This month’s books review is ‘See Me’ by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve always loved Nicholas Sparks’s books and when I saw this one, I knew I had to give it a read.
In typical Sparks style, ‘See Me’ is set in North Carolina and centres on a troubled young man – Colin – who, despite having a turbulent childhood and youth, is determined to make something of his life by studying to become a teacher. In order to control his anger and keep out of trouble with the police, which he has frequently been in, Colin is a cage fighter. It is after one of these fights, with a particularly bruised and bashed face, that he meets Maria. Unlike Colin, Maria has always been hard-working and is from a loving and close-knit family. After the two meet, they begin to date and the central romance – as is key to any Nicholas Sparks novels – begins to unfold. Not everything is as it seems though and there a twist in the plot in the form of a stalker, who continues to harass and torment Maria.
As a huge fan of Sparks’s novels, ‘See Me’ didn’t disappoint in combing the perfect mixture of romance, action and suspense. Each chapter alternates from the point of view of Maria and Colin and because these characters are so different, it ensures the tone of the story doesn’t become stale or repetitive. The element of the stalker provides a refreshing break from the gushy romance at the start of the novel, as well as allowing the characters’ personalities to develop as they are thrown into numerous tricky situations. Assisting the protagonists in their journey are Colin’s best friends, Evan and Lilly. As much as Evan is a straight and narrow, clean-shaven kind of guy, Lilly is the typical southern belle that loves to help people and always looks stunning. Their perfect, ordinary relationship only serves to heighten the passion and intensity of Colin and Maria’s.
Although the characters are likeable and the story is easy to read, it does take a while to get going and I wasn’t truly hooked on the book until over half way through. This is partly because the romance between Colin and Maria need time to unfold: this needs time to establish, however Sparks spends too long on it and not enough on the action. Furthermore, the stalking part of the story could have been more gripping with a wider variety of suspects involved (I was not surprised when the culprit was revealed because there was not a lot of choice of suspects to begin with).
Overall, I enjoyed ‘See Me’ and would recommend it to others: however, I do not think it is one of Spark’s best novels and whilst the romance is lovely, it is not as epic as some of his more well known stories. Despite that, it’s a nice, easy read that doesn’t require too much thought with interesting characters that develop well throughout the plot.
I would give this book 3/5.
*** I read this book on Amazon Kindle.
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