By Gabriela Cafaro '22
In the novel Along for the Ride, a young girl named Auden West is an insomniac because of her mother and father's constant fighting. This causes her to miss out on activities and experiences young kids have - for example, riding a bike. In her senior year of high school, Auden is about to graduate and has been accepted into a prestigious college - Defriese University - and is puzzled about how to spend her last summer before going away. She then receives a package from her brother, Hollis, who is touring Europe. She decides that she will go with her father to spend the summer with him and his new family. Auden hopes to spend the summer with her father, however, this doesn’t end up happening as Auden notices her father spending all his time working on a new novel.
In our book club discussion, we felt that Auden’s birth parents were bothersome. For instance, her father kept making excuses and was not reliable. For example, he seemed to avoid time with his family and caring for Thisbe, Auden’s stepsister. On the other hand, her mother put extreme amounts of pressure on Auden. We felt that her parents weren’t parenting Auden well enough, leading to her difficulty sleeping at night and their constant fighting.
Nonetheless, we all agreed that the overall summer and beach vibe theme of the book was charming and enjoyable to read about. In addition, her relationship with Eli was pleasant to read. Auden and Eli both experience sleeping problems and because of this they hang out at night time. Eli shows Auden things she never experienced growing up, such as bowling, and they eventually kiss for the first time. I also noticed the connection of how the book cover relates to the information in the novel. The depiction of the girl on the bike shows Auden learning from Maggie, one of her stepmom’s employees.