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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.

Someone Like YouAlways and ForeverJust Between Us Cathy Kelly is my new favorite “chick lit” author. She writes interesting, funny romantic fiction. Her characters are unique, likeable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Her books are set in modern day Ireland, and I love reading phrases like, “They tucked into dinner” or words like divan, flat or holiday (as in trip). There’s nothing deep about her books whatsoever, but if you need a novel to read at the beach, pick up one of Kelly’s books.

The Last Summer (of You and Me)I could not have been more disappointed in this book.  I was so looking forward to Brashares’ first novel for adults.  (Her previous young adult series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is fabulous.)  This book was a bit better than Danielle Steel, but not much.  Brashares used the absolutely worst romantic plot device ever:  Two lovers are kept apart because they won’t just sit down and have a 5 minute chat about a problem.  Instead, there are all sorts of contrived reasons for keeping them from talking about their relatively small issues that last the entire book.  I hate reading these types of books.  I skimmed the last half because I also hate starting books and not finishing them.  I would recommend to you that you just don’t start this one.

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.

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