Hmm as a general rule I am rarely ashamed of books I have enjoyed reading. I don’t feel that it is right to make someone feel bad about something they like, it’s wandering into book snobbery and that is not okay with me. Reading shouldn’t be a chore, or a test and one harsh comment can put off an early reader for life. I understand book snobbery is impossible to steer clear of completely, I myself have been know to turn my nose up at chick-lit, (which is why I was surprised when I loved the I Heart Series so much) but I always try to put it in check and I never want to make people feel bad about what they are reading.
So, I stand tall and proud when I say that I am a fan of Nicholas Sparks books. 😀
I have to say, I think this writer gets a lot of unfair criticism and although I don’t find reading his work to be a guilty pleasure, I know a lot of other readers would see it as one. Yes, he writes soppy love stories with sweet endearing characters and others that are in need of a bit of redemption, and maybe his books have somewhat fairytale endings where everything ends up happy with sparkles, unicorns and rainbows… but they’re GREAT books.
*Inserts awkward unnerving video which is somehow hilarious and horrifying at the same time:*
Most people take issue with Sparks work because it is formulaic, which is true. It usually starts with two unlikely people falling in love (one tends to have some kind of issue to get over), everything goes great until a tragedy strikes, they break up or have a massive fight and in the end they overcome it or they don’t.
So yes, it is safe to say his books all follow a formula, but so what? I mean, if you really think about it who’s don’t? What about Dan Brown? Jodi Picoult? Sarah Dessen? Heck you can even formula the hell out of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, because lets face it a lot of their books have very similar storylines or themes running throughout them. You can justify most authors in the world as being formulaic if you want to. There are even theories that say there are only a set number of stories. One suggests there are only two, 1.) A hero goes on a journey or 2.) A stranger comes to town. Equally another says there are only seven – Overcoming a monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy and rebirth (metaphorically or literally).
So take that Nicholas Sparks haters *shakes fist and tries to do an angry face but fails.* 😛 What really matters is whether the author can tell a story in a compelling way with enough of their own touches and additions that readers can enjoy!
Anyway, now that unplanned rant is over, (whoops) I have read three of Nicholas Sparks’ books, Dear John, The Choice, and my favourite so far, The Last Song. It follows a girl named Ronnie with a serious attitude problem. When she is sent to spend the summer with her estranged father she drags her heels all the way. But with the help of her family, a change of scene and a dashing young love interest she begins to let go of her anger and mend some of her strained relationships.
Obviously there is a lot more to it but the less you know the better the book will be. 🙂
As you can probably tell, The Last Song is mostly about love (in various forms), music and healing and I am a sucker for all that stuff! Ronnie along with many other characters in the book found a special place in my heart. They made me laugh, they made me angry and they even made me cry. (If anyone has read this and remembers the scene at the end about the glass windows and the light, omg, I bawled like a baby!!!! O_o)
I’ve also wanted to get my hands on The Notebook and A Walk to Remember for the longest time *sigh.* Maybe sometime, someday, maybe. 🙂
Do you have a guilty pleasure book? (I won’t judge, promise. :)) An opinion on Nicholas Sparks? Or any thoughts on the criticism of formulaic writers? I would love to hear them!
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Book Cover: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6400090-the-last-song