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June 2023

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

16th December 2007

The ChoiceWhat does it mean when you can skip whole paragraphs of a book, and not really miss anything?  I know, I know, how can I criticize Nicholas Sparks?  Who am I to question the king of modern day romantic fiction?  But honestly, I had to flip through the book to remember what it was about, and I read it last week!  It just didn’t make much of an impression on me, and I don’t really want to spend any more time writing about it.

I will say this, if you love Sparks’ typical “formula” for writing books, you won’t be disappointed in this one.  His story about a faithful husband, standing by his wife during the darkest of times is very sweet.  However, I know Sparks is a very capable writer, and I’d love to see him take it to the next level.

Dear John

01st February 2007

Dear JohnAfter the disasterous True Believer and its somewhat better sequel, At First Sight, I wasn’t expecting much out of Spark’s latest book. While it was an improvement over his last two books, it certainly didn’t blow me away either. The main character, John, is very bland. He does have an interesting relationship with his father, but other than that, he seems to spend every moment pining away for Suzanne. Suzanne is the perfect girl with few flaws. By the end of the book, I didn’t really care if they got together or not. I will still be a faithful Sparks reader, but the passion is fading.

The Guardian

16th September 2006

The GuardianI first read this book in May of 2003 and loved it. Recently, my sister checked it out from the library and when I saw it in her house, I decided to re-read it. Still a great suspenseful love story. One thing I really like about this book is that the main character, Julie, doesn’t take the entire story to fall in love with the good guy. She realizes after a few chapters that Mike is the one for her. So many female characters in romance novels are stupid, and it takes them the entire book to pick the good guy over the bad one. This was a refreshing change.

At First Sight

02nd March 2006

At First SightAfter my disappointment with True Believer, I was quite reluctant to pick up the sequel. At First Sight actually sat in my house for a week before I began reading, which isn’t normally how a Nicholas Sparks book is treated. But my love of Nicholas Sparks overcame my disgust for his previous book, and I soon dove in. I was pleasantly surprised. While the book wasn’t one of my favorites by any means, Sparks has redeemed himself. The characters seemed more likeable (even though they were the same characters from the first book), the focus on the paranormal was kept to a minimum, and there was even an element of suspense to the plot. One reason that the plot was interesting to me (which won’t of course be true for all readers) is that the main characters are expecting their first baby, and much of the plot focuses on that. My biggest complaint about the book (and this might be a spoiler for some) is that Sparks seems to have read James Patterson’s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas and tried to imitate some major elements, without nearly as much success as Patterson had.

True Believer is truly disappointing. I absolutely loved The Guardian, and have enjoyed all of Sparks’ other books. But this book was not much better than your average Danielle Steele book, which isn’t saying much. The mystery wasn’t a mystery, the romance wasn’t romantic and the obstacles to love seemed quite contrived. Don’t waste your money, your time, or the use of your library card on this book.