Saturday, April 25, 2009
Along for the Ride & PIE- NEW Sarah Dessen!
First of all, another huge thank you to Scottie Bowditch at Penguin who is keeping me in the loop by sending me ARCs of good books that come across her desk. And, who wouldn't LOVE a copy of Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen before it comes out in June? Even though the girls were DROOLING over it during Reading Workshop today, I managed to finish it in a matter of hours. Again, Dessen doesn't disappoint which is why the envious green faces from 13 year-old girls today.
Auden West is an incredibly driven and intelligent character who hasn't really had a childhood and is scheduled to start college in the fall. Her mom is a tightly wound English professor who has very specific plans for Auden's future, and a map of how to get there. Auden's dad, Robert, and his new wife Heidi have a brand new baby girl and are struggling to make their new lives work. Auden decides to head out to the beach and live with them for the summer to have some new experiences and to get away from her mother for a while. In her time at the beach house, Auden meets Eli, who teaches her how to live and enjoy life by guiding her on a quest to regain her childhood. Eli is haunted by his own ghost and the two make a great pair while they are out "running errands" all night long-neither one of them are good sleepers. The end is a very humane look at how people can each benefit from different parts of a relationship. While Eli is giving Auden some of the experiences she never got in childhood, Auden brings Eli out of his slump after a car accident the year before. The whole story is underscored by this backdrop of biking and jumping. At first I thought it was odd, but it really makes sense and the jumping and trusting you'll land safely is a great metaphor for the entire novel.
I loved these characters! Each one of them grew on me in a way no others have. I've always really loved the character aspect of novels, but I truly loved these characters and who they became. It did, however, make me want LOTS AND LOTS of coffee as that is something Auden drinks constantly. And, the pie at Clyde's sounded like something I couldn't resist. Now, if I could just get off this silly cabbage soup diet, maybe I could control myself enough to have some. Yum...pie!