This review does contain spoilers!!!

Addition: Review e-book

Genre: Female, young adult

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

As the “oracle of dating,” Kayla is supposed to have all the answers about love and relationships. She’s supposed to have the perfect relationship. But now that Jared is “taking a step back,” Kayla feels like a total fraud.
So the expert on dating starts taking her own rebound advice—and some from her friends—and stops moping around. Yeah, there are other possibilities out there—including the beyond-cute French foreign exchange student she’s showing around town. But when controversy erupts about the Oracle’s advice, Kayla is sent reeling once again. Will anything work out for her this year? Yet when her friends start seriously needing the Oracle, Kayla begins to focus on what really matters: Viv, Sharese, Amy and Ryan, her trueblue buds. And suddenly, everything starts making sense again…

This is the sequel to The Oracle of Dating, and I was excited when I saw this book because I really enjoyed the first one. I received this book from netGallery.

This is a book about a girl called Kayla, who is sixteen and writes a blog all about relationships. She has currently been dating the guy of her dreams, Jared. However, he doesn’t get the art scholarship he is desperate for and believes that it is because his focus has been on Kayla and not art. Therefore, he dumps her. The Oracle is now heartbroken, which on the bright side gives her something new to write about. As does the fling she has with the gorgeous French student who comes to stay at her home on an exchange visit. Things are good again until she realises that the fling was just that – two weeks of fun, and when her blog is attacked. Her attentions turn, her life gets hard, and she finally relies on her friends. Her life gets better, her blog gets more hits, and her love life could be turning itself around once more when Jared starts finding reasons to see her again.

This book was fairly predictable. The ending did not come as a shock but I was glad that Jared came to his senses and pursued Kayla again – and that she followed her heart and they got back together. I felt sorry for Kayla when out of the blue Jared ended the relationship; and to be honest I wasn’t happy with his reason. I really felt for her and her pain. I can’t help but like Kayla, although sometimes I found the storyline a little unbelievable. It was a bit too convenient that just after she was dumped her mother organised for a hot French student to come and stay. You could tell that he was only interested in a two week romance but I still found myself feeling sorry for Kayla when again she got dumped.

I thought it was interesting that van Diepen chose to write that Kayla’s blog faced some harsh criticism. I guess that would be the case if you were to advertise, and I think the way Kayla dealt with the situation was well written. I do find it hard to believe that a teenage girl who had only one boyfriend would be quite so knowledgeable about love and heartbreak – and also that she would be giving out advice to her older sister and her friend – both of whom were in the their twenties. However, none of these criticisms spoilt the book.

I liked the characters. Like I said, I found Kayla enchanting and really felt for her when she got her heartbroken. I loved how her friends acted and rallied around her. They seemed realistic and well written. The storyline is easy to follow and it did not take long to read this book. I was entertained and I enjoyed this book a lot. This would be a good comfort read for any female, whether in their teens or not. Although I was not surprised with the outcome, I liked it and I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked, however predictable. This is very readable and I recommend it.

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Review Does Contain Spoilers!

Synopsis:

Lena has lived her whole life near the beach—walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves—the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.

But her father – a former surfer himself – refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.

Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman—with a silvery tail.

Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.

And soon … what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life …

I had seen this book around and saw it had good reviews, so I was very pleased when I found I could review it! My copy comes from netGallery.

The star of the story is Selena, or Lena as she is known to her friends. She is an ordinary girl but seems to be experiencing weird goings-on. She often spaces out completely and regularly sleep-walks to the beach. She has always been drawn to the sea, and really wants to learn to surf. Her dad won’t let her though, so she learns in secret. But her reason for learning, and then taking on waves at one of the most dangerous coves is because she has seen a mermaid, and she wants to meet her properly. When the mermaid comes to her rescue she gives her a gold key. Lena finds the box it opens, and with it the discovery of the mirror and why she is drawn to the sea will change her life forever.

This book is written for young adults but will be enjoyable for adults too. The book contains adventure, sea, love, magic and fantasy. I would class this a woman’s read, but I really enjoyed it. The story was gripping from the start, and intriguing. I found myself wanting to know why she was sleep walking and about this mermaid. The identity of the mermaid was easy to guess, as was the ending, but that didn’t spoil the book for me.

There are two worlds explored in this book – land and sea. I liked how when Lena was on land we caught just a glimpse – the odd paragraph at the end of a chapter – about the sea world, and vis versa when she was in the sea. Both worlds were fascinating and full of characters you couldn’t help but like. I liked that Madigan didn’t create an underwater world similar to that in The Little Mermaid. She created a modest village made out of rocks – there were no castles or anything! I think I preferred the land world to the sea world because I didn’t like the cloak that Lena had to wear to survive. It took away her memories so she couldn’t remember her family or friends – it was quite manipulative, keeping her in the sea world, taking away the option of land.

The book was full of great characters. I loved Allie, Lena’s step-mum, because although she married Lena’s dad Brian when Lena was 9, she had slipped into such a good mother’s role that Lena called her Mum and they had a great mother-daughter relationship. I loved Nix, the merman.  He was very easy to fall for. I was gutted that he didn’t follow Lena to land. Their love had to end, and although him becoming human might have been too far-fetched and predictable, I would have really liked it. I did like Lena, although she could be stubborn sometimes, and I didn’t like how she sneaked around. My favourite character was easily her 6 year old brother Cole though. My heart melted for his character. He was so cute. He was eager about sports and adored Lena. I loved their relationship and I was glad it was Cole that Lena came home for.

I got very involved with this book and really enjoyed it. I laughed and at one point nearly cried. I was hooked and read this in under 24 hours. I would give this 4/5.

This will be book number 10 in the Romance Challenge for me:

Books Read:

  1. Nicholas Sparks: The Wedding
  2. Sarah Dessen: Lock and Key
  3. Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point
  4. Judy Blume: Forever
  5. Rachel Hore: The Memory Garden
  6. Elizabeth Noble: The Girl Next Door
  7. Debbie Macomber: 50 Harbour Street
  8. Allison van Diepen: The Oracle of Dating
  9. Sarah Dessen: Along For the Ride
  10. L. K. Madigan: The Mermaid’s Mirror
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