Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
This post is to qualify (again) for the 19-YA-Book Giveaway by author Beth Revis. I think this is the greatest idea and cannot wait to see what books people are most thankful for.
So this summer some random chick recommended Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride to me after I finished (and LOVED) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I was told that if I loved Anna I would most definitely love Along for the Ride. She described it to me as a good “beach read.” OK so those of you that know me know I do not hang at the beach nor did I go to the beach this summer. I mean really? Beach Read? ME? Is there a murder on the Beach? Are there zombies on the beach? Are there werewolves or sparkly vampires on the beach?
So you ask what is a beach read? I define (in my mind from the Chris - tionary) a beach read as a book that is a quick read. The story completed at the end, no strings attached. A book you can slip into without over thinking. A book you can set down in the sand to fly a kite without being consumed with what will happen next. An entertaining light read (sometimes sappy or gushy or gooey) that you would leave for the next vacationers to enjoy. Also known as book I normally would not read.
Not long after this recommendation I was strolling through BJ’s and saw Along for the Ride. I hesitantly decided to scoop it up. Auden, the main character in Along for the Ride is a braniac insomniac who is given the chance to spend the summer with her father and his new family. She meets mysterious hunky loner and fellow insomniac Eli and together they embark on midnight “quests” both learning to let go and possibly find love. AWWWWW!
Along For The Ride is indeed a quick read, very entertaining and the story is wrapped up in a bow at the end. BUT that bow is so beautiful on a wonderful glittery present I debated on opening it again. Immediately I wanted to jump back in those pages of fluffy sweetness! Instead I went back to BJ’s like the crazy book lady I am, I dug through the piles of books pushing little kids outta the way and found Just Listen, Lock & Key, and The Truth About Forever. I also have been known to troll the D section of the library, blocking sassy tweens in their skinny jeans to get that copy before they do. I love Dessen’s characters, they are so multifaceted and complex! She immerses you in their fears, insecurities, grief, resentments, and anxieties at the same time she takes you by hand and shows you hope, kindness, understanding, acceptance, empowerment, and true love. Seriously! How comforting.
The situations her characters face sometimes are very intense and powerful, In This Lullaby, Annabel deals with isolation, and the shame and guilt of concealing her attempted rape, while her sister self destructs with a near fatal eating disorder. In Dreamland Caitlyn’s perfect romance become a nightmare of addiction and physical and mental abuse. I have to admit I was very worried being led down some of these dark avenues but Sarah Dessen guided me through the pain and despair into a happy world with sunshiny rainbows and closure in a very real and very believable way.
So Beach Read? Hmmmm.
Would I read this at the beach? Absolutely! In a box with a fox! I would read this book here or there; I would read this book anywhere.
Is it a quick read? I could not put it down! So yeah I zipped right through it.
Is it a light read? Not really, I was totally absorbed in the story and characters. I mean What the heck is up with Eli?? When I did set it down for a nano-second it was to make chicken salad for dinner :)
Would I leave the book for the next vacationer? Heck no! Try to pry it from my hands! I would however leave a nice note recommending it strongly.
I am thankful for Along for the Ride. I especially love that in each of her books there is a cameo by former characters. The settings of her books overlap, making a map of her world in my mind. Because of Along For the Ride I have been introduced to a new genre I would not have explored. I am so grateful I picked up this book. Right now have three of Dessen’s books on my TBR pile and then I will have read everything she has written to date. So Sad! * tear* That’s OK I will read these again and patiently wait for the next one.