Saturday, August 27, 2011
Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Auden decides to spend the summer after her senior year living with her father, Heidi the step-mother, and new half-sister, Thisbe, before going off to college in the Fall. Up to this point Auden has focused almost all of her energy on academics with few friends and no social life. Auden helps out Heidi by keeping the books for her boutique so that she can stay home with Thisbe, who is a very fussy baby. While working at the boutique Auden makes friends with the other girls who work there. She also starts to spend time with Eli, another night-owl like Auden, and they embark on a quest --- doing things normal teenagers do that Auden never did growing up. Along the way Auden learns a lot about herself which includes "getting back up on the bike" after a fall.
Earlier this summer I placed a poll on my blog asking Dessen fans to weigh in and tell me which of Sarah's books I should read first. Along for the Ride wasn't the winner. (I believe that Just Listen won.) However, I found this book in the audiobook section of the library and decided that would be the best way to get me started. SO I checked it out and started listening. I really like listening to audiobooks especially if the story has complicated names (like the Eragon series) or begs for dramatic interpretation (like The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) but books like Along for the Ride sometimes bog down in this format. The narrator, Rachel Botchan, does a great job and sounds very believable as a teenager. The problem with the format is the amount of time it takes to listen to a book verses read a book. When I finally switched to the written book I was able to zoom along and found I enjoyed the story much more.
Before I consider myself a Sarah Dessen fan I will want to read another of her books, but in the meantime I enjoyed this one and will certainly recommend it to students this Fall.