(Spoilers are in white)
Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Summary (of course, stolen from Amazon):
Auden is about to start college in the fall, and decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new young wife, and their brand-new baby daughter, Thisbe. Over the course of the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, making real connections with peers, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas.
There are no words to express how much I love this book. But, since this is a review, I have to come up with some.
I think I'm going to do something a bit different; I'm going to break the book down, starting with:
Auden: She is the type of girl who never really had a childhood. She never rode bikes, she never had many friends... she was a loner who was constantly studying and whose mom was always controlling what she does. Eventually, she starts putting her mom in her place, and I think that that's great. Auden wasn't my favourite character out of them all, but I liked her.
Eli: *sigh* *swoon* Good grief, I wish I knew someone like this. All of his friends knew that he never talked anymore because of his friend's death. Then, suddenly, Auden comes along and suddenly he starts speaking with her and they both hang out at night because both are insomniacs. He makes a real connection with her and that freaks out his friends. He also used to participate in biking competitions, but stopped because of what happened. I loved Eli; he was truly my favourite character.
Auden's dad, step-mom, and new sister: I absolutely loathed her dad. He's one of those guys who thinks they know practically everything and who is also really OCD about things that he does. Her new step-mom, Heidi, is really a great character. Her new sister, Thisbe, well... she's a baby; there's not much to say.
Plot: The plot was excellent. I'd expect nothing less from Sarah Dessen.
Ending: Ending was fantastic. But, of course, I'm not telling what that ending is... ;-)
Rating: 5/5 stars, definitely.