Before you go thinking that this is actually a book about a little kid getting rescued and having two people fall in love on the side—whoa there! What were you thinking, thinking this Nicholas Sparks novel would be any different from the other 158745693655 books he’s written? Pshhh.
In all honesty, though, I was really looking forward to this book because it seemed like a breath of fresh air. However, as I usually am, I was disappointed by this novel—the “rescue” entailed in the entire blurb is only the first fifty pages of the book, and the rest of it is, of course, devoted to our main couple “falling in love”—a term I use loosely when describing what happens in Sparks novels. I wasn’t impressed—the writing was lackluster, the characters were cardboard and generally flawless, Taylor (our “hero”) has some daddy issues, and that’s the only real conflict of the book. Denise’s son, Kyle, has a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to understand language, but this seemed like far less of a “deal” then I think we were supposed to believe. All in all, this isn’t the worst Sparks book I’ve read—the story itself was somewhat engaging and I mostly didn’t feel bored when I was reading it. But it was just “meh”—nothing special one way or the other.
What I Liked: Spoilers!
- I was really interested in the relationship between Taylor and Kyle. I thought Kyle was pretty adorable (I’m a sucker for little kids), and the way Taylor interacted with him made me like Taylor more. I loved the way Kyle called him “Daddy” when they were playing tag (even if it freaked Taylor out), and I love the way Kyle just gets so…excited to see him. I loved their relationship, even if Taylor did suck towards the end. I think it was the most redeeming part of this book.
What I Didn’t Like:
- I understand why Denise liked Taylor (mostly because he was good with Kyle), but I didn’t understand the drive behind their relationship. They are the one Sparks couple I’ve read about that actually waited past two hundred pages to get it on, but they felt the need to talk about/joke about/think about sex every two seconds when they were with each other afterwards–even if Kyle was standing right there. (He’s four–he can tell that you’re groping his mother’s butt, Taylor.) Taylor basically moved in after the first night, and there’s that usual, “he knew right then that he was in love with her” excuse beforehand to make me think that this was love, and not just both their hormones running wild. I’ve yet to find a Sparks couple that actually seems to be in love before they sleep with each other–but no dice. Maybe Dear John fits that, but…well, most of us know how that ended anyway.
- I felt like I was misled by the description of this book. I was looking forward to reading mostly about the rescue of a lost little boy–it made it sound like the search was going to go on for several days, at least, and that maybe Denise and Taylor would grow closer through trying to find her son. But the whole search lasted maybe thirty pages total, with a twenty page introduction to Denise and her life and the car accident and everything. That whole aspect was over before the book had even really begun. It didn’t play a big part in the story–it was just a dramatic way for Denise and Taylor to meet each other. Kyle’s being lost is something that no character ever references again beyond the first hundred pages. I felt kind of let down by that.
Overall: This is better than most Sparks books I’ve read recently, but I still wouldn’t call it his best. Maybe if you’ve already got a few under your belt and are looking for something slightly different than his norm, I would recommend this to you. It was just pretty average on all counts.