A review by katsbooks
Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen

emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

“Life is full of screwups. You're supposed to fail sometimes. It's a required part of the human existance.”

“But sometimes you lose. Nothing you can do but admit it."
  
“Who says there has to be a point? Or a reason. Maybe it's just something you have to do.” 

This book had some nostalgia vibes, as do most Sarah Dessen novels for me. It held up better than some of her other novels. Auden was a lot like Macy from The Truth About Forever but I liked her a lot less. My favorite part of this book was the plot around Auden's relationship with her parents. I wish that would have been more fleshed out than it was. Her parents were so frustrating and I feel like by the end, we got a little bit of closure with her mom but any reconcilliation that happened with her dad happened off page which was very unsatisfying. I liked the bike shop element, it added a fun twist but, again, didn't feel like it was fleshed out enough. This book is one of this authors longest but I think it has too may have too many pieces going on. The secondary cast of characters was super interesting but the only one we even sort of got to know better was Maggie. Even the main love interest felt disconnected from the plot of the story which really affect the emotional impact of the love story. The one relationship I absolutely loved was the one between Auden, Thisbe and Heidi. I loved the exploration of a healthy stepfamily relationship especially in contrast to Auden's dysfunctional blood-related family. I remember really liking this a lot when I was younger but I think I just really connected with how the parental relationships  were depicted. It made me feel seen. And to an extent, it still does but overall, not as great as I remembered. 

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