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A true classic by Elizabeth Noble - again! I love all of her books, and I particularly remember this one, due to it's clever use of the letters in the alphabet.
I have started to do some writing myself, and find it really hard sometimes to come up with ideas, but I thought this was very cleverly written. Tom and Natalie constantly play hard to get with each other, trying to trump what the other one's letter is about. Some of the letters were predicatable, others did take me by surprise, but that makes a really good plot and a book that is a real page turner.
It's very easy reading, which is good as you can't wait to see what happens next. The characters are veyr well developed (the main ones, Tom and Natalie, especially) and even though you can pretty much guess they get together in the end, I loved reading all the stuff they went through before they make the final plunge.
A true "girly" chic-lit, but I love those, and there are plenty of other women who do to!
Keep it coming, Elizabeth!
Wow! I have just finished reading a great book! The book in question is called 'Alphabet Weekends' and was written by author Elizabeth Noble. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2006. The book is 432 pages long and is currently available to buy from Amazon for just 1p which I think is amazing value for money!
The plot: Natalie has been dumped by her boyfriend. When she was younger she had a best friend called Tom; when they were teenagers they made a promise that if they weren't married by the time they were in their thirties, they would marry eachother. Decades on, have they got any chemistry? What will happen when Tom comes up with the idea of playing Alphabet Weekends (each weekend they will do something that begins with the letter of the alphabet) to try and get Natalie to fall in love with him? Will it work? Whilst on the other hand, Lucy is unhappy in here relationship. Why is Natalie's mother feeling like she is? Read Alphabet Weekend to find out!
I really enjoyed this book! I loved the plot; I thought that it was so different, yet so simple. The main plot was in fact very simple, it was the little plots in the book that made it great. I really thought that the plot was such a good idea!
I did think that the main plot was quite predictable; I knew what was gonna happen at the end, although it was all the little 'inbetween bits' that were unpredictable and what made the story so fabulous!
I liked the fact that all the chapters revolved around a letter. Each letter/chapter kept making you read on just to see what would happen and what would be happening for the next letter. I also liked the fact that there were a couple of 'normal' chapters in between the 'letter' chapters as it meant that it made the story more real, rather than just a game.
I really liked the characters in the book; my favourites were definetely Tom and Natalie. I found the characters to be really easy-to-connect to, which for me is a must for me to be able to enjoy a book.
I liked how parts of the story were written from different characters' points of view as it was interesting to see how they saw things. It was also a good way of allowing the reader to get to know the characters, without to much descriptive reading.
At first I was confused by all of the different characters, as the reader is introduced to them all fairly quickly. Although, after a couple of chapters I go to know who each character was and didn't find it at all confusing after. I also thought it was clever how all of the characters were linked in some way.
This book was so easy to read; nice simple language and short sentences. Because of this, I would say that this is a great book to read whilst certainly chilling out as it doesn't require much thinking.
This book was quite funny in parts; laugh out loud kind of funny, which I thought was funny! :)
I thought that idea in this book is a really good real-life idea for dates! It will certainly keep things interesting!
I would definetely recommend this really fun read!
Thanks for reading!
I had never read a book by the author, Elizabeth Noble before and it was a review by another member that made me order this book. We actually have two copies of this book, not because it is that amazing though! It briefly passed my mind that my sister might have this as she has loads of chick-lit books but I didn't think that for too long because I then ordered it off Ebay. The next day when I told her I had ordered a book her response was 'I've got that'. Oops! Oh well, we now have this book in two of it's covers.
Like with many books, the covers get updated. One has a light pink background with a kite and the other is a bold blue with a picture of a modern, glitzy women one, both very different images. I have even seen another cover online for for the US. I feel that the first cover fits the first half and the second cover the second half of the book as the book goes to more exotic places. The writing is smaller in the pink covered book than the blue one, which is much easier to read.
Tom and Natalie have known each other since childhood and whilst he has always had a crush on her she has remained adamant that they are just friends. But since the separation from Natalie's long-term partner, Tom comes up with the idea to cheer her up by having Alphabet weekends. The idea is simple; each one comes with an activity for a letter of the alphabet for them to do. This idea instantly appealed to me as I am always wishing I did more things. Tom is sure that Natalie will fall for him by the end. Of course he is only half joking but he remains optimistic and with her friends and family constantly telling her how suited they are will Natalie eventually give in?
I wasn't aware that this book is one of those that dips into other people's lives too. I would not have bought it otherwise as I find these very confusing. However it was not bad as the main focus was on Natalie with frequent but shorter reads about Natalie's parents, sister's and Tom's brother and sister-in-law's joys and struggles.
--What did I think?--
My overall opinion of the book is that it is a good read but nothing spectacular. I thought the alphabet idea was original but sometimes wished they had made more of it. Natalie is a good person but I didn't know much about her apart from her family and what her job was. I didn't even know what she looked like which is vital for me as I enjoy picturing the characters as I read. There is a good mix of older and younger characters so all can relate here. I found the second half better than the first as during the first I could put the book down but near the end I was wanting to read more to know what happened next. The ending of the story for the two main characters is pretty guessable but the other storylines may turn out better or worse than you think or even leave it a little inconclusive as I found in the case of one couple.
I did enjoy reading this and although it's not the best book I own I would definitely read others by this author.
--Price and other information--
It can be bought on Amazon new for £5.59 or used from 1p plus p&p and was published in January 2006.
In the back of the book (only the new version) there are a few extras which I have not seen before in other books. The author talks about her inspiration and how she researched the storyline and activities. She then answers questions from readers.
Information on the author, any of her six books and book club details can be found on www.elizabethnoblebooks.com
A while ago I read 'Things I want my Daughters to Know' by Elizabeth Noble which I found to be one of the most emotional and heart wrenching books that I had read in a long time. As a consequence, I was keen to read more by this author and have just finished her book 'Alphabet Weekends'. It is another very good book but nowhere as near as emotional as the other one and is actually written in quite a different style. Nonetheless it was a very enjoyable read.
Alphabet Weekends is a bit of a romantic tale about two friends who have known each other for many ways in a purely platonic way. The story starts on New Year's Eve with Natalie nursing a broken heart after having been dumped by her long term boyfriend Simon. Tom, her old school friend, comes to her rescue and she spends the evening with him and his friends. As he is also partner less at that time, he half jokingly suggests that they spend the upcoming weekends together, taking it in turns to decide what to do based on the letters of the alphabet. Natalie, having nothing better to do, agrees and there then ensues weekends of abseiling, ballet, canoeing and so on. It is often quite funny as they try to test each other's staying power for activities that they might not really enjoy. However, as time goes on, and as they spend more time together, they both start to feel a little more for the other. But, as Natalie feels, that would be ridiculous and a bit like kissing the boy next door! As the story progresses, she continually fights these feelings, but will she succumb in the end?
This was a very enjoyable light read with some extremely likeable characters. I really warmed to both Tom and Natalie and really enjoyed reading about how their friendship progressed throughout the book. The alphabet idea seemed quite clever and it makes me wonder what I might have chosen for some of the letters. It also helps the story to move along at a good pace with twenty six clearly defined weekends. This makes it very readable as it is broken down into fairly short sections so it's always easy to read just a little bit more.
Alongside the main story of Tom and Natalie, are a number of sub plots too relating to their friends and family. Some of these are pretty poignant too such as the decaying health of Natalie's parents and the rocky relationship between Tom's brother Patrick and his wife Lucy. I found all of these different stories totally absorbing and I thought that they all merged together very well.
Overall I think that Alphabet Weekends is a great read and I think that it shows that Elizabeth Noble is quite versatile in her writing. I'm now looking out for some of her other books to read too.
Alphabet Weekends, which is published by Hodder, is currently available on Amazon for £3.99 (Novemeber 2010).