Nicholas Sparks’s Epic ‘See Me’ Has Grand Ambitions [REVIEW]

Roses

Nicholas Sparks’s SEE ME is an epic by the author’s standards. But is it an epic win? (Photo by Herman Estevez)

I always enjoy reading Nicholas Sparks’s novels. With each new book, I anticipate a brief respite from my own life and immersing myself in the lives of his characters for a few hours. His latest book, See Me, is an epic by Sparks’s standards, but despite its grand ambitions, the book fails to live up to readers’ expectations.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the book isn’t good, but it definitely is not of the same caliber as the rest of Sparks’s body of work. First of all, the story doesn’t truly begin until readers complete the first 300 pages or so, a comment I’ve heard repeated from many of my library patrons who return the book as well.

Nicholas Sparks's SEE ME

Grand Central Publishing

Second, the characters’ backstory, although engaging, could have been more tightly written. Usually, Sparks’s novels are edited so well, the stories flow seamlessly and end all too quickly. Not so in this case. Here, it seems like Sparks’s editor was asleep on the job and at 496 pages, the novel just drags on and on with far too much verbiage.

Once the pace of the novel finally increases (again at around page 300), I couldn’t put the novel down. The love story between college student Colin Hancock, a man determined to walk the straight and narrow, and hardworking Maria Sanchez is both emotional and fraught with suspense. I found myself championing the young couple as they explore their relationship despite outside influences that threaten to destroy their bond.

Still, the story isn’t complex or riveting enough to hold my attention for nearly 500 pages. This one is simply too long. Hopefully Hollywood will tighten the plot into a 90 minute adaptation for the film version. In that event, See Me will likely become the captivating story Sparks’ surely intends it to be.

Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks (Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include 12 number one New York Times bestsellers.

All his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than 50 languages.

Ten of Nicholas Sparks’s novels have been adapted into major motion pictures, with The Choice coming in 2016. You can visit him at NicholasSparks.com.

SEE ME
By Nicholas Sparks
496 pgs. Grand Central Publishing. $27.

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About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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