Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "See Me" by Nicholas Sparks

See Me
Place Hold
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Book Summary: Colin is giving his second chance his best shot.  With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him, and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he’s determined to walk a straight line.  Maria, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success.  A degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record.  A chance encounter will alter the course of both their lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately themselves.  As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like…until menacing reminders of the past begin to surface.

Personal Review: It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a Sparks novel, as they have a tendency to be a bit formulaic.  That’s not to say his works are bad, they’re just predictable.  Sparks continues to branch out with mixing his love stories with a bit of mystery and suspense, as was first scene in his novel Safe Haven, which bore striking resemblances to the movie “Sleeping with the Enemy,” but this novel was more well-constructed.  Although starting off slow, and a bit too descriptive, it wasn’t as “cheesy” as some of his titles, offering an adult romantic suspense entry that was refreshing this time around.

The characters were different from what I would have imagined, and the number of times Colin will say “okay” can become a bit too much.  He’s not the standard guy you’d think of Sparks creating, but again, it was nice to have something a little different.

Why is my rating lower than expected?  After churning out novel after novel after novel with his style of writing that readers have grown fond of, this felt like a departure for this seasoned bestselling author.  Colin was a bland and dry character while Maria came across as childish and far from the brilliant lawyer she was described as being. 

The dialogue between characters was lacking and telling the reader what was happening rather than showing you what was happening.  I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, the romance between the two seemed forced, the plot twists in the story were easily detected so I didn’t find myself surprised, etc.  I just don’t feel as if the book lived up to its hype, and true to form, we’ll probably see it in the theaters at some point in the near future.

It was an okay read for me, and it’s nice to see that Sparks is continuing to try to explore different writing styles and incorporate new genres into his writing style, but it just wasn’t my favorite novel by Sparks.  If you’re a fan of titles like “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember,” or “The Best of Me,” you may not feel as strongly about this entry.  It’s not a bad read by any means, just didn’t have that Sparks appeal that kept me engaged in his earlier works.  He’s known for creating strong and engaging characters, setting up scenes effortlessly, allowing the story to flow and unfold before you seamlessly, but “See Me” felt a little forced, disjointed, and choppy.

There are plenty of people that loved this book so don’t take my word for it.  Try it for yourself and see how you like it.  One person’s opinion doesn’t have to be your own and that’s the beauty of reading.  Everyone experiences a book differently.

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