Here's a quick little book recommendation for you…
I recently finished Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen-- a recommendation from my YA novel-devouring, 17 year old niece. It's my first Sarah Dessen book (she's quite prolific) and I will read more. I found this book very sweet (in a good way, not syrupy-sweet). A quick and easy read. And well written. Dessen's writing style is engaging and she has good pacing. Her characters are smart and sometimes surprising. And, as you know, I love these YA books that take me back to the feelings of being a teenager.
Auden, our teenage protagonist who recently graduated high school, hasn't slept at night since before her parents divorced, and fills most of her time with homework and books…and lives mostly in her own head. Now she's been invited to spend the summer before college with her dad's new family in a small, quaint beach town. There she stumbles into the teenage life she's always avoided…friends, boys, and the social world. There she meets Eli. And there she finds herself suddenly sucked into her father and stepmother's shaky new world. At first her new-found engagement in the real world is an accident, but soon it becomes a purposeful quest. And soon, Auden is awakened…and sleeping at night once again.
Along For The Ride is not a never-heard-before story. But Dessen does a good job with her version of it, offering you a relaxing, enjoyable reading experience and a great little YA summer read.
P.S. I hate the cover art on this book because it does not accurately capture the characters and this really bugs me. Just sayin'.
P.P.S. I am now reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. What a change! It is so well written, but so disturbing and depressing…haunting, really. It definitely forces you to acknowledge that your problems are truly first world problems. And, multiple times in the first 100 pages I double-checked the author's picture because I couldn't believe it was written by a man (no offense to male writers or Chris Cleave-- actually it's a compliment to Chris Cleave-- but it's written from the perspective of two women and is so well done). I am also simultaneously reading four other parenting/life books all of which I will likely share with you once I'm done because I am loving them (and being challenged by them). I wish I could take a month and let the house and all of my responsibilities go and do nothing but read. :-)
Until next time, happy reading!