Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ode to Nicholas Sparks

Hi dear followers...I first would like to say again that I haven't forgotten about any of you or about my book blog...I've just been really busy with "life" lately. As soon as things settle down some, I will definitely be going to your blogs for updates and to read your awesome reviews!

So lately, I've re-read two Nick Sparks favorites (A Walk to Remember and The Notebook). I've also read two of his newer ones (The Last Song and Dear John). They all seemed like summery type reads! I have always loved A Walk to Remember for its old-fashioned ambiance and the sweet story of love and hope over disease. However, I remember liking The Notebook more than I did this time around. It is a quick read, but I forgot about how totally sappy it is haha. I do enjoy the perspective of how Noah is an old man reflecting back on how he and Allie fell in love, but I found myself realizing that I actually like the movie version a lot better than the novel! In the film, their love story is fleshed out and given detail...for example, the scenes where Allie smashes ice-cream into Noah's face and when they eat pancakes for dinner at Noah's dads house. With poignant moments like this, we are able to understand how Noah pines for Allie after all the years. In the book, Sparks seems to "tell" rather than "show" how they fell in love. I was actually a little shocked even when I realized how he simply skips over their entire courtship and instead focuses on them getting back together years and years later. This is one of the only cases where I like the movie better than the book! I can still appreciate some of the romance and the ideal of life-long love depicted in the novel, however :).

The cover of The Last Song is haunting and beautiful and I actually read this book on a beach vacation! There is real sand in the book now as well as the sand depicted on the cover! Despite the cover, I found this book to be extremely dull to be honest. The sappy teenage romance is sort of cute, but it feels forced. I found out later that Sparks actually only wrote this book so that a movie could be adapted from it for Miley Cyrus to star in...this just kind of took the charm out of it for me. I did love the side story of the turtles hatching and being so fragile, trying to find their way to the sea. Also, the relationship between Ronnie, her brother and their father is a realistic and poignant one. I could have done without the teenage angst and silly romance, and been left with a great book about a father's relationship with his changing kids.

Dear John was actually a little bit of an exciting read. I read it pretty quickly because I wanted to see if John and Savannah ended up together. I found it hard to believe, though, how Savannah seemed so in love with John and he was like this massively hunky solider and then she suddenly decides she can't wait for him any longer. It just didn't seem to fit the personality Sparks initially gave her. Even though the ending is bittersweet, I found myself actually being moved by John's sacrifice, which I didn't expect to feel. Once again, I liked the movie version better than the book!

Overall, I loved A Walk to Remember, but I could have done without reading the others. It's a little sad because I really want to like his books, but they always just end up seeming a little too sappy, underdeveloped and unbelievable for my taste. I don't think I will read anything more by him for a long time unless I hear somewhere about a fantastic new one. Sad, but true! :)


  1. I haven't read a Sparks novel, although my mom has passed several on to me. I liked The Notebook movie but I found A Walk to Remember sweet but too sappy for me. I'm a little afraid of finding the same thing in his books!

  2. I've read A walk To Remember and The Last Song. I think I enjoyed The Last Song more. Sadly, I liked the movie version better for A Walk to Remember. I agree that his books tend to have repeating story lines and I feel like, sometimes, he makes a mockery out of real things people go through (Cancer, sickness, death, etc.) by just tying every end of his books with a very sappy version of love. Wonderful Review!