by Nicholas Sparks
It was a nice reading, the guy´s got style and a few books to back him up, and it´s a love story so there´s not much way to go wrong, but here´s what I didn´t like about it:
#1 Gabby is a cute, shy, non-agressive young woman, you´ve got the whole "Let´s pluck up the courage to confront the lazy neighbour about his dog getting my dog pregnant" scene to back you up on that, and suddenly the next day, when they go out on his bike, she´s a sensuous, sassy, witty full-grown woman. What the hell happened there?
#2 You know how novel language - as well as movie language - sounds different than real life? Ironically more natural and frequently to the witty/Friends type? This guy´s dialogues are UBBERLY witty - so much it makes it too heavy, too perfectly choreographed. You can see that they´ve been rewritten several times by both author and editor, they´ve been gone over and over until they looked plastic. Mostly, it feels like the characters are just standing and shooting scripted lines, no real emotion, no real nothing.
#3 But let´s not get carried away, it´s still a touching love story. It begins by implying they were getting a divorce, and all the back and forth narration makes you think that the choice was Gabby´s: between safe boring Kevin and loving exhilirating Travis - and that apparently she chose wrong. He keeps on backing up leading you to believe a huge fight will happen and all will make sense (she was too guilty from the break up; she planned the whole wedding between shifts, maybe Travis wasn´t as involved as he should; maybe he got bored with her attempts to make the perfect home; maybe they couldn´t have kids and she couldn´t cope... so many possibilities). Only to then realise that she´s either dead or dying and all had been perfect. The problem is, the expectation created by the divorce idea kind of ruined all the happy perfect-life moments. Makes you doubt they could happen.
#4 Which then brings me to: what the hell was that ending? A happy ending? By Nicholas Sparks? Was he hammered? It was a very odd thing for him to do, especially considering Travis chose to ignore her wishes, but the speed of it all left my head buzzing. And the lack of loving moments between the two of them after the coma bothered me a bit. Again, the perfect-happy-family-ending felt plastic.
#5 I think he could have written another trip to the beach with the whole "family" to really show the happiness of the thing, because it kind of seemed like they were only friends with Stephanie after the accident (which I was betting would be a parasailing one, btw).
Things I really loved and made it worth it:
#1 Travis´ friends and pseudo family are truly great. Can´t tell anyone who wouldn´t love to be a part of the group.
#2 Stephanie is a fantastic character, the insights, the talking, the everything. Joined the Favourite Characters group.
#3 Travis himself is great. Even apart from his group. He leads a good lifestyle and tops it with great upbeat attitude (at least until he meets Gabby) - the sort of fella you would want to be around.
"I´m a student. I´m thinking of making it my career" StephanieOverall, looking forward to reading more Nicholas Sparks. Probably won´t be as lucky as to find another non-killing one, though.