Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Along for the Ride-- Sarah Dessen

For those of you who have read this blog from the beginning, you will know that I really love Sarah Dessen... I read her personal blog too, and learned a bit about her process while writing Along for the Ride. While this isn't my favorite book she has ever written, I still quite enjoyed it.

Like all of Dessen's novels, the protagonist is a girl who is smart, witty, and complex. Studious to a fault, top-of-her-class Auden decides to experience life a little more fully by living on the coast with her deadbeat dad, his new wife and baby. Auden's never been a girly-girl. She never dated in high school, and was raised by a feminist mother who taught her that beauty is on the inside and that a smart woman is a powerful woman. When Auden meets Heidi, her dad's new trophy wife, she immediately judges her... but when night-owl Auden meets other girls her age who happen to be beautiful AND intelligent, she has to rethink her preconceived notions... oh, and of course, it wouldn't be a Dessen novel if there wasn't a beautifully imperfect boy around the corner.

So as usual, it's nearly impossible to sum up this Sarah Dessen novel without making it sound boring and cheesy. Her books are never totally straight-forward, which makes them a pleasure to read, but hard to summarize. Still, if you are a fan of well-written books that deal in relationships (romantic, familial, or platonic) this book is for you. It's also a good book to recommend to teens who like to read romance, but don't want mushy-gooshy or graphic sex in their novels.

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