Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride

by Sarah Dessen


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New York Times bestseller

Up all night.

Nights have always been Auden’s time, her chance to escape everything that’s going on around her.
Then she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and he becomes her nocturnal tour guide.
Now, with an endless supply of summer nights between them, almost anything can happen. . . .
“As with all Dessen’s books, [this] is a must-have” —VOYA, starred review
Also by Sarah Dessen:
Just Listen
Keeping the Moon
Lock and Key
The Moon and More
Someone Like You
That Summer
This Lullaby
The Truth About Forever
What Happened to Goodbye

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142415566
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/05/2011
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 60,693
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 8.36(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sarah Dessen is the author of thirteen novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers The Moon and MoreWhat Happened to GoodbyeAlong for the RideLock and KeyJust ListenThe Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal
Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association.
Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
Visit Sarah at


Chapel Hill, NC

Date of Birth:

June 6, 1970

Place of Birth:

Evanston, Illinois


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, degree in English.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Beautifully captures that sense of summer as a golden threshold between past regrets and future unknowns." -The Washington Post


"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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Along for the Ride 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1226 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"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. Tyler
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
Loved this one!
Book-Lover6 More than 1 year ago
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!
JustAnotherRead More than 1 year ago
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".
pupdog96 More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!
book_nerd0606 More than 1 year ago
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.
BakingQueen More than 1 year ago
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.
starrysky13 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
ehanog More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, especially around the 100th page or so. Although it was predictable, it still made me connect with the characters and it kept me in suspense -well, most of the time. The only things I did not enjoy was the predictability and the lack of drama. I, for one, really enjoy a dramatic book with several high and low emotional points and this had more of a steady vibe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One word: amazing!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was pretty good I read it on a week One of her best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See I have never really liked reading Sarah Dessens books but this was the turning point in my (reading) life. I<3ed this book and sorry 4 going on and on. Just to recap loved this book would read it like um 50000000000 times! Peace Love Joy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is seriously the best book i have ever read. I read it in 2 days, i couldnt put it down. It was amazing, i would read it over and over again. I suggest this book, its a great teen love story, being able to try new things with new people and not being afraid to in love. Love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Could not put this book down! It puts you in a girls head who has been through alot,Its amazingly written,and shows ALOT of emotion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Auden is at her dads house for the summer along with her new baby sister Thisbe, and her new stepmom, Heidi. She meets Eli and immediatly they both have the same thing in common......staying up late. They go out every night together and eli helps auden complete her quest.....she didnt have the normal childhood. Auden finds out that in life you just have to get back on the bike;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah is very good author!! I almost read all of her books!!
forever-a-dreamer More than 1 year ago
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.
Awesomeness1 More than 1 year ago
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.
acsimps More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I didn't really know what to expect since it was my first Sarah Dessen book. Auden and Eli were a great contrast and made for an interesting romance. I found myself annoyed with Auden a little for being so stand offish to everyone but I guess that was part of her character flaws she was meant to overcome. I think that I will pick up another Dessen book soon..maybe "Just listen".
angelreader94 More than 1 year ago
Dessen has some of the best books and this is one of my favorites. I pre-ordered it and the day I got it I didn't know what to expect. I got this book the morning it came out and couldn't even put it down. The story just makes you think about what life can really be like. This was the first Dessen book I read. I automatically fell for the characters. Thy all struggle in their own ways. Like I said, amazing.