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Apr 04, 2016stclare rated this title 0.5 out of 5 stars
The Worst of SparksThe book mirrors other of Sparks’ works and for someone who writes easy to read material he lacks originality or the ability to go in a new direction. I’ve read a handful of his books and find them all predictable leaving me with no desire to read more. While his writing style is easy to read I’m bored of reading the same set up: small town North Carolina, the female and male lead always ‘age well’, the female lead always has mother issues and of course, but it’s nothing the man can’t fix because he’s always just a tad better than her, and someone is always going to die - more often than not there’s going to be a ghost or a letter. This book manages to recycle a few of his own books, an accident at the ‘bend in the road’ and the rich girl and boy from the n’er do well family recycles the Notebook. Instead Amanda, the female lead spends most of the time in the book with her internal thoughts while Dawson’s character is flat, thinking of how he has little to offer in life but does little to change it and pines for two decades of the same girl - not uncommon for Sparks’ men. This leaves the characters with little interest as to why one would care for them and leaves the reader with an abundance of dull internal thoughts to skim over, making the book a faster read - which helps (skimming). Ultimately Amanda’s mother is right, she is selfish. At the time of reading you don’t want to think that, but in the end (which is another point) the story is about satisfying Amanda’s happiness, everyone will sacrifice (even their lives) to make Amanda happy (because she’s not going to do it herself.) In the end, ugh, Sparks tends to fail at endings. I don’t know if he loses interest and wants to move to another project by the time he gets to the end but it feels either rushed or anti-climactic. As is not uncommon for Sparks’ books, new characters get introduced in the last fourth of the book, characters we’re just meeting and have no reason to care about who take up a large section of the book when we should be wrapping up the characters we have invested so much time with.