Along for the Ride

( 1171 )


When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating.

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Along for the Ride

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When Auden impulsively goes to stay with her father, stepmother, and new baby sister the summer before she starts college, all the trauma of her parents' divorce is revived, even as she is making new friends and having new experiences such as learning to ride a bike and dating.

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Editorial Reviews

John Schwartz
…a wistful narrative of a young woman's last summer before heading off to college…the satisfying ending will give many readers a lump in their throat.
—The New York Times
Mary Quattlebaum
Want a change from fictional neckbiters and backbiters? Welcome Auden West, a studious good girl about to be sun-kissed…Confiding and dry-witted, Auden's voice is like listening to your best bud while splitting a carton of Haagen-Dazs. Author Sarah Dessen beautifully captures that sense of summer as a golden threshold between past regrets and future unknowns, a time that shimmers with the sweet promise of now.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Studious good girl Auden, named for the poet, makes a snap decision to spend her summer before college at her father's beach house rather than with her mother, a professor whose bad habits include male grad students. Auden's parents divorced three years earlier, a split she's not yet over. Her remarried father has already produced another heir, a colicky baby named Thisbe (after a tragic figure from Shakespeare), with his young wife, Heidi, who owns a boutique. Feeling sympathy for stressed-out Heidi, Auden agrees to do the shop's bookkeeping, providing her with an instant social circle-the teenage clerks plus the boys from the neighboring bike rental, including hunky, wounded Eli. Both night owls, Auden and Eli bond when he coaxes her to experience childhood activities-bowling, food fights, learning to ride a bike-that her insufferable parents never bothered to provide. Auden's thoughtful observations make for enjoyable reading-this is solid if not "top shelf" Dessen: another summer of transformation in which the heroine learns that growing up means "propelling yourself forward, into whatever lies ahead, one turn of the wheel at a time." Ages 12-up. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dessen has built a well-deserved reputation...[her] many fans...expect nuanced, subtle writing, and they won't be disappointed.
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Two years after her parents' divorce, Auden still feels that she could have prevented the break up. While Auden summers with her father and his new wife and baby, the hurt becomes more apparent—as do her parents' flaws. A year after local teen Eli's best friend, Abe, was killed in an auto accident in which Eli was driving, Eli still feels responsible even though it was not his fault. He has stopped doing things he loves, like championship biking. Auden and Eli literally bump into each other at the beach. Loners and insomniacs both, they begin spending their nights on a quest to salvage Auden's deprived teenage years, time spent studying rather than socializing. Working at her stepmother's store, Auden is drawn into the drama/life of co-workers Maggie, Esther, and Leah, and their friends. But as Auden and Eli become closer, Auden discovers herself emulating her father by distancing herself from Eli and her new friends. Dessen, queen of the intelligently written, thoroughly enjoyable novel about loners coming together, populates this novel with parents into whom one longs to knock some sense, teens who are smarter than their parents, and friends who are fun, loveable, and loyal. The subtheme of bike riding is a perfect ploy—especially because she never learned as a child—for Auden to grow. The juxtaposition of Auden's carefree older brother falling in love and settling down while Auden spreads her wings shows how people can change given the right circumstances. The dialogue is true to both adult and teenage language. The summer resort town setting is perfect. As with all Dessen's books, her latest is a must-have. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
Children's Literature - Melissa Joy Adams
Growing up in a divorced family, Auden never learned how to ride a bike. She became super focused on academics in order to appease her parents and was never really allowed to have a childhood. Because she studies all the time, she has no social life and even plans to spend her summer in-between high school and college reading ahead for her fall classes. But after getting a present from her highly social and carefree brother, Auden makes a sudden change of plans. Instead of spending her summer on academics, she decides to spend it at the beach with her dad, his new wife, and their new baby. Despite intending to spend the summer entirely free of work, Auden ends up helping her stepmother out by working in her kitschy, boardwalk boutique. There she begins to get a glimpse of the world of a normal teen—friendships, fashion, and even boys. Auden's chronic insomnia results in her befriending one boy in particular, Eli, a local bike celebrity. Eli's tragic past has turned him into a recluse and has kept him from bike riding for almost a year. Late at night, the two go on mini-quests to recapture Auden's childhood and in the process they gain much more. Dessen's complex characters and rich plot make this both an engaging and realistic novel. Not only will this novel appeal to readers looking for a quick and easy read, but also to those who insist on quality writing. Reviewer: Melissa Joy Adams
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

It's the summer before college and Auden goes to her father's house in the small coastal town of Colby for some well-earned R&R. Having no plans other than to preread textbooks for her first-semester classes at Defriese University, the would-be bookworm's solitude is quickly disrupted by Thisbe, her colicky new half sister. Strolling the boardwalk with a fussy baby and late night coffee runs at the Gas/Gro lead to chance encounters with the locals, whose main pastime revolves around Colby's bike park. Auden's curiosity is piqued by Eli, a bike-shop worker whose reserved, solitary nature seems to match her own. Her social sphere widens when Heidi, her sleep-deprived stepmom, asks for some bookkeeping help in her fashion boutique, and Auden is drawn into the circle of girls who work and hang out there, including Maggie, the clerk also bound for Defriese in September, and sidekicks Leah and Esther. Auden joins in on evening rituals of "store-going," eating junk food, and house parties while keeping her budding relationship with Eli to herself. Even Dessen's minor characters are multifaceted and interesting. Readers will be most absorbed by Auden and Eli's romantic friendship, the type soul mates are born of, played out in the bike shop, Colby's all-night Laundromat, and coffee shops. This summer vacation-themed story will be savored.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Auden missed childhood thanks to her parents' divorce, which she navigated with the gravitas of a 30-year-old. No bike-riding, no giggly sleepovers. Just schoolwork, college ambitions and relentless insomnia. In the summer before college, she spontaneously joins her dad, his 20-something wife and new baby at their oceanfront house, hoping to transform into someone who enjoys normal teenage fun: beach, boardwalk, bonfires and beers. Dessen reworks well-traveled terrain and creates a remarkably original story with realistic teen dialogue, authentic girl friendships and a complex underlying question: Can people really change? Taut, witty first-person narration allows readers to both identify with Auden's insecurities and recognize her unfair, acerbic criticisms of people. It's Eli, a fellow insomniac, with whom she connects, and together they tick off items on her kid to-do list (food fights, bowling, paper-delivery route) while the rest of the town sleeps. The spark between these two sad teens and the joyful examples of girl connectivity deepen this ostensibly lighthearted, summer-fun story, which offers up complex issues-the residual effects of divorce, acceptance of imperfect parents and lip-gloss feminism. (Fiction. 14 & up)
From the Publisher
"Beautifully captures that sense of summer as a golden threshold between past regrets and future unknowns." -The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142415566
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 54,969
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine. Visit her online at

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    1. Hometown:
      Chapel Hill, NC
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 6, 1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      Evanston, Illinois
    1. Education:
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.

Interviews & Essays

"I was born in 1970 in Illinois, but all the life I remember I’ve spent in Chapel Hill, NC. My parents were both professors at the University of North Carolina: my mom is a classicist (which means she knows everything you could ever imagine about myths, Latin, and words) and my dad teaches Shakespeare (which means I’d seen As You Like It about five times by the age of 18.) I have one brother, who is a musician and lives in California with his son and his wife, an artist who designed my personal website. (Thanks, Mariangeles!)

"I’ve been writing, in one way or another, for as long as I can remember. I was always a big reader, mostly because my parents were. I used to get frustrated with my mom because she bought me books for Christmas when what I really wanted were the gifts my friends got, things like sweaters and jewelry. But I did love to read. When I was eight or nine my parents gave me an old manual typewriter and a little desk in the corner of our den, and I’d sit there and type up my stories. I was the kind of kid that people always sighed over and said, "She has such a wild imagination," which usually meant "I wish Sarah would try to stick to the truth." I have a tendency to embellish: I think it’s just a weakness of fiction writers. Once you learn how to make a story better, it’s hard not to do it all the time.

"In high school, I was lucky enough to have a big group of girlfriends that have really inspired a lot of the stories in my books. I’m still close with my friends from that time, so it’s never very hard to put myself back into that place, that voice. Also it doesn’t hurt to still be living in my hometown, where it’s a given that I’ll bump into people I had homeroom with, or guys I had big crushes on, while I’m pumping gas or buying stamps. It makes it hard to leave high school behind entirely, which is a good or bad thing depending on what day you ask me. I attended college at UNC, where I studied creative writing and graduated with a degree in English. (Which means I can quote small parts of many Great Works. Comes in handy occasionally, like at cocktail parties.) I’d been on the five-and-a-half year college plan, and when I graduated my parents were hoping I’d settle down and get a Real Job so they could stop worrying about me. But instead of doing the whole resume/pantyhose thing, I decided to stick to my job waiting tables at the world famous Flying Burrito Restaurant and try to publish a novel. At the time, I had only one very bad book I’d written my senior year of college and the beginnings of another one. Luckily, my family was supportive and I spent a few years living in a ramshackle little house where I wrote during the day and did the restaurant thing at night.

"Three years after graduating, I sold my first book, That Summer, but it wasn’t until a year after that that I got offered a teaching job and left waitressing for good. I still miss it sometimes, though. It was a great job for a writer. Endless conversations to eavesdrop, tons of material, and fast money without ever taking work home. Plus, free Mexican food, the best perk of all. Now, I’ve published four books, all for young adults. I never really intended to be YA writer, but the second book I showed my agent she thought had a strong teenage voice, so she sent it off to an editor at Orchard Books, who bought it. Even though it was in a way accidental, I’ve found that writing for teens suits me. I do short stories, and other novels, that are for an older audience, but again and again I am brought back to the stories of high school. Maybe it’s because so much happened to me then that I’m not finished yet telling everything. My senior quote was from Pink Floyd (okay, I was a bit of a burnout—-I spent a lot of time in the parking lot, whatever, let’s move on) and it pretty much summed up my future, although I didn’t know it at the time. It was: "The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say." It turns out that I did.

"The books I read when I was teenager, the good ones anyway, have stuck more in my mind than anything since. I still love books, but while I couldn’t tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry’s A Summer to Die or Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them: I think it’s the best thing to which any writer can aspire. Now, I teach writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I’m lucky enough to see my students find their own voice, the way I did in the same program there not so long ago. Teaching is great for me, because I get to show people how writing can really change the way you see not only yourself but the world. I’ve found in my own life that if my writing isn’t going well, not much else will. It is the one constant, the key to everything else.

"As far as my other life, my non-writing life, I live in the country with my husband, some lizards, and two dogs who are completely spoiled and rule me completely. I like to work in my garden—-although I have not yet perfected the art of keeping everything alive——and, in my weaker moments, shop. I have a bit of an addiction to the Gap clearance rack, to be honest. I have this strange need to buy huge quantities of black pants. How many pairs of black pants does one person need? (Obviously for me, the answer is 11 and counting. But I digress.) What else can I tell you? I love Starbucks mochas but they make me way hyper. I subscribe to too many magazines. I make a mean bean salad. I could go on, but the truth is, my books are much more exciting than I am, and that’s a good thing. It’s always more fun to make stuff up anyway."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1171 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1178 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2009

    Along For the Ride is definitely my favorite Sarah Dessen book...

    I have never felt more emotion in a book, I was sometimes actually laughing out loud, to being frustrated with the characters.What really broke my heart is what they decided to name the bike shop.I was literally in tears!

    This book teaches us to do go out there and try things we are not used to.And if we don't get it right the first time there is always a second chance and so on.And that we shouldn't miss out on opportunities even though they don't seem like that big of a deal.

    I relate to this character more than I have to any other character, because I have missed out on a lot of adventures myself. From not going to parties or having boyfriends, but what I loved about this character is she couldn't ride and bike and I'm ashamed to admitted it, but I don't know how either!After one scratch on the knee I was done...But maybe I'll give another try, because it's never too late.

    54 out of 58 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    Along For the Ride Review

    "Along for the Ride" by Sarah Dessen is about a girl named Auden who never had a real childhood. She always thought that her parents didn't have time to deal with her. Her mom is focused all on schoolwork, and makes sure that Auden always has the best grades. Her dad only cares about work and himself. The two differences in her parents caused a divorce, which Auden pretends she does not care about. Auden also never had any real friends. This all changes when she goes to visit her dad and his new wife and baby in a small beach town the summer before college. She finds a new job, new friends, and a romance. One of her new friends, Maggie, amazes Auden by how she is completely her own person. Also, Eli, a former bike star who was in an accident, helps Auden get back her childhood and do everything that she never could.
    This book has a very unique story. The characters are realistic and interesting. The setting is beautiful and has a warm feel to it. Also, the book has a specific plot and soulution. Definitely a teenage story. The only problem with this book is that the story line is very prdictable. Even though the story is unique, the reader is never very surprised.

    41 out of 46 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:


    Loved this one!

    37 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009


    This was the first book that I have read by Sarah Dessen and it wont be my last. The characters were colorful and unforgetable and the plot keeps you wanting to read more and more. I recommend it for a relaxing read. It will keep your attention!

    27 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    This book was amazing just as her others are. It's about a girl Auden who is such a academic freak. Her parents divorce and she spends her sleepless nights alone. She then goes to live with her dad for the summer, and surprisingly to her she has a good time and finds new scary yet exciting experiences during her summer. New friends, and feelings. Sarah did it again! I highly recommend this book to all of you who like a good teen/YA novel. I actually recommend all of her books!! Especially "Just Listen", "Lock and Key", and "This Lullaby".

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2010

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    One of the best books!

    Sarah Dessen is an amazing author! I've only read one other book by her and I loved it! Then after reading this book, I thought they tied. I love how I could imagine myself as the main character. Sarah Dessen makes you feel like your actually there as the character. Also, you can smell all of the smells and hear all of the sounds! They only bad thing about this book is that they haven't made a movie. I hope the make a movie. If you are a girl looking for a good summer romance book, this is a great choice. Buy it, check it out at a library, or borrow it from a friend... But you don't want to miss out on all the fun adventures you get to go through in this story! Get it!!!!!!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

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    Omg--definitely worth reading!!!

    Sarah Dessen is definitely my ALL TIME favorite author. This is definitely one of her best books yet. I just plain loved it. Don't stop reading it after the first two or three chapters. Just like every other Sarah Dessen book, it takes a while to get into it. But once you do, it's amazing. I totally loved it, staying out late with a guy you secretly like and running stupid errands, and doing stuff that you didn't get to do when you were a kid. Plus, finally finding some good girl friends to talk and hang out with. Oh my gosh, the end kept me on my seat the whole time wondering and wondering until i finally finished the book. Amazing. If you haven't yet, read this book. It will all be worth it in the end, I promise.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    She's baaack!

    I love Sarah Dessen. Ever since The Truth About Forever, I have loved her. I was not thrilled with Lock & Key but was amazed once again with Along for the Ride. I love how she intertwines her other stories without confusing anyone who hasn't read them. These characters are not only realistic, but relatable. I could not put this book down! It's a definite must-read.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

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    Can't Wait!!!

    Like the title says I can't wait! Love all the other books by Sarah Dessen!!!

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Summer Read

    Riding a bike is only one of the many things Auden's missed out on. Even before her parents divorce, she was cast in the role of little adult, never making waves, focusing on academics to please her demanding mother. Now she's spending the summer before college in the tiny town of Colby with her father and his new wife and baby. A job at the town's trendiest boutique gets Auden in touch with all the gossip. She feels out of place and lonely, especially at night when she hangs around at the local diner and convenience store. Then Auden meets Eli. During the time they spend together they embark on a quest. A quest to save Auden's childhood.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:


    Ok before i give a summary of the book i have to say that i have read all of Sarah Dessen and this is THE BEST so far and thats saying a lot considering the fact that ALL her books ARE WONDERFUL!!!

    Any way you will instantly fall in love with this book i know i did! The characters were sooo intresting!!! I loved Eli's and Auden's characters and all the rest of the Colby gang like Adam, Maggie, Wallace, and Leah!!! And even thought his seems like a seriosu book its not its actually really funny, light, and in nooo way depressing.


    Along for the ride starts out as Auden the main character explains her life. Auden is very smart and she hasnt ever had much of a social life or a child hood due to the fact that her mother moves her to a different school every tiem she thinks her gardes are suffering. And to her mother suffering is gettin a B. Auden is 18 and has just graduated from high school, she lives with her mother. Her parents are divorced and her father has remarried and his wife, Heidi, is pregnanta and about the give birth to Auden's little half sister Thisby. Audens older brotehr Hollis, has been in Euroupe for the last 3 years just exploring and partying and baisically blowing off everything else. Auden plans on spending this summer like every other one studying for her next year of education.

    So when Auden gets an email from her step-mother Heidi to come and visit her father and half sister thisby in the small beautiful town of Colby she doenst think twice before saying no. But then Auden realzies this is just what she needs so she changes her mind and heads down to Colby. When she gets there she finds her step-mother extremley stresed out and tired from caring for Thisby. Which is very off for Heidi who is normally very stylish, organized, cheerful, and kind. So Auden takes a job at the store Heidi owns Clementines were very fashinoble cloths are sold.

    And during her first week in Colbys Auden meets Maggie a kind smart girl who like herslelf is going to Defriese college in the fall. But she at 1st does not get along with but later on becomes very good friends with along with maggies two best friends Leah and Ester. Auden also meets alll the guys who are her age who work at the bike shop across from Clementines and they are all total bike pros they are knwon for being great riders. There she meets Adam a nocefunny boy, Wallace Adam's best friends also a nice and humerous boy, Jake Stock a total jerk, and finally Eli Stock jakes older brother who has a tragic story.

    Eli is the manager at the bike shop and he lost his best friend Abe a fellow biker they had been inseperable friends since kindergarden but the year before when Eli and Abe were coming back from a biking gig a drunk driver hits there car and Abe is killed and Eli feels responsible because he was driving. So now Eli is who use to be funny, socail, and popular is npwanti social no loner talks to anyone ane baisically keeps to himself. But that all changes when he meets Auden one night as they both have a nocturnel habit they get talking and Eli decides to go on what he calls a "quest" for Auden to live the child hood she dint get so every night they go out on the a quest that ranges from bowling to a paper route. And ELi starts to get over Abe's death thanks to Auden

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Sarah Dessen is love

    The book Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen reminds me why I love the wonderful Sarah Dessen. True it's the same "formula" but it's the "elements" added that make Along for the Ride great. Okay fine the heroine's in her stories always have a problem and they discover their solution in some way towards the end but the problems differ entirely. None of her stories are the same. Her way of writing engages you into the story and its characters
    With Auden I find myself feeling like I know her and have been her. There is this naive or an almost childlike feeling to Auden that makes me relate to her, she's new to everything so to say. But give her a book to read or an essay to write and she can do those kinds of things. Academics define Auden. She never really related to girls her age, never had any real friends, but that all changes the summer she decided to stay with her father, his new wife, and newborn sister.
    Personally I think that the reason she "recycles" characters is because it's kind of an Easter egg for the long time readers. But if you're new to her stories then you don't miss anything. Also the message isn't only that you can't judge someone by their appearance. But something much more than that, such as if you're given a second chance then do something and don't let that chance pass by we shouldn't take them for granted. And secondly that people don't always stay the same but do in fact change; not always but there are those rare occasions. Auden learns this in one summer that will be known to her as: "The Best of Times."

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    BRA-VO!!!!!!! God. Omigod omigod omigod omigod omigod. TALK ABOUT THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!! This got hooked from the first sentence. The way Auden changes over the summer is just amazing, and so sweet.

    Auden is the perfect duaghter for her mother, a straight-A student who has never even THOUGHT of doing anything reckless in her life. And when she goes to her dad's (the selfish writer) and his new wife, Heidi's (and baby Thisbe's, of course), house, she expects, and plans, to keep it thay way.

    But along with being such an obedient, cooperative child all her life, there are quite a few childhood experiences that Auden has never been able to experience. Like, for instance, riding a bike. Which is really a big thing in that area of Colby along the beach.

    After Auden organizes some of Heidi' guess...Heidi offers her a job at her REALLY pink, really girly botique Clementine's. Auden excepts the offer, and goes to work there, organizing (I'm sorry, I'm 11, and I really do not remember what it was called :P) Working at the botique, we have girly-girls Leah, Esther, and, most of all, Maggie. And then there's Eli, a hot guy who works at the bike shop just down the street...

    Auden, after spending the summer with these three crazy girls and that special boy, changes, and realizes all of the childhood experiences that she's missed...and that it's not too late to try them out.

    TEN FREAKING STARS for this amazing novel by Sarah Dessen. She has done it again, and I cannot wait to read more of her amazing literature.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011


    I am soooooooooo sick of these books! All it is is theres a girl. Her parents are fighting or something along those lines. Girl meets life changing boy. Girl relizes every thing will be ok. I hate it!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Loved it!

    I have read about 5 Sarah Dessen books, all in the past year. Each time I finish one I think "Wow. That one just might be my favorite." Then I recall the previous ones and can honestly say that I can't choose a favorite! I love them all so much. Every time I read one I would look at the dwindling amount of pages left to read and be like 'gosh, I need to read slower' just to get wrapped in even more! Then I'd finish the book and be sooo sad that it had to end! The characters are so relatable and i just get so attatched! And the boys.... if only all boys could be like the ones in Sarah's books. You just can't go wrong!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Story but if you've read other Sarah Dessen novels...

    If you've read other books by this author then it's not an exciting read, it's just the same thing you've read before with different characters. I have yet to read one of her books where the main character has two parents that are still lock and key Ruby's mom took off as did her dad, in this lullaby remy's dad took off then died, in the truth about forever the dad died, and in along for the ride the parents are divorced. Not every family is split up and quite frankly I'd like to read about one that's still together in one of her books. Also there's never an interesting reason for the angst with the girl and boy in the books, it's always the girl getting scared and running off. If you read one of Sarah's stories it's good but I feel like if you've read one of them, you don't have to read any others to know what's going to happen next.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My opinion....

    I love Sarah Dessen, I think she is an amazing author. I love that you can always count on her for a happy ending and a small twist. I agree that her books have similar plots... but I think thats her signature. Taking a girl who doesnt really know who she is and finding herself through love. I like that the relationships in her books arent perfect but it makes it more believeable. I, personally love Sarah Dessen and this book was probably one of my favorites from her. Well, besides The Truth About Forever.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Ride

    First thing first: I love Sarah Dessen. She is a remarkable YA author, and writes with a distinct style and her books have substance. More than I can say for some other YA writer's out there. (I do NOT have a specific vampire novelist in mind...)

    Anyway, Sarah Dessen is dependable. Her work is always something I can come back to after a literary dry spell. That being said, this book in particular wasn't my favorite. I had a feeling it wasn't going to be, which is why I was in no rush to read it. I waited for it to come to me...and then it was time.

    It's about Auden, a girl having the summer of her life before going off to college in the fall. Auden is a studious girl, her parents always have valued academics over fun, so much that Auden never got the childhood she deserved. While she is staying with her father's new wife and baby for the summer in a quiet beach town, she meets Eli-- a fellow insomniac and a former BMX-er (yes, that's a word) with some issued. Together, they just might be what the other one needs.

    The characters, with the exception of Eli, were awesome. It has always amazed me how Sarah can give each character such a specific personality. They are complex, flawed, likable, and fun. And they all have their issues. But then there was Eli....him and me just never hit it off, okay? Auden was a little predictable, but hey, aren't they all? (Props for using a quote from the book)

    The writing was good. There were many moments of what I call "quotable material". Although sometimes, Auden's thoughts would jump from the past to the present, and the transistion wasn't always smooth. One moment she will be working, the next spent with Eli, then it will go back to her working. My easily-confused brain took a while to figure that out.

    But *sigh* the plot....Sarah, can't we spice it up a little? This is coming from a long-devoted fan. Sure, this book is awesome to a girl who hasn't read the same thing five times before, but that's not me. I'm sure if you read more than one Sarah Dessen book, you know the formula. Girl with personal issues does something out of character, leading to new experiences, new quirky friends, and of course, a sweet sensitive guy with issues of his own. She grows and develops as a person for while until something bad happens that sends her back into her little hole. Then she reaches some epiphany and everything is all happy again.

    One thing I loved was all the little Easter eggs hidden through-out. We get returning characters from Keeping the Moon and The Truth about Forever, which are my two favorites. I love cameo appearances. They make my soul happy.

    Anyway, did I like it? Yes, I did become absorbed. Was it my favorite? No. Oh and I have a rating clarification. I would give it 3.5 stars if it was possible. It feels like more than a three, but giving it a four seemed too misleading.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    So Good!

    Yet another winner. If you're not reading Sarah Dessen you should be. Every single one of her books has insanely relatable characters, whether you've been where they are in their lives or not. This story does not disappoint, Auden's struggles with family, friends, and boys are totally relateable if you've ever been a teen girl. As someone who doesn't sleep much, reading this book was like an entrance into a world of the unknown, and totally inspired me to go out there and discover the hidden late night adventures my own town has to offer. Unfortunately I discovered that there isn't much of one, but reading this book totally makes you want to discover the things that go on after hours, while everyone's asleep. Auden is my favorite Sarah Dessen character, I totally related to everything that she went to and I think that pretty much everyone else would too.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2009

    Waste of my time!!!!!

    This novel is quite simply the worst book I have ever read! No joke. I was so dissapointed. Usually I enjoy Dessen's work since her stories are quite realistic and relatable, but this.. this was horrible. First, the price is ridiculous and is in no way worth it. The plot is predictable, and the characters are boring and static... URGHH!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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