Auden West has always been driven and focused, which has allowed her to be accepted into a great college, but has also denied her a normal childhood. So when she decides to spend the summer in Colby, a small beach town, with her father, stepmother and baby half-sister, she wants to do something different. It's there that she meets Eli, an insomniac like her, and there that they travel around during the midnight hours, doing the things that Auden missed out on. But when Auden's father and step-mother start fighting and she gets confused about Eli, Auden must decide if she wants to continue her quest or stay the concientious studen her mother adores.
Since this book is written by Sarah Dessen, you automatically know it will be good. And Along for the Ride definitely was. It wasn't my favorite (it's still Just Listen) but it was one of the better books Sarah has written. What I really like about Sarah's books is that she continually uses people and locales from her other books. So we got to go to Colby again (it appears in both Keeping the Moon and The Truth About Forever), and the characters that live there (Isabel, for instance). I like that all the books are connected. What was also fun was that I was in North Carolina while reading this book, which was neat because all the books take place in that state.
What I realized about Sarah's books after reading Along for the Ride was the complexity of the plot. There are always a lot of different things going on, but they are intertwined nicely into a wonderful story. Seriously, we had Auden's relationship with a bunch of different people (her parents, brother, Heidi, Eli, the girls at the shop), then all the stuff with college, learning to ride a bike, the insomniac/childhood quest with Eli, overcoming stereotypes, stuff like that. It's just crazy how many different things go on, and it's all completely relevant and interesting at the same time. And that is why I love Sarah's books. Okay, it's not the only reason, but it definitely makes her books stand out from the other ones on the shelf. So go out and read this, and while you're at it, pick up the rest of Sarah Dessen's work.
8 out of 10.