Grab your passports, it’s time for the 5th Annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge!
Spend your summer traveling with BookSparks in this year’s #SRC2015
BookSparks Travel is standing by to help you book your summer reading vacation. We have flights departing all summer long, so grab your tickets for the books you like or become a BookSparks Frequent Flier and read through the whole itinerary!
We all know books transport us to another place and this year we want to guide you on your vacation through words. Whether you need a book for the beach or you want a mental getaway from the day-to-day, a book is the most affordable (and in our opinion, most wonderful) way to see the world.
You can take a stroll through the streets of New York City with The Balance Project, you can soak up the south with The Witch of Bourbon Street or cross the pond to London with Summer Secrets. With 17 weeks of reading on this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, you’re guaranteed to take more trips than any of your friends (we strongly encourage you bragging about in on Facebook). Grab your carry-on (or win one in SRC!) and get ready for the best summer ever!
HERE’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 Crystal@BookSparksPR.com or call 480.650.1688 for galleys, author interviews and content inquiries.
Book Lovers: Travel along with us by purchasing the books, reading them, and then tagging us in your posts 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!
The Official Summer Reading Challenge Lineup:
Destination: Find the miraculous in Manhattan
Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most.
Destination: Escape to the Northeast
For a few secret months, 15-year-old Sam enjoys the unexpected attention of Suzie. However, at the end of the summer, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters when Suzie moves away. Watching her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college. Suzie misses Sam and her closest friend, Bella. It is not until years later that a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother reunites the trio, causing Suzie to confront her past, as well as her friends.
Destination: Enjoy the bustle of Manhattan
Jennifer Sharpe is a single mom of two struggling to balance her work and home life. One fateful day, a brilliant physicist decides to play fairy godmother and install a time-travelling app on Jennifer’s phone: Wishful Thinking. Jennifer is finally able to devote herself fully to every aspect of her life, but why does Jennifer feel more busy than ever?
Destination: Hit the streets of New York City
Katherine Whitney has the perfect job, an amazing husband, two loveable daughters and just released a hit book. Unbeknownst to everyone, Katherine’s life is actually falling a part, and it is her assistant, Lucy Cooper, holding it together. But when Katherine does the unthinkable to Lucy, Lucy must determine if the stress on her life is worth pleasing her boss.
Destination: Drink in Sonoma wine country
Georgia Ford learned some important secrets while growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard. She knows everything from the number of grapes that it takes to make a bottle of wine to the secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna. But, one week before her wedding, Georgia learns that her fiancé is keeping a life-changing secret. Georgia returns home to the vineyard for comfort only to discover that her fiancé was not the only one keeping a secret.
Destination: Bask in the simplicity of a small town
Virginia has always wanted the chance at a relationship with Aaron, a widower with a young son. She finally gets the opportunity, but their date is cut short when tragedy strikes, ending their hopes of a relationship. Years later, Virginia is engaged, but when she discovers that her fiancé intentionally let her dog loose, she calls off the wedding. She finds her dog with a shy young man, whom Virginia soon realizes is connected to her past in ways that she could never have imagined.
Destination: Island hop to Athens, Greece
At an early age, Sasha is abandoned by her mother in Moscow and forced to move between living with her three grandparents. Five years later, her mother, Anna, comes back promising Sasha a better life in Athens, Greece. Sasha goes with her mother, but finds that she is far from rescued. Trapped between a hostile stepfather and a psychologically harmful mother, Sasha is left looking for affection in her affectionless life.
Destination: Cross the pond to London
Cat was living the party life in London, drinking and partying every night. Everything changes for the 20-year-old when she discovers that the father she never knew was living in Nantucket. Now in her 30s, Cat is sober, but divorced and desperately trying to make up the time she lost with her daughter. Cat is forced to face the past and the fateful events of one summer night many years ago. Cat learns that confronting the events will impact her future in ways she could have never imagined.
Destination:Travel up the west coast of California
Dr. Alison McAdams has just suffered a tragedy that has rocked her life to the core. Lost, she returns home to Northern California to help her sick father; although, in her state, Ali does not know how much help she can provide anyone. Ali unexpectedly makes friends with her father’s community, hearing stories about life during WWII. Through these stories take Ali on a journey of lost love that will lead her across oceans and deep into the past. Through it all, Ali slowly begins to piece herself back together and rediscover that there is hope in life.
Week of July 6: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Destination: Escape to Sunny Los Angeles
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Destination: Hit the mountains of Montana
Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is beautiful. Her entire life revolves around this beauty because her overly controlling mother has been dragging her to casting calls and auditions since she was four years old. According to Joanne Kennicut, Melanie was born to follow in her footsteps. But Melanie never wanted this life.
Destination: Meander through Des Moines, Iowa
Katherine and Tommy are twins trying to cope with the recent loss of their mother. When people they did not know existed begin showing up on their doorstep to mourn the loss, Katherine and Tommy begin wondering how much they really knew about their beloved mother. In her latest novel, Kathleen Shoop alternates between the past and present to tell an enchanting story of mystery, discovery and the unbreakable bonds between family members.
Week of July 27: The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
Destination: Get jazzy in New Orleans
Situated deep in the bayou is the formerly opulent Sorrow Estate. Once home to a magical family, the Sorrows, it now lays in ruins, uninhabited since a series of murders in 1902 shocked the entire community. When Frances Green Sorrow is born, the family is on the brink of obscurity and the last remaining Sorrows cling to the hope that she is the one who will finally resurrect the glory of what once was. The Witch of Bourbon Street is a story of love, family, redemption and forgiveness. It’s a story that bridges the nostalgia of time, and brings those that are separated back together again.
Destination: Bundle up in the Windy City
Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.
Destination: Break the news from NYC
Barbara King’s dream is to become the next Barbara Walters. She has long had one foot out the door of her current job–as an early morning news anchor at the fledgling cable news channel, The Pheonix. Her plan is to do her time at The Phoenix and move on to something bigger, better, and more Barbara-Walters-like. But when The Phoenix’s ratings unexpectedly skyrocket after its controversial, no-holds-barred coverage of a major news event, Barbara’s star is poised to rise along with it. But is she willing to trade her journalistic ethics—and her dream—for fame?
Destination: Road trip from L.A. To OK
When 22-year-old Ginny Martin discovers her husband has been cheating on her, she strikes back with the couple’s credit card. Purchasing tickets to every concert on the Rolling Stones North American tour, this devastated suburban housewife packs up the car and takes to the road. Following the Rolling Stones from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, Ginny experiences freedom for the first time, while coping with the insecurities and limiting beliefs that had kept this small town girl’s life far too small.
Destination: Take a trip to Suburbia
From the beloved books editor at Glamour magazine comes a heartfelt and painfully funny debut about what happens when a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny—only to learn every opportunity comes at a price. When her husband makes a radical career change, she lands a job at a hip young start up. The Holy Grail of working mothers—an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life—seems suddenly within reach. Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up, and her work takes an unexpected turn.
Destination: Get to know New York
Maddy Braverman, thirty and single, has taught first grade at an elite private school in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for the past six years. Angry at herself for not moving on, Maddy is distracted from her pity party with a new student—Lola Magdalena, daughter of A- list celebrities Nic and Shelby Seabolt—a last-minute addition to her class roster.
When Lola breaks her arm on the playground, Maddy has the chance to meet with Nic in his TriBeCa apartment. Maddy’s celebrity fantasies turn to reality—make out sessions, sex and even a Hamptons holiday bash that leave Maddy yearning for Nic’s love.
Bonus #SRC2015 Book
Week of September 7: Surface by Stacy Robinson
Destination: Wrap up your summer vacation in Denver
Claire Montgomery has a lifetime of sensible decisions behind her. Yet all it takes is one impulsive indiscretion to bring everything crashing down—her marriage to a wealthy entrepreneur, her status as half of one of Denver society’s power couples, and the future she dreamed of for their seventeen-year-old son, Nick. Claire’s husband, Michael, angrily blames her for the recklessness that has left Nick’s life in the balance, though not nearly as much as Claire blames herself. But as Nick struggles to move forward, Claire too begins inching toward a reimagined future. Along with a fresh perspective come new questions. Are there other reasons for her fractured relationship and Michael’s increasingly erratic behavior? Has he, too, been harboring painful secrets? And does Claire dare to find the real truth, when her seamlessly decorated world of privilege and security is at stake?