Friday, November 18, 2016

Along for the Ride

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM

Age: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, romance
Rating: 5 stars

Melissa Thinks: Rereading books is not something I normally do. The most frustrating thing about being a book lover is as I grow older, I find my tastes are always changing. A book I might have read and loved five years ago I might read now and hate. I originally read Along for the Ride six or seven years ago and it wasn't a book that made a large impression on me. On this second read through, I've had an unexpectedly different reaction.

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors for several reasons. First of all, her novels are always so well crafted. The characters have layers of character development that slowly emerge throughout her stories. She knows how to write about teenagers in a way that is not patronizing or stereotypical. Dessen novels are a perfect example of YA novels or "chick lit" books that can transcend their marketed audience. The themes and messages of this book (perseverance, femininity, elitism in academia, family and motherhood, change)

Another of Sarah Dessen’s strengths is the relationships she builds within her novels. Whether it’s familial relationships, friendships, or romantic connections, Dessen always seems to find the best ways to bring her characters together. Take, for instance, Eli and Auden. Their relationship starts off fairly innocently; they bond over coffee, pie, and insomnia. As they become closer, it’s hard not to want them to end up together forever. But like I said, it’s not just about the romance. Auden’s damaged relationship with her mother, father, and stepmother plays a very important role in Along for the Ride. Auden also connects with a group of girls who work in her stepmother’s store, which showcases the importance of strong friendships as opposed to the female rivalry which can often play a big part in YA books.

To conclude: I just really loved this book a lot more than I thought I would. Oftentimes an author’s later books can be crappy in comparison t their earlier works, but Along for the Ride was an amazing read, much like Dessen’s earlier works. So if you’ve not read a book by this author before, I think this is a great one to start with!

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