This picture I found is perfect, because I have only actually read/seen four of Nicholas Sparks stories. The Last Song, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, and Safe Haven. Well, I’m halfway through Safe Haven right now. Maybe reading these books makes me a walking cliche. A single romantic girl reading sentimental garbage. But I can’t help it. I like these books. Even if they all kind of read the same after awhile.
I have yet to read The Notebook, but I have seen the movie. Oddly enough, I find the movie to be lackluster. Yes, the romance is epic. Yes, the leads have great chemistry. Yes, the ending is a tearjerker. But it all just seems so overdone and ridiculous. The characters are just pawns to move through the plot. I liked Nights in Rodanthe, but I read it way back in early High School. The character’s were both soft-spoken and nice. The guy was perfect. Plus, it’s not often you get a good romance starring an older couple. I absolutely love The Last Song. I couldn’t care less about the obligatory romance. The guy could be replaced with a piece of wood and I would be perfectly happy. But Ronnie? She’s a decent character. Her best friend and little brother? They’re not bad. But mostly I just really like her dad and the strained relationship they share. That’s what interests me. The “estranged father and daughter” relationship is the trope that got me hooked. The last part of the book/movie breaks my heart every time. When I first saw the movie, I didn’t even know it was Nicholas Sparks and was completely unprepared. I remember sobbing in the movie theater and I very rarely cry.
There is not much I can say for Safe Haven right now. The character’s are pretty boring, but the plot has me curious. I’ve heard that there are plot twists and I want to know when and where the tragedy strikes. One review said the book could be considered science fiction/fantasy and damn if that doesn’t have me confused and interested. Nicholas Spark novels get a bad reputation of being overly schmaltzy, vapid, and shallow. But I’d still recommend checking them out. Who knows? Maybe one will surprise you. Most of them are just “meh” to me, but The Last Song is one of my all-time favorite books. Reputations can be misleading. These books are actually pretty good and there’s a reason I keep reading them!