Summer Reading Challenge 2014 2017-09-07T04:50:46+00:00


Summer reading means one thing… The return of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge! This year, we’re taking you on the adventure of the summer as we challenge you to read 15 incredible books, kicking off with The One & Only by New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin.

And this year, we’re making it our biggest Summer Reading Challenge yet by giving away a Kindle each Friday, all summer long. At the end of the challenge, enter to win the grand prize – a $500 Visa gift card and super-cute travel gift set!

badgeHere’s how you can participate:

Editors: We’re counting on you to recommend these new books to your readers as part of your summer reading coverage. Contact Crystal Patriarche at or 480.650.1688 for galleys, author interviews and other content.

Bloggers: Please contact Janay Lampkin at for your copy of the books and to secure your blog tour dates. Check out the instructions to participate in the challenge here.

Book Lovers: As usual, you are also invited to participate in the summer reading challenge. Buy the books, read them, and tag us to win prizes all summer long. Check out the instructions to participate in the challenge here.

RSVP: Be sure to RSVP on the official Facebook event page and share the news with your friends!

Here’s the official lineup of the books that made the cut for our 4th Annual Summer Reading Challenge:


OneAndOnlyTwo weeks of Emily Giffin! Weeks of May 12 and 19: The One & Only by Emily Giffin

In her eagerly awaited new novel, beloved New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty—and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both. Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.




9780803740518Week of May 26: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue—the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Funny, smart, and big-hearted, Love and Other Foreign Words is equal parts comedy and coming of age. But more than that, it’s a love story about sisters, about friends, and about what it means to love at all.




CureCommonBreakupWeek of June 2: Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

Flight attendant Summer Benson lives by two rules: Don’t stay with the same man for too long and never stay in one place. She’s about to break rule number one by considering accepting her boyfriend’s proposal—then disaster strikes and her world is shattered in an instant. After a lifetime of globe-trotting, Summer has finally found a home. But Hattie has old scores to settle and a hidden agenda for her newest employee. Summer finds herself faced with an impossible choice: Leave Black Dog Bay behind forever, or stay with the ones she loves and cost them everything….




The Witch of Belladonna BayWeek of June 9: The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri

Are love and magic enough to bring a broken family back together? Bronwyn is forced to return home to Magnolia Creek, Alabama—a place she hasn’t been since her mother, Naomi, died fourteen years earlier—and the troubled family she left behind. As Bronwyn unravels the secrets behind the murder, long forgotten memories surface, and the magic living quietly inside of her grows stronger, creating an unbreakable bond between her and Byrd—a bond that will define both of their fates forever.




9781940716008Week of June 16: The Revealed by Jessica Hickam

Fans of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Veronica Roth’s  Divergent series will be engrossed in Jessica Hickam’s debut novel,  The Revealed. With its mix of mystery, supernatural elements and romantic drama, The Revealed weaves an addictive tale about a teenage girl targeted by a mysterious force who finds out nothing is as it seems. Lily Atwood is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the world and lives in what used to be Washington D.C. When a war kills over five billion people, Lily’s father plays an important role in rebuilding and reconstructing what’s left of humanity. When The Revealed–the underground organization that is responsible for all the kidnappings–choose Lily as their next target, she fights to evade their grasp, only to find out that everything she thought she knew was a lie.



 Week of June 23: WalkInClosetThe Walk-In Closet by Abdi Nazemian

Abdi Nazemian exposes the secret life of a gay Iranian man in Los Angeles and the best friend pretending to be his girlfriend in his debut novel, The Walk-In Closet. As his wealthy parents pressure her to marry their son, Kara must decide if she’s ready to give up the life she dreams of for the money and comfort of “Tehrangeles.”





Week of June 30: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

My Last Kiss is about the power of first love and the haunting lies that threaten to tear it apart. Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. But her last kiss—the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died—is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes.





AfterIDoWeek of July 7: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A compelling story about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both. When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage finally reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes. This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a young couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.




SparkPress-Serenade-CoverWeek of July 14: Serenade by Emily Kiebel

Eighteen-year-old Lorelei Clark was a gifted singer at a music conservatory until the day her father was struck by an oncoming car.  His death leaves her emotionally shattered, so when she receives an invitation from her great-aunt Helen to visit her home in Cape Cod, Lorelei accepts. She quickly discovers that Helen and her two nieces are harboring a frightening secret – they are sirens, terrifying mythical creatures responsible for singing doomed sailors to their deaths. When she rescues a handsome sailor who was supposed to die at sea, the sirens vow that she must finish the job or face grave consequences.




The-Fever-by-Megan-AbbottWeek of July 21: The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community. As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.




 GRAVEL ON ROAD finalWeek of July 28: Gravel on the Side of the Road by Kris Radish

Novelist Kris Radish returns with a collection of autobiographical essays. As a woman who carries a gun in her purse, nearly drowned, dances with the FBI, spends time with murders, and more, Kris has a lot of intriguing stories to share. These stories give readers a witty, inside, and realistic look into worlds that most people would never dream to enter.





CURSE OF VAN GOGH5.selectWeek of August 4: The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

Tyler slides into a simple life of bartending in New York City, living his life day to day. And then at the hottest art opening of the season he meets Kommate Imasu, a Japanese billionaire and famed art collector, who seems to know more about Tyler than his own mother does.  With serious threats against his family and friends, Tyler has to decide how much risk he’ll take to protect them. He quickly learns that gambling against a billionaire is never a good idea. Tyler plunges headfirst into a world of art forgers, hit-men, Yakuza, a femme fatal named Chanel No. 5, and the legendary curse of Van Gogh, in order to pull off the greatest art heist in history.





EllyInLove-coverWeek of August 11: Elly in Love by Colleen Oakes

Elly Jordan, the pretty, plus-size owner of Posies florist, has had quite the year. Helped by her loyal and hilarious group of friends, Elly’s on the verge of opening a chic flower boutique uptown when BlissBride, a mega-successful wedding reality show, asks her to design the wedding of a famous—make that infamous–celebrity.  Elly is about to get everything she’s ever wanted, when a stranger shows up at her store with a request that will change every aspect of her life–including her relationship with Keith.  As she struggles to maintain her focus in the midst of growing chaos, Elly will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice.



booksparks_INBLOOM_coverWeek of August 18: In Bloom by Katie Delahanty

Olivia Bloom has always wanted to become a Hollywood costume designer, so she drives from Pittsburgh to LA in the hopes of achieving her dream. It is there that she is taken under the wing of Hollywood-insiders Blair and Parker—and finds out that the uber-hot lead singer of her favorite band may have just fallen in love with her. The pair helps her achieve star-studded status in the midst of the paparazzi, tabloids and rumors, but how long can a small town girl stay on top, especially in The City of Angels?




GhostingWeek of August 25: Ghosting by Edith Pattou

On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.


WildWithinCoverWeek of September 1: Wild Within by Melissa Hart

A romance, an adoption, and a baby Barred Owl is author Melissa Hart’s story of how she learned to rehabilitate and train birds of prey at a local nature center while waiting to adopt a child from Oregon’s foster care system.  Through immersion in the natural world, Hart found herself transformed from newly-divorced Los Angeles urbanite to Pacific Northwest environmental educator enamored of a handsome photographer with a passion for owls, eagles, hawks, and falcons.  Together, they worked to care for injured and orphaned birds of prey, eventually embarking on a two-and-a-half year adventure to adopt their daughter.


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