Friday, April 9, 2010

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen [Audiobook Inspection] [YA]



Size: 183MB (Audible.com Download)
Length: 12 hours, 46 minutes
Author: Sarah Dessen
Narrator: Rachel Botchan

Plot Sketch: Auden West is an English-professor's dream child. Since both of her parents are professors, and her older brother was the "look at me" attention-grabbing type of kid, Auden kept her nose down and tried to get her parents approval and attention by doing exactly what she thought they wanted her to do. She went to the special charter high school set up by profs at the University where studies were, for the most part, independent. She's practically socially inept, but boy does she have a brain. After determining that she wants to spend some time after graduation with her father and his new wife and new baby, she heads 2 hours away to the beach town of Colby. Here she broadens her horizons, gets a job, meets boys that ride bikes, and as her brother puts it, "blossoms." It's a unique coming-of-age story that is likely to entertain, but it's doubtful it'll blow you away.

Plot Verdict: I've been told time and time again that Sarah Dessen novels are a must for any YA fan. When I downloaded this audiobook forever ago, I started it, got bored, and put it aside. You guys voted that you wanted me to review Along for The Ride on my trip to San Diego, so I played it again. The story is good, but not great. I felt like the characters were over-developed for the little bit of plot we received. I felt the story moved slowly and that there were elements and plot points that did nothing to add to the plot or character development. I wouldn't give this a negative review, because the writing flowed and the characters were very strong and I did like the main character. I felt like the ending was rushed, though I do approve of the way it ended, I would have liked more details. I've been told that other Dessen novels are better, but I think there are a lot of other great YA stories that I'd rather read first, rather than try another Dessen. Just being honest.

Narration Verdict: Initially, I thought the narrator was just plain horrible. That was the first time I listened and put it aside quickly. The second time I tried it, after I gave it a little more time, I found myself in a similar predicament as I did with Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning, that after a while I loved the narrator. I can't imagine anyone else reading this novel. It was perfect. The first 30-40 minutes take some getting used to, but once you're attuned, you'll adore her. I could tell which character she was reading just from her voice, and didn't have to worry about context or rewinding if I got distracted by a Border Patrol stop (which happened 5 times on my drive).

People Who Would Love This: Teens fascinated with BMX, girly girls, good students intrigued with having a life beyond homework and getting straight As, fans of One Tree Hill
People Who Would Hate This: Horror junkies, girls like Lux from Life UneXpected, most boys (I'd think), pageant and popularity contest winners, The Little Rascals

1 comment:

Shweta said...

I haven't read this book but having read Dessen's other books I can tell you that may be you chose the wrong book to get started with this author :) Her Just Listen and The Truth About Forever are absolutely amazing! Hope u don't give up on her books without trying these :)