Sarah Dessen's 2009 YA novel is becoming a feature film.

By Jolie Lash
April 22, 2021 at 08:39 PM EDT
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Sofia Alvarez, who adapted To All the Boys I've Loved Before and its sequel for Netflix, is bringing another beloved YA novel to the streamer.

She'll adapt Along for the Ride, a feature-length film based on Sarah Dessen's 2009 YA novel of the same name, Netflix announced on Thursday. Alvarez will also make her directing debut on the project, which films in North Carolina.

The streamer also announced the cast of the film, including Emma Pasarow (Touch) as Auden West, the main character from the novel who decides to spend the summer before college with her dad, stepmom and step-sister in the beach town of Colby. "The summer before college Auden meets the mysterious Eli, a fellow insomniac. While the seaside town of Colby sleeps, the two embark on a nightly quest to help Auden experience the fun, carefree teen life she never knew she wanted," reads a logline from Netflix.

Belmont Carmeli, who plays Jamie Spano in Peacock's Saved by the Bell revival, is playing Eli. Superman Returns star Kate Bosworth will play Auden's stepmom, Heidi, while Andie MacDowell, plays Auden's super-smart mom, Victoria. Dermot Mulroney will play Auden's dad, Robert. Laura Kariuki is playing Maggie. Other cast members announced include Genevieve Hannelius as Leah, Samia Finnerty as Esther, Paul Karmiyran as Adam, Marcus Scribner (Black-ish) as Wallace and Ricardo Hurtado as Jake, Eli's brother.

In 2009, EW writer Jean Bentley put Along for the Ride on the must-read list. "There's something about the way Dessen addresses the minutiae of teen-dom with out talking down (like how, at 17, every single thing your parents do pisses you off for no reason), that makes me connect," Bentley wrote.

Dessen's books That Summer and Someone Like You were previously turned into the Mandy Moore-starring How to Deal, which got a B from EW in 2003.

Along for the Ride is the first of Dessen's YA novels optioned by Netflix to be turned into a feature film. The streamer also recently optioned The Truth About Forever.

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