on June 12, 2012 :
The author tells an engaging story with characters that are fully described. The story unfolds by introducing each character with his or her own chapter. The quotations at the beginning of each chapter set the tone. I especially liked the quotes from Thoreau, Nietzche, Baldwin, Emerson,and Holmes. We see James and Nichole's relationship as an honest and playful one while they learn to trust one another. We learn how James struggles with his doubts about himself and resolves his questions about Nichole's motives through the author's technique of allowing us inside James' internal dialogue. Other characters that I found equally endearing were Jonathan, Connie, Jess, and Aunt Effie. They each hint at an untold story beyond the one presented to us. After Nichole takes James to Annabelle Key Lighthouse the story takes on a new urgency and is hard to put down. I also enjoyed reading how Johnathan took care of the leatherback sea turtles, their nesting sites, and precautions against pollution from man; how the red tide is formed and its effects on marine life. Florida's natural beauty is described in a way that makes the reader want to learn more. The ending of the story is very poignant as James finds a way to help Nichole overcome her depression after the death of her mother. He looks inside himself to find the key that stimulates Nichole's nurturing instincts and leads her to look beyond her own pain. The reader is uplifted by these teenagers who find their own way through the vicissitudes of life to happiness and love. review by Anna Fox.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on April 3, 2012 :
James Campbell has grown up with a self-obsessed mother who has always criticized him and run him down, telling him he’s no good and will amount to nothing. He has an old photo of his father, so he knows they look alike. But he can’t remember much about him, except that he was strong. Strength is important to James.
And he isn’t worthless. He’s got everything going for him. He knows how to hold a job down, and he’s strong and healthy. He’s also pretty good-looking and kind-hearted, and his passion is golf. He’s good at it, too. He dreams of running away and making something of his life. He just can’t bear his mother’s cruelty and unfair accusations any more.
He can’t figure out why she hates him and is so mean to him, and some part of him worries that somehow it’s his fault. One day she pushes him too far and he leaves with a backpack, a lot of dreams and not much else. Determined never to come back to a place where he is so unwelcome.
Running away turns out to be the adventure of his life. James doesn’t have much of a plan, but he knows he can earn money and survive, and he’s sure his dreams can somehow come true. Then cute, sassy and independent-minded Nicole Trump with problems of her own comes into his life, and turns his world upside down. He does the same for her, though!
These two passionate teens, both intent on making the most of their lives, open each other’s eyes and hearts. Together they face challenges they could never have faced alone. They help each other solve problems that have seemed unsolvable, so they can be at peace with everything that has happened in their lives so far. And so that they can move towards making their dreams come true.
The Lure of Annabelle Key LighthouseBy Francine Larson is an exciting read, and a heartwarming one. You will fall in love with Nicole and James, be scared for them when they make mistakes, feel for them when they hurt. You’ll adore their adventurous spirit, and you’ll shout out “Yesss!” when you get to the ending.
This amazing book about two teens dealing with the hardest challenges and being able to triumph; having the most exciting adventures, and - of course! - falling in love, is a must-read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)