“You read a romance story because you know what to expect. You read a love story because you don’t know what to expect” – Nicholas Sparks
Today, I decided to write an opinion piece on Nicholas Sparks. Originally, I had a blog post planned where I talk about John Green and his works. However, I still need to finish Turtles All the Way Down and i have so much more planned for that post. It’ll take some time before I post it, but I cant wait for you to read it. Instead, I wanted to delve into an author that I was obsessed with years ago. But I cant imagine reading any of his works now. This post is dedicated to the romance writer, Nicholas Sparks.
The first time I was introduced to Nicholas Sparks works, was his book The Last Song. I read it because I knew they were making a movie with Miley Cyrus in it. I loved the book and I liked the film. Then I realized how popular his books were. This is the man who wrote The Notebook, which is considered the most popular romantic films out there. He has written heart breaking tales such as A Walk to Remember and became the face of romance novels in the early 2000s. I fell in love with his works when I was in secondary school. I read loads of his books and defended his stories. However, there was a consistent criticism I heard about him. Girls in my school said to me, “he just writes the same story over and over. Someone dies in every book he writes, mostly from cancer.”
The main consensus about Nicholas Sparks is that he tells the same story over and over and over again. As a teen, i didnt see it. I continued to read his books and watch the films based on them. Now, the only book I’ll consider going back to, would be The Last Song, the first book I was introduced to. His work became formulaic and very predictable. The love stories became cliched and uninteresting.
The last book I read from Nicholas Sparks was The Lucky One and it was uninspired. The typical love story and instead of a loved one dying, the antagonist dies. But plot twist, he is redeemed through his death. That was a no better plot twist than the abusive husband dying at the end of Safe Haven. The stories always contain the same formula, the stories take place in the South. Boy and girl fall in love but something always gets in the way, such as money, religion etc. But it all turns out good in the end. The couple stay together but lose a loved one along the way through cancer.
After the Lucky One, I attempted to pick up a Sparks novel and read it. But I just couldn’t get through it. The stories became too predictable and no longer enthralled me as a reader. So if you were to look at his quote again;
“You read a romance story because you know what to expect. You read a love story because you don’t know what to expect.”
Nicholas Sparks claims he writes love stories. Each love story he writes should be different in their own way. However, every story he puts to print, never changes drastically. Different characters and circumstances, but the story remains eerily similar to most of his previous works. That’s not promising for any writer. A writer should evolve into different genres or at least, play with different stories with the genre. Sparks was good at writing love stories, but he has lost that talent. He just plays the same tune over and over. That turns stale after a while. I bought a few more of his books before I stopped reading him, but I cant imagine picking them up any time soon.
I’ll just always remember him as an author I loved when I was in my early teens. And I’ll pick up The Last Song every once and a while for a nostalgia read. I’m sorry if I offend any Nicholas Sparks fans, but this is my opinion. I used to be a fan, and I’m not anymore. I’d like something different from an author every time I pick up their new work. I dont want to read the same thing over and over and over again. But I’ll still watch the movies every once and a while. A little guilty pleasure romance movie wouldnt hurt.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Talk to you in the next one