Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride


Dessen, S. (2009). Along for the ride: A novel. New York, N.Y.: Viking.   9780670011940

A few years ago, I picked up Sarah Dessen’s That Summer after watching How to Deal at the library. Rapidly, I made my way through bibliography. Then, I found myself requesting her books as soon as the library bought them. I caught Dessen fever, so to speak. So, I maintained the habit with her latest work Along for the Ride.

Dessen writes again about the fictitious North Carolina college town Lakeview and brings back Colby. This time we meet the old, ever so mature daughter, Auden Penelope West. She’s the insomniac daughter of a brilliant academic, Dr. Victoria West,  and a great writer, Robert West. At the last minute, Auden decides to go stay with her father, stepmother – Heidi, and new baby sister, Thisbe the summer before college. During this summer, Auden relives the time of her parents’ divorce and strives to do something she’s never before done – be a teenager. She makes friends, takes chances, and learns some of the lessons she missed in school.

I’m definitely a Dessen fan and I was so happy to have something of hers to read. I enjoy the slice of life situations and sympathetic characters as well as the down-to-earth way Dessen tells stories. Also, I anticipate all of the Easter eggs throws my way. While I wouldn’t rate this as my all time favorite Dessen book, I feel a I took more from it than I do easy reads. I picked up bits about BMX competitions, academia, and more knowledge of poet W.H. Auden.

This was not my favorite Dessen book; that would be Keeping the Moon. Nonetheless, this ride was a blast and I know full well my name will be on the waiting list for whatever she writes next. . . 😀

Three and a Half out of Five Pearls

Places: Lakeview, North Carolina; Colby, North Carolina; University

Word Bank: academia BMX games, insomnia, missive,

For more on Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride, check out the following link:

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11 thoughts on “Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride

  1. I totally agree with what you said about her writing being very down-to-earth, thats one of the reasons I love her books so much. I do have to disagree on point, however and that would be that Along for the Ride is my favorite book by her.

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