Coffee, pies, and quests by moonlight, all things that you can expect to find in Along for the Ride, a novel by Sarah Dessen! Look, I’m a sucker for romance novels (this is news to no one), and Along for the Ride ticked all my boxes. Let me take you through what qualifies as my perfect summer love read.
Along for the Ride follows newly graduated Auden during the summer before her first semester of college. She decides to spend the summer with her father and stepmom at their home on the beach instead of working as her mother’s research assistant. Unfortunately for Auden, she doesn’t get the super relaxing vacation that she hoped for due to her infant sister, Thisbe.
Not that it mattered a whole bunch to Auden because she doesn’t really sleep much at night (at least, not since before her parents’ divorced). Back at her mom’s, she would spend her nights at a 24-hour diner, but now she needs to find a new place for the summer. To occupy her time, Auden goes to the local Gas/Gro for large cups of (terrible) coffee and then reads on the boardwalk.
During one of her midnight readings, her solitude is interrupted by Eli (swoon), a fellow insomniac. Over the course of a few weeks, Eli and Auden begin to bond over their troubles. Eventually, Auden and Eli go on a quest to help Auden experience all the “overrated” stuff of being a kid. Honestly, my cheeks hurt as I was reading this one, simply because I couldn’t stop smiling. Auden and Eli have this intellectual banter back and forth that kept me turning page after page.
Listen, y’all. I’m a visual learner as much as I am a reading learner. And Along for the Ride has a Netflix adaptation (cue the squeals). It was just released today and it just amazes me how easily these characters came to life on the small screen.
The chemistry between Auden and Eli is so much more palpable when you can watch it. The relationships between Auden and her newfound friends, Maggie, Esther, and Leah. The frustration I felt with Auden’s dad, Robert, and how he was acting toward Heidi and Thisbe and even with Auden’s mom, Victoria. Emotions are flying. I’m throwing popcorn at the screen. I’m giggling at the little quips between Auden and Eli.
Honestly acting like a kid in a candy store (or maybe a Gas/Gro would be more appropriate!).
Is the movie entirely book accurate? No, but it still does a fantastic job of playing out Sarah Dessen’s 2009 novel, Along for the Ride. I was just as entranced in the movie as I was in the book, so I think that’s a win. Really after reading (and watching), I wished I had a relative who lived on the beach, all so I could live out my summer romance fantasy.
It’s safe to say that I think you should add Along for the Ride to your TBR immediately. You should also click that little plus button and add it to your watchlist on Netlfix!
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