At the end of August here I am with this challenge:

  1. Nicholas Sparks: The Last Song
  2. Nicholas Sparks: The Wedding
  3. Meg Cabot: Size 12 is Not Fat
  4. Alice Hoffman: Incantation
  5. Sarah Dessen: Lock and Key
  6. Kate Harrison: Old School Ties
  7. Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point
  8. Judy Blume: Forever
  9. Rachel Hore: The Memory Garden
  10. Elizabeth Noble: The Girl Next Door
  11. Debbie Macomber: 50 Harbour Street
  12. Allison van Diepen: The Oracle of Dating
  13. Sarah Dessen: Along For The Ride
  14. Francine Rivers: Redeeming Love
  15. Sarah Dessen: Last Chance
  16. Jane Green: Second Chance
  17. Jandy Nelson: The Sky is Everywhere
  18. Sarah Dessen: That Summer
  19. Julie Kagawa: The Iron King
  20. Julie Kagawa: The Winter Passage
  21. Dorothy Koomson: Goodnight, Beautiful
  22. Catherine Chisnell: Descending
  23. Julie Kagawa: The Iron Daughter
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As you know I am participating in two summer challenges:

Here is how I am doing:

  1. Terry Pratchett: A Hat Full of Sky
  2. Kate Harrison: Old School Ties
  3. Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point
  4. Matt Beaumont: E
  5. Judy Blume: Forever
  6. Rachel Hore: The Memory Garden
  7. Elizabeth Noble: The Girl Next Door
  8. Debbie Macomber: 50 Harbour Street
  9. Melanie Ray: The Great Destruction Book 1
  10. Terry Pratchett: Going Postal
  11. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  12. Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  13. Nick Hornby: About a Boy
  14. Allison van Diepen: The Oracle of Dating
  15. James Patterson: Maximum Ride #1: The Angel Experiment
  16. Sarah Dessen: Along For The Ride
  17. L. K. Madisan: The Mermaid’s Mirror
  18. Francine Rivers: Redeeming Love
  19. Andrew Oberg: Randolph’s One Bedroom
  20. Stephen Chobsky: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  21. Sarah Dessen: Last Chance
  22. John Connolly: The Book of Lost Things
  23. Lyn Andrews: A Daughter’s Journey
  24. Jane Green: Second Chance
  25. Jandy Nelson: The Sky is Everywhere
  26. Sarah Dessen: That Summer
  27. Julie Kagawa: The Iron King
  28. Mary Julia Young: A Summer at Brighton
  29. Julie Kagawa: The Winter Passage
  30. H. M. Moriarty: Brighton in an Uproar
  31. Sebastian Fitzek: Therapy
  32. Dorothy Koomson: Goodnight, Beautiful

The other challenge is:

  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. Melanie Ray: The Great Destruction Book 1
  9. Allison van Diepen: The Oracle of Dating
  10. Sarah Dessen: Along For The Ride
  11. Francine Rivers: Redeeming Love
  12. Sarah Dessen: Last Chance
  13. Lyn Andrews: A Daughter’s Journey
  14. Jane Green: Second Chance
  15. Jandy Nelson: The Sky is Everywhere
  16. Sarah Dessen: That Summer
  17. Dorothy Koomson: Goodnight, Beautiful

Both challenges are complete but I will keep adding books anyway!

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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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Date: 29th June 2010

Challenge 1: 2010 Summer Romance Challenge hosted by Book Chick City

Rules: 4 months, 8 books – romance only!

Update:

  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

Haha over halfway there in the first month! I’m very pleased with my progress 🙂

Challenge 2: Summer With Books

Rules: Guess the number of books you’re going to read and then read that many! Any genre is allowed. The time line is 18th June to 30th August. My guess: 20!

Update:

  1. Terry Pratchett: A Hat Full of Sky
  2. Kate Harrison: Old School Ties
  3. Debbie Macomber: 44 Cranberry Point
  4. Matt Beaumont: E
  5. Judy Blume: Forever
  6. Rachel Hore: The Memory Garden
  7. Elizabeth Noble: The Girl Next Door

Over a quarter of the way through – again pleased with my progress!

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Synopsis:

After thirty years of marriage, Wilson Lewis, son-in-law of Allie and Noah Calhoun (of The Notebook), is forced to admit that the romance has gone out of his marriage. Desperate to win back his wife, Jane’s, heart, he must figure out how to make her fall in love with him… again. Despite the shining example of Allie and Noah’s marriage, Wilson is himself a man unable to easily express his emotions. A successful estate attorney, he has provided well for his family, but now, with his daughter’s upcoming wedding, he is forced to face the fact that he and Jane have grown apart and he wonders if she even loves him anymore. Wilson is sure of one thing–his love for his wife has only deepened and intensified over the years. Now, with the memories of his in-laws’ magnificent fifty-year love affair as his guide, Wilson struggles to find his way back into the heart of the woman he adores.

As the synopsis states, this is the follow up book to The Notebook. At first, when I saw that there was a sequel, I was unsure as to how that would work (if you have read The Notebook I’m sure you will understand my questioning) but I was satisfied with this book.

The story does not follow Allie and Noah, but their son-in-law Wilson. He is hard-working , to the point where he has seemingly neglected his family. He wanted to provide them with a great life, but that meant he missed parties and sporting events, and worked very late most days. This seemed fine until he forgot his wedding anniversary. This woke him up to the fact his marriage was strained and his wife was sad. This caused him to try and change his ways – and is helped by his daughter announcing that she is getting married. This gives him an opportunity to repair his marriage.

The more Nicholas Sparks novels I read, the more I love him as an author. However, this is not my favourite of his works. I found this book started slowly, and it took a while to get going. By halfway through though, I had warmed up to Wilson and I loved all he was doing for Jane. The surprise at the end was gorgeous, and I sat there with a warmed heart and a smile on my face.

I did like Jane, and felt sorry for her and felt her pain; although I did think that if she was unhappy she should have spoken out. I took some time to warm up to Wilson but I started to like him the more I read. I thought their relationship was sweet – especially in the beginning when Wilson was shy and sensible. This might be heresy to say, but I preferred Noah in this novel than I did in The Notebook. He was wise and loving in this novel, whereas I found him a bit desperate in The Notebook.

This is a lovely romance novel. It is not a long book and worth reading if you like a heart warming, satisfying story. Nicholas Sparks is a great writer and I will be reading more of his novels.

This is the first novel completed in my 2010 Summer Romance Challenge

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OK so here is the deal:

4 months, 8 books – all of the romance genre! Excited? I am too!

Books Read:

  1. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
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