Friday, June 4, 2010

Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Auden West never had a childhood. She was always the perfect little adult for her college professor parents. Academics took precedence over friendship and fun. When her parents began fighting at night, Auden would disappear and hang out at the local diner all night. She soon became an insomniac while her driven mother and clueless father divorce. Auden is a loner who decides to visit her father, stepmother and new baby sister for the summer after receiving a photo of her brother backpacking across Europe for graduation.

Once Auden arrives in the small coastal town of Colby, she soon realizes that all the things her mother said about her father are true. As Heidi struggles with baby Thisbe, Auden watches helplessly from the sidelines as her father goes on like nothing has changed. After going out to pick up dinner, Jake from the bike shop invites her to join him later at the Tip, a local hangout on the beach. After growing tired of hearing the baby cry all evening, Auden decides to walk around town and soon finds herself at the Tip. She briefly hooks up with Jake but in her haste to leave, she bumps into a brooding stranger.

Later on at home with the baby stil crying, Auden decides to give Heidi a break so that she can get some rest. Auden takes Thisbe for a stroll on the boardwalk which calms her down. There she runs into the guy from the night before doing tricks on his bike. Auden realizes that her mother was right. Her father has not changed. He is still selfish and inconsiderate when he hands off Thisbe to her at dinnertime while Heidi is trying to fix things at her shop. While out with the baby, Auden realizes that the strange boy is staring at them. He takes Thisbe from her and instantly soothes her. Heidi soon arrives and introduces Auden to Eli, who is Jake's older brother.

While driving around Colby one night, Auden finds herself at the bike park. Watching frm the shadows, she finds that Eli has come up beside her. Small talk eventually leads to Eli realizing that Auden hasn't ridden a bike in years. A few nights later while hanging with the girls at a party, Auden once again strikes up a conversation with Eli only to have his former girlfriend try and pick a fight. Afterwards the gilrs fill Auden in on Eli past, including the fact that his best friend was killed in a car accident. Eli was driving but not a fault.

Auden and Eli soon realizes that they have a lot in common and begin to hang out at night. Eli shows her a side of Colby she didn't know existed and begins to take her on adventures of doing things she never did as a child. But will Auden turn over a new leaf or will she once again shut everyone out?

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