62 pages 2 hours read

Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2009

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Character Analysis

Auden

Raised as a “little adult” (7), dynamic protagonist Auden is an intelligent, stoic, judgmental, mature, quiet, and introverted young woman who would rather spend time alone with books than with people. As the younger of two siblings, Auden barely experienced a childhood, saying, “by the time I came along, my brother—the most colicky of babies, a hyperactive toddler, a ‘spirited’ (read ‘impossible’) kid–had worn my parents out [...] I was…the child who, at three, would sit at the table during grown-up discussions about literature and color my coloring books, not making a peep” (7). Due to being praised for her silence and “very mature” (8) for her age, Auden was taken to adult events like symphonies, art shows, conferences, and meetings by her professor parents. Thus, Auden finds social interactions difficult. She often cannot relate to kids her age, unable to understand their energy or wild antics, such as pillow fights and bike riding. Though Auden thinks these foreign activities look fun, she isn’t sure if she’d take the chance to try them.

Because only academics earned attention from her parents Victoria and Robert, she excels at every subject. Particularly when Auden’s parents fight, she escapes into her textbooks and studies, for school is her “solace,” letting her “live a thousand vicarious lives” through books (9).

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