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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Review: Nicholas Sparks – Nights in Rodanthe

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20140422-195808.jpgWell I think this is a first; a Nicholas Sparks book that I didn’t enjoy. Usually I love his books and get lost in the romance, but I just wasn’t feeling it with this one!

I just couldn’t form any kind of connection to the main characters, I think in part because they were much older than I am, although this doesn’t usually cause a problem, so I think that probably wasn’t the main reason I didn’t get on with the book.

I think my main problem was that the two characters went from total strangers to being totally in love within what seemed like about 10 pages, and only a few hours of actual time in the book. I’m not saying that this couldn’t happen, but it just seemed very unlikely given the amount of time that they actually spent together.

I found the plot quite weak, and at only 180 pages, there wasn’t much to the book. It was a nice story for Adrienne to pull her daughter Amanda out of the grief that she was feeling by sharing her same grief, but I feel that the book could have been so much more if it was twice as long and the initial romance could have been spread over a week instead of a day.

Just very disappointing all round, I hope the next one is better!

1/5

Review: Nicholas Sparks – The Rescue

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nicholas-sparks-the-rescueIf you’ve read Nicholas Sparks before you’ll know he has a kind of ‘recipe’ for his books. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, there’s some drama and then everything miraculously works out okay in the end. It should be predictable, but he has a way of writing that pulls you in and you become so gripped in the story that you don’t care that you know what’s probably going to happen.

This book starts off with a woman called Denise who gets involved in a car accident, and it’s fireman Taylor that helps her out of the car. Her son has gone missing from the back of the car and Taylor ends up being the guy on the search party that finds him – what a hero…

So, you can tell straight away what’s going to happen. Turns out though that Taylor has issues from his past that he won’t talk about, but that scare him off whenever anything gets serious, so obviously there’s a fight and Taylor and Denise end up breaking up.

That is, until Taylor’s best friend Mitch is killed in a fire before Taylor can pull him out and when Taylor needs someone to talk to, he turns to Denise. Eventually he opens up to her and what-do-you-know, everything turns out just fine.

It was a typical chick-lit book, but Nicholas Sparks does them the best, and it was a thoroughly good read. I can definitely tell why so many of Sparks’ books have been made into films.

5-5

Review: Paulo Coelho – Veronika Decides to Die

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veronika-decides-to-die-paulo-coelhoThis is a pretty delayed review because I’ve been quite busy this week (including seeing the Blues Brothers at the cinema for the first time on Thursday and seeing the Olympic Torch in Huddersfield this afternoon), so I’m still slipping further and further behind on my reading challenge. Lacking a bit of motivation at the moment I think…

But onto the review: I don’t really know how to write it without completely spoiling the book for anyone else that wants to read it, but I’ll give it a try.

The book is about a young woman called Veronika who decides to commit suicide. (Un)fortunately, she doesn’t succeed and ends up in a psychiatric hospital called Villette. Even though she doesn’t succeed with her suicide attempt, she finds out that she made a good enough attempt at it to give herself only a few days to live.

However, while she’s in the hospital she meets a few people who have been classed as ‘insane’, but when she learns their stories, she realises they’re not mad at all, and that she’s missed out on a lot of experiences and things she should have done in her life. Of course by this time it is too late, but by listening and talking to these strangers, she ends up helping them to get over the problems they’ve been having and help them to leave the hospital.

Because she has nothing left to lose, she is willing to try more things and to experience new relationships and emotions. There’s a huge twist in the last 2 pages of the book, which bring the book to an amazing ending, but I won’t say any more about that because it really will spoil the book for you if you decide to read it. I think the main message of the book was really that sanity only means that we’re all mad in the same way, so is anyone really mad?

4-5

I’ve been reading The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks for the last day or so, and enjoying it so far. I think this week is going to be less busy than the last, so I’ll have some more time to just chill out and read.

Review: Nicholas Sparks – The Lucky One

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the-lucky-one-nicholas-sparks-e1336408994993I’m sure you totally didn’t expect me to say this, but I loved this book. When you start a Nicholas Sparks book you know totally what to expect, but it still pulls you in and you find yourself enthralled to the very last page!

The book centres around a marine called Logan Thibault, who finds a picture of a woman in the middle of the desert in Iraq. After no-one claims it from the notice-board, he decides to keep it and it becomes a good luck charm.

*Spoiler alert – if you’re going to read this book or watch the film, don’t read any further!*

When he gets back from Iraq, he walks from Colorado to Hampton (North Carolina) to try and find this woman who has kept him safe. Surprisingly enough, he thinks it would be a bit creepy to tell her the truth, so instead he gets a job working for her Nana and gradually strikes up a romance with her.

Throughout the book, we are introduced to her ex husband Clayton, a rather overbearing man who likes to be in control, and is not pleased with the way his son has turned out (not sporty enough for his liking). He’s constantly controlling the situation and tries to get Logan to leave town. It doesn’t look to be working, until he finds out about the photo and goes running to tell Elizabeth the truth.

As you would expect, she goes mad when she finds out and tells Logan she wants him to leave. But, this being a Nicholas Sparks book, a chat with her Nana and a heart to heart with her son Ben brings her to her senses and everything is right back on track.

But not without one last hitch to spice up the end of the story. Clayton goes storming round to Beth’s house to confront her, and when Ben walks in on them, he runs out into a thunderstorm to his treehouse over the (now raging) creek. By the time Beth and Clayton catch up with him, he’s dangling in the water and hanging on to the rope ladder, but it soon becomes clear he can’t hold on much longer. Clayton dives in the water after him, but he’s not strong enough to help, and ends up in trouble too.

Just in time, Logan and his loyal dog Zeus come running up to the river bank and dive into the water. Zeus helps to drag Ben out, but it looks like Logan is struggling with Clayton and he ends up being pushed under the water. The last we know, his lungs are on fire and it looks like it might be the end…

The story then skips to two months later and all we know is that someone has died, but there is no indication as to who. There’s a horrible couple of pages where it looks like the book is going to end in completely the wrong way, but in typical Sparks style, we end up with a happy-ever-after ending.

I really needed this book after the last few I’ve read and not really enjoyed as much as normal. Really looking forward to seeing the film now (if I can persuade Cameron to go with me)!

5-5

Now Reading: Nicholas Sparks – The Lucky One

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the-lucky-one-nicholas-sparks-e1336408994993It’s no secret that I love Nicholas Sparks, I don’t think I’ve ever read one of his books that I didn’t like. Although I said that about Charlaine Harris and I’ve been disappointed with the last books I’ve read. This is one of the few Nicholas Sparks books that I’ve not read yet, and when I saw a trailer for it at the cinema I knew I needed to read the book before I go see the film.

The only bad thing about buying a book so close to the film coming out is that it is hard to find one with a nice cover. Instead, I’ve had to settle for one with Zac Efron and generic blonde woman (whatever her name is). I am a sucker for a book with a nice cover, but it’s whats on the inside that counts, so lets hope the book is good! Then I can drag Cameron to see the film with me (or at least I can try)! 🙂