Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Choice

Gabby moves to a new town to be closer with her boyfriend of four years, Kevin. Just her luck she happens to move in next door to a very attractive, very single, very charismatic man. But she isn't interested in him. No. She has a boyfriend. Then why did she find herself spending so much time with him? And thinking about him...a lot? As she gets to know Travis, she begins to realize that she has to make a choice. But that is nothing compared to the one Travis is forced to make. A choice that can't be undone and will change their lives forever. 

Normally, I find Nicholas Sparks novels slightly pretentious and forced. It is one of the reasons I haven't finished one in years. It is the same routine over and over again. Two people fall in love. Someone dies. Whether it's the dog, or the friend, or the woman, or the man. To be fair Sparks tries to push himself by adding different woeful tricks to his novel--a cancer patient here, an autistic son there--but a lot of the time, it can seem like just that--a trick. Sparks is searching for another tragic twist that will leave his readers bawling but by now he is grasping at straws. This can cause his writing to appear mechanical, stiff, and coerced. On the surface, The Choice wasn't significantly different than the other NS novels I've started and then quickly abandoned in the past. But this time it works--well, sort of. Probably because the true "tragedy" of the novel didn't become evident until I had already become invested in the story. 

The story of Gabby and Travis is cute. It seems like something that could happen to a friend or a sister. It is a sweet story about a boy and girl who fall in love. It is predictable and sappy. But when you pick up a Sparks novel, you are in the mood for sappy. But a little sap goes a long way. That is something Sparks seems to forget. The Choice cute summer read. It tries a little too hard in places but we can forgive--and try to forget--because the central couple is so adorable. And as a reader, I couldn't help but root for them. Don't we all wish we could find a good boy who likes to travel the world, scuba dives, likes children and wants a family, owns a lot of land, has an amazing body, and brings in a vet salary? Oh, Nicholas Sparks. You really know how to get a woman's heart pattering. 

The Choice is an enjoyable book to pass the time. It isn't life-altering and it is quite forgettable but there is no denying that it is cute. It isn't quite the tear-jerker that Sparks is known for but it is sweet and easy to read. 

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