Let’s Talk… Nicholas Sparks

Welp ladies and gents, we made it. It’s been a crazy last few weeks, and while I am going to happily take a break from author series for a while, I am so grateful for the love and support this time around. We have reached every continent this series minus Antarctica (Side note: anyone with friends down there should give them a heads up!), and we have reached 12 countries, so thank you for the support all around the world! But we aren’t here to talk about me, we are here to talk about Nicholas Sparks, so let’s get into it!

Nicholas Sparks falls under the genre “romance”. His stories more often than not talk about two people who randomly meet and quickly fall in love. However, there is something that causes their relationship to disintegrate, and they either find ways to reconcile or there is a tragedy that separates them forever. With all that being said, he has included a “thriller” aspect to many of his books (See Me, Safe Haven, The Best of Me, The Lucky One, A Bend in the Road, The Rescue, The Guardian). This is used in conjunction with the love story to add to the disintegration and/or tragedy part of his romance.

Two by Two is the only book that he has written that does not follow his mold. Unlike his other stories, this one is not about falling in love, but about finding love in a difficult time. It also isn’t so much about a romance (though there is one in the book), but about a love between a father and a daughter. I think that is why this book is so much more memorable than his others.

Many of his books have the cult following they do because of movies. Sadly, there were a lot of movies that I felt did a better job at telling the story than Sparks did. He has a tendency to not time the romance with the storyline well, and his connections are often shaky at best.

In the scheme of things, Sparks always seemed like an amazing author to me. That was until I read all of his books in about 1 month. Then all I could see were the same patterns over and over and over. Ultimately, it took away from the magical appeal he seems to have to the female population. So basically what I am saying is read his books in moderation and you are good to go!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/Ebook

Dates Read: 7/4/19-7/5/19

Firstly, thank you for your patience. I know this post is a few hours late, and while I could give you all an excuse as to why I was unable to do it, the main reason was that I was tired. This author series has been so incredibly rewarding, but extremely draining. Thankfully, this series is coming to a close, and today’s post is on one of my “calm down” movies. As I have mentioned in other posts, I struggle with anxiety. My anxiety often manifests itself at night as I lay down to go to bed, and I watch movies to help go to sleep at night. This one is on the list of movies I have seen so often that I not only can recite lines, but I can easily fall asleep to it. Also, who wouldn’t feel instantly relaxed by Scott Eastwood?

This story follows Luke Collins, a bull rider out of North Carolina. He meets art history major, Sophia Danko, at a bar after his ride, and instantly their connection is palpable. The next day they go horseback riding together, and the rest is history. But Luke has a secret that forces him to keep riding, and Sophia has to decide what her next step in life is going to be. Mixed into their love story is the story of Ira Levinson, a haberdasher that happened to love an extremely increible woman, Ruth.

The book is strange. In a lot of ways, I think Nicholas Sparks added in elements that he knew sold well into a love story that really didn’t need those elements. Specifically, Brian. There was no need for the “bad guy” in this story, and it felt extremely clichéd. Even more so with the addition of Marcia.

The Longest Ride Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2726560/

Wow, the movie is its own entity. While the movie is based on the love stories, the overall arc of the movie is completely different than the book. The movie to me seems much more cohesive and the pathway from A to B makes more sense. It also felt very disingenuous that the book didn’t talk about the things that Sophia and Luke are interested in (considering their differing passions were a series of stress in their relationship), and the movie managed to showcase those passions without taking away from the original love story.

P.S. The woman who played Ruth is a phenomenal actress. She is going places, guys.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 7/2/19-7/3/19

I feel like every day this week is going to start with “Whew!” While I have been busting my butt to get these reviews out to you, I have saved my favorites (and least favorites) for this week. This one happened to fall in the latter category.

When I read this for the first time, I was disappointed. I didn’t think that it was worth the insane amounts of hype that it has been getting. HOWEVER, now that I have done this series (and read the really bad ones), I don’t mind this book. It will never be my favorite, but it also isn’t on the complete dislike list, either. So, progress?

Tru Walls is a game guide from Zimbabwe. When he receives a letter from his father, he goes to Sunset Beach in North Carolina. Hope Anderson is at Sunset Beach to clean out her family’s beach house after her father’s diagnosis of ALS. In the short time they were neighbors, they quickly fall in love. But life forces them apart, and they must take the steps they need to find each other again.

Unlike any of his other books, this one is a true story (with names changed). Despite that, it still follows the story arc that we are all used to. The characters are completely unlike the ones I would expect him to write, which is more a situation of circumstance. One of the things that most bothered me originally about this story was that I didn’t feel the connection between not only myself, but the characters themselves. This time around, I felt it, and I can’t tell if it is because I am more attuned to the connection after these past weeks or if I just didn’t give it a chance before, but it was there. This was not the type of story that left me crying, and I didn’t even feel close.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 7/1/19-7/2/19

Man I love this book! This has been one of my favorites (mainly because I love the movie) for a few years, and I am glad to be doing a review!

This book follows Travis, the veterinarian and all-around-player-of-women, and his neighbor, Gaby, a physician’s assistant. When Gaby’s dog becomes pregnant, she suspects Travis’ dog as the culprit. But as they begin to get to know each other, she is forced to choose between Travis and her boyfriend. Overarching all of this is a tragedy, where Travis has to make the ultimate choice.

The ending (in my opinion) was WAY too long. There was no need for half of the last 100 pages. With that being said, I absolutely loved Part One of this book and I could have used more of that! It is one of those situations where you have to pick your poison.

The Choice Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3797868/

Shout out to my Internet for crapping out 10 minutes before the movie ended. It ended up working out because I had to clean up the puddle of tears at my feet, so whatever.

Oof, man. Oof. So some backstory about me. I have told you that my mom died when I was 18. While my mom was in the hospital, my dad stood beside her, took the 2 hour drive every weekend to be with her, and managed to still stay ever so present in my brother’s and my lives. Seeing what Travis is going through in the movie just hit me right in those feels, and I am trying to recover from that.

I think the movie did a better job of spacing the romance with the ending. My only fault is that characters were changed around almost haphazardly, and there were random storylines that were just thrown in there for good measure. But clearly I love the movie, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/29/19-7/1/19

Meh. This book was okay, but it didn’t do anything for me. The romance was so short-lived and I didn’t really feel it.

This book follows Adrienne as she tells her daughter, Amanda, about her love affair with Paul Flanner. After a stay in an inn in Rodanthe, NC, where Adrienne covered as innkeeper for her friend, they became closer until the moment came that they wanted to bask in their closeness. But life seems to always catch up to them, and they have to make decisions about their love and their futures.

This one definitely was not my favorite, but it happens. While I think that Adrienne is incredibly strong, I don’t necessarily think that this love story was one of his best. With that being said, there are books for everyone and everyone for books, so just because I wasn’t on board doesn’t mean you won’t be!

Nights in Rodanthe Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0956038/

While the movie did a relatively good job of falling the book, I still found it lackluster. (P.S. James Franco is in the movie?!?!?!) At no point did I feel “love” and I just wasn’t into it. I think that the guy who played Robert Torrellson was incredibly good, though!

Side note: When I was in college (which is a great phrase to make me feel old), I told all my dorm-mates that the MOST romantic thing a movie could do is have wild horses running on the beach. They thought I was insane. But here’s the thing: I’m not. I knew it was real, but I couldn’t remember where I saw it. So to all those people: I TOLD YOU SO!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/26/19- 6/28/19

Well looky here! I knew I had read this book before, but man, was this book good! I am kinda disappointed it was never turned into a movie!

This book is about Julie, a widow with a Great Dane (and yes, this took me 5 minutes and this is the best description I could come up with). So Julie went out with this guy Richard, and while they had a few good dates, she just wasn’t feeling him. But home girl was feeling her husband’s best friend (technically he isn’t her ex-husband, but I don’t know what signifier you use for this situation. Widowee? Widower is when the wife dies, which BTW is a really dumb rule, but whatever. Look man, I’m trying here), Mike. When Julie and Mike start to get close, Richard gets mad. As Richard’s stalk continues, Julie and Mike’s relationship is put to the test. But can they survive all this?

Firstly, Singer is a good boy. Give him some Scooby Snax and rub his belly because he deserves the day off.

Secondly, I think this book did a really good job of addressing the feeling of loving someone who was close to your ex. At the end of the day, love is love, and sometimes it does not fall into place at exactly the time you were hoping for. I think this one did a really good job of saying, “hey, that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean you have to be unhappy.”

Thirdly, just read it, man. Just read it.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OT8GCQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/24/19- 6/26/19

Happy Sunday and start of the final Nicholas Sparks week on this blog! Today is one with a lot of ups and downs for me. So, let’s get into it:

This story follows John Tyree, an Army soldier on leave from his base in Germany. When he meets Savannah, the quiet man discovers a new way of looking at his world, and thanks to her help, he builds a relationship with his father. When he returns back to Germany, they continue their relationship through letters. Just when they are within months of his Army career ending, September 11, 2001 happens. Feeling his civic duty, he signs for another tour. Quickly that act puts a strain on John’s and Savannah’s relationship, and they must decide if they can handle this new chain of events.

I personally was not fond of Savannah. She was too pushy and over-the-top for me, and I think that my review on this book would seem really negative if I didn’t say my feelings on the particular character. With that being said, I absolutely loved John. I think that he is exactly like all of us, just trying to understand and interpret the world. And to never really understand his father and to have this “hallelujah” moment of “oh, this is what I need to do to understand and be understood” is nice to see.

One of the things that I found disappointing about this book is the lack of Savannah’s point of view. While most of Spark’s books include both people’s POV, this one didn’t, so everything we interpreted was from John. Since he is clueless (but in a cute way), I never found myself caring about her, and that could account for my negative feelings towards her.

Dear John Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0989757/

Oof, hello surprise tears! I was not expecting to be sobbing, but here I am. I will say that I absolutely loved Channing Tatum as John. I think that he did a really good job of showcasing the confusion and frustration, while also showing the level of affection he had for his father. Amanda Seyfried as Savannah also minimized the things that I found annoying in the book.

With all that being said, I don’t think this movie is at the same level as some of his movies, and I didn’t find it as entertaining as his others.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!