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Publisher's Summary

It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce - or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

©2009 Sarah Dessen; (P)2009 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"The cover may mislead readers, as despite the body language of the girl in pink and the hunky blue-jeaned boy balanced on a bike, this is no slight romance: there's real substance here. Dessen's many fans will not be deterred by the length or that cover; they expect nuanced, subtle writing, and they won't be disappointed." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    108
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    48
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    4

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    70
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    54
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    26
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    7
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    0

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not a romance story

The description of this book led me to believe it was a romance. Not even close. It's about a girl coming to grips with her parent's divorce and their new relationships. Just when I thought the romance might build- I was let down. There is little to no description of characters so it was impossible for me to visualize them.
The narrator has a squeaky voice. And, like another reviewer mentioned, takes awkward pauses. Not just in dialogue, but at random times. I thought it was the end of a chapter a couple times.

I wish I hadn't wasted my credit on this pick.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not Just "Chick-Lit"

I've read several books by Sarah Dessen, and this one is my favorite so far. The main character, Auden, is smart, and I love intelligent female characters. She's decided to spend the summer between graduation from high school and her first year at college with her father in a beach resort town. This new location and the people who come into her life there make this summer one of change and transition for Auden. Usually a loner, she starts to reach out and make friends, including a boyfriend. She's forming new relationships with her stepmother and step sister. Most important, she's confronting her own feelings about her parents' divorce.
This book has realistic characters and situations. It gets the reader to consider relationships among family members and friends, as well as how people can or cannot change.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book, pretty good narrator

This is turning out to be a great book. I haven't finished it yet but I had to write a review because of the narrator. The narrator is great but when she does dialogue sometimes she makes these long pauses when she switches characters. I keep thinking the audio is cutting out. It is kind of annoying but otherwise the narrator is really good and the book is fun to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Pretty Good

I loved the story and the voice was pretty clear, but like many audio books, it was far too slow. I sped it up to 1.25x speed, but any slower was too slow and any faster distorted the voice. I had to read this for a book project and I waited for the last minute, so listening for 12 hours as I multitasked got fairly repetitive and annoying. Lol.

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it was awesome

Sarah Dessen never fails to get you hooked. loved it :) Can't wait for her next novel.

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  • Story

Finding your childhood

What made the experience of listening to Along for the Ride the most enjoyable?

The story of finding your childhood while dealing with an over controlling mother and realizing that it is similar to what I've experienced or seen in the world.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Along for the Ride?

Auden watching her dad and step mom argue and her step mom trying to deal with the new baby and balance the checkbook with no help from her dad and then Auden decides to balance the checkbook for her one night.

What does Rachel Botchan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A kind of innocence to the characters

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really it is a little long but I did manage it while on the bus

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Just as good as I remembered

What made the experience of listening to Along for the Ride the most enjoyable?

Rachel brought the book to life in a brillant way. She gave Sarah's characters new life and a new voice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ester. Her wry humor and no nonsense personality was the perfect contrast between all the happier characters.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where Thisbee smiled up at Auden.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to. But I would have if I could.

Any additional comments?

It's a must read!

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  • Story

Typical Teenage Love Story

Where does Along for the Ride rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would rank this in the least interesting and intuitive book thus far. I did expect coming from Sarah Dessen for this book to be a typical teenage love story where everything works out in the end, and yet for some reason I was also expecting more. Some of her books, such as Just Listen or Dreamland, gave more depth than just a traditional love story and I guess that is what I was looking for in this book. She isn't my favorite author, but she is in the top ranks of what I read and listen too often times. Again, if you are looking for the typical teenage love story where everything works out in the end, then get this book.

Would you be willing to try another book from Sarah Dessen? Why or why not?

Yes but with more caution. Typically when I look for a new audible book I look by author or by chance, meaning that I'll find a genre that I would like to listen too and pick a random book from there. I went searching for Sarah Dessen and found this. If I decide to purchase another Dessen book, I would make sure to read the description carefully before listening too the book or reading it.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Rachel Botchan?

Yes and no. It irritated me that half way through the book, she started to pronounce Thigsby's name as Igsby. At first, I thought I wasn't hearing right, but as she kept performing, I realized that she was saying Igsby. There was no rhyme or reason as to why she was doing this and you don't find until later in the book that the main character started calling the other character that until the very end. Otherwise she kept the same voices for each character and she kept the performance up beat keeping you interested.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Living life to the fullest, one quest at a time.

Any additional comments?

Overall the book was good, again I just wished more than just a typical teenage love story. It isn't a bad purchase, but if your in the mood for a typical love story, this is your type of book. I will say that the character development was phenomenal, considering the main character changed slowly, and I was able to identify in some areas with her.

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As always enjoyed and loved Sarah Dessen's writing

If you could sum up Along for the Ride in three words, what would they be?

well written and amazing

Who was your favorite character and why?

Auden herself, like many of the people Sarah writes about I can see alot of myself in them back when I was that age and I can relate to most situations she writes about.

Which character – as performed by Rachel Botchan – was your favorite?

Maggie, I'm not sure why but I just really enjoyed her

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

I've never been let down by any book Sarah Dessen has written they've all been good.

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My favorite Dessen so far!

What did you like best about this story?

this book was easy relatable to and covered a multitude of situations. I laughed a lot!