt underneath all of those layers. this was something she had to admit to herself, that she was somebody who felt lost and unsure, which kind of gave the story a coming-of-age feel.
m- (in enters eli)
l- ooh, snap!
m- eli. eli. eli. you just can’t get enough of him. he is the boy-next-door with an interesting past. he’s kind of like a mystery through most of the book. you are always trying to figure him out but through the little things you can see him opening up more and more. the relationship between eli and auden is an interesting one. i don’t want to give anything away so i won’t say anything, but the way their relationship progresses and exists is something that everyone can relate to.
l- eli was a really great character. my favorite characters in this book, besides him and auden, were her friends leah, maggie, and esther, as well as her step-mom heidi. auden didn’t really see herself becoming friends with girls who she thought were shallow, just because they were super-girly. it was really great to see her realize the mistake she made in believing in the girly-girls-with-no-brains stereotype. the girls were just so bubbly and fun and added a lot to the story.
m- definitely. one other character that i absolutely loved was hollis, auden’s older-yet-immature brother. he was the character that just always made you laugh. he always had some witty comment or funny story to talk about and it made him one of my favorite character’s in this novel. the whole bike riding aspect of the story, i think, made it more interesting. i don’t ride bikes often but when i do i love it. i love the whole cycling subject matter in the story and it made the story more unique.
l- i really liked the metaphor about the bikes and how it was incorporated into the story. one of the main themes of this book was that there’s always a second chance, even if it’s a third, fourth, fifth chance… “as many as it takes to get it right.” that’s the thing with sarah dessen novels, they can seem one-dimensional on the surface, but there’s such deeper meaning that you get along the way.
rating! (out of five stars): *****
Would we recommend it? yepperdoodles! 😀