Thursday, August 5, 2010

Along for the Ride- Review

I won Along for the Ride, from the generous and talented Lauren Oliver as part of a summer reading contest she had just a short while back.  This was great for two reasons.

1.  because won books are exciting, and come in the mail as surprise packages upon arrival from work, brightening even the dullest day.
2.  I never would have picked this book up on my own.

I never would have picked it up for a few reasons, but mainly because it's super pink, super girly looking and has a cover I really don't find appealing.  Which, amusingly, puts me in the same boat as the main character Auden, who is similarly predisposed to dislike anything super girly, super pink and seems like she wouldn't be caught dead reading a YA novel (certainly not my problem!).  Well thank god there are lovely gifters like Lauren to set me on the right path, because Along for the Ride was a terrific summer read that I would have been sorry to have missed out on.

The plot is relatively simple; Auden's parents are split up, her dad has recently remarried and has a brand new baby girl, the three of them are living in a small ocean side town of Colby, and have invited Auden to visit for the summer.  Auden has lead a life barren of the usual pleasantries of childhood, and decides to spend her summer between high school and university differently than all her previous summers of studying and staying home with her demanding mother.  She takes her dad up on his offer for a visit and heads down to Colby for the summer.  The question is, can she make up for all her lost childhood in one summer or is she too set in her ways?

This book was, quite simply, charming.  I loved the characters, I loved the surprises along the way about the characters, and I loved Auden's re-discovery of the every day childhood things like riding a bike, bowling, and stopping in at the corner store to fuel up for the night.  And the love interest Eli?  He might be one of my favorite love interests in YA, I mean come on! he knows how to make rice crispies and how to deal with fussy babies?! Plus he has that quiet introspective thing going for him, which I so enjoy.

Along for the Ride touched on all my fond memories of time off in the summers; friends, adventure, being somewhere idyllic and unlike the cities we all live in the rest of the year.  It was a perfect couple day getaway for the summer and I recommend it for everyones summer reading list, especially if you don't have any real time off and your trapped in a hot, dirty, city!

Yay Lauren, for introducing me to my next great read!

Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Juvenile, June 2009

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