SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: SEE ME BY NICHOLAS SPARKS

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet).

I don’t think I’ve read The Notebook. I’ve seen the movie (about 10 years after it came out) and enjoyed it, but the book’s never made it into my hands. Forgive me. I have, however, read quite a few of Nicholas Sparks’ other books including A Walk to Remember and Nights in Rodanthe. I’ve enjoyed them, so I was quite pleased to receive a copy of his latest love story, See Me. Here’s the blurb:

 

Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. At twenty-eight, he’s focused on getting his teaching degree and avoiding all the places and people that proved so destructive in his past. The last thing he’s looking for is a serious relationship. But when he crosses paths with Maria Sanchez one rainswept night, his carefully structured life is turned upside down. And when Maria, a hardworking lawyer, meets Colin she begins to question every notion she has ever had about herself and her future – and what truly makes her happy.
Before the couple has a chance to envision a life together, menacing reminders from events in Maria’s past begin to surface. And as the threat of violence begins to shadow her every step, she and Colin will be pushed to breaking point.The stunning new love story from the multi-million-copy bestselling author, Nicholas Sparks, See Me is a story of obsession, reinvention and a love that defies every expectation.

 

Sparks is known for delivering stories of second chances and love, brimming with charm, sweetness and tear-jerking scenes. I’ve broken out the tissues a number of times with his books, because they’ve made me feel that combination of sad-happy that readers like me love. See Me is different. It’s a love story, yes, but it has the added thriller element, with a stalker story line forming part of the conflict between would-be couple Maria and Colin. For those who like his usual style, this may feel a bit jarring; for me, I enjoy that fusion of suspense and romance – when it’s done well, it makes for a cracker read. However, even though I’m a romantic suspense fan, I missed the tears and the warm-fuzzy feeling I’ve come to expect from Sparks. I wanted that and the suspense. 

 See Me just didn’t hit that spot for me; it’s not that I didn’t like it, it just didn’t take me to that satisfied place where memorable love stories live. It was longer than it needed to be, especially since the suspense aspect was clear from the start and then a hundred or more pages passed before that came up again. The characters seemed flat; the thriller aspect gets in the way just when their emotional connection could have been explored and deepened, leading to that epic love story feel. I had a box of tissues ready and everything!

Available from good bookstores (RRP $32.99AUD). My copy was courtesy of Hachette Australia.