Sarah Dessen is one of my absolute favourite authors. I have read this book so many times that I have lost count. So for the sake of the challenge I have decided to read one of my old favourites again. Prepare for spoilers within my review!
The story follows Auden, a girl whose world is turned upside down by the divorce of her parents. Her parents break up with no explanation, leaving a gap in her life. The book then starts a few years later just after she has finished her senior year, and deciding how to spent her summer. Being an over achiever Auden decides to spent her summer getting ready for college and studying. Both her parents are professors, so she studies to impress them. For years of being unable to sleep due to her parents fighting, Auden has been unable to sleep at night. Having enough of staying with her mum for the summer, she goes to stay with her father and his new young wife Heidi. Who have just had their first daughter together, Auden's half sister.
During this time away, Auden reconnects with her dad and meets Eli a withdrawn teenager with a lot of his own secrets. I found Auden and Eli's relationship inspiring, it starts small but leads to an easy friendship and then relationship. Something that Auden had not experienced well before. Not only does Auden meet Eli, but she breaks free of her mother's expectations and learns about herself.
Reading this book again, brought me back to the emotions of my teenage self, who was just trying to find herself. A lot like Auden in this book who is trying to find herself no matter what the consequences are. My favourite aspect of Dessen's work is her ability to give great character development, whilst being able to continue on with the main plot of the story. Coming away from reading her books always leaves you thinking about the deep meaning that Dessen puts into her books. Reading Along for the Ride was just the same, I learnt the values of meaning and friendship from Auden and the book keep me on my toes all the way through.
So for that reason I give the book 5/5 stars, Auden's story is a spine tinkling journey of life from a realistic perspective.