Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike? The first time you felt accomplished? Like you were in control, if even for a few seconds?
That's how it was the first time I rode a bike without skinning my knee caps afterward. The rode seemed endless, because I wasn't limited to just the sidewalk in front of our house anymore. Now, I could go all the way down to corner and turn back around. It took a while for me to get there. There was the aforementioned skinned knees and other cuts and bruises, but when I finally got there, it was amazing.
Life isn't about being perfect. Everyone knows that, or at least I think they do. Perfection isn't ideal, it's a dream. Life isn't a dream. The reality is you have to take chances. If you aren't going to get on the bike and ride, you'll never know how good it can be after the fall. That's what I felt like reading my first Dessen novel.
Auden isn't necessarily in control of her life. The summer before college she decides to spend the time with her father, his wife Heidi, and their newborn. To everyone who knows her she's predictable. She never does anything that is displeasing to her family from what I could tell, until she changes her plans.
There are a lot of good secondary characters who I enjoyed a lot more than Auden. Her tone was a little irritating at times. It wasn't that she thought she was perfection, it's just she didn't know how to change, at one point. This was mostly about her learning to deal with the past. Not blaming herself so she can move on with her future.
She didn't have to be an adult child anymore. Even though technically she is nearly an adult. But does anyone ever grow up. Just because she was raised by her parents to be superior: more mature, intellectual; didn't mean she couldn't be her own person. She's learning to live her life for herself. Learning to have fun with it.
There are a lot more things going on in this novel. You'll have to read it to find out.