Someone mentioned to me that she likes that I also review/record books that I've read and don't like. Well, this book is right up there for me.
Back when guyczuk was in 4th grade, his teacher came to me one day, saying I had to read this book she'd just read. It was the best book EVER and she stayed up all night to finish it, crying as she read. Being the sort of mother who likes to see what makes her son's 24 year old teacher (who spent more time on the internet planning her upcoming wedding than she did teaching) tick, I borrowed the book.
I. Hated. It.
Sappy, tugging at your heart-strings, sentimental, pap. Totally unrealistic situation for an Alzheimer's patient, too, and I know from Alzheimer's, trust me. Things just don't happen like that, and I could not be charitable enough to engage the willing suspension of disbelief mode. If the writing had been good, I could have given it credit. But let's not go there.
My dislike for the book had 3 consequences:
1. I decided to give Sparks one more try. Nope. My opinion didn't change. You've heard of do not call lists? He's on my "do not read" list. I only BookCross copies of his book I've been given. Won't even pick them up second hand.
2. When the film of this movie was made here in Charleston, I had the chance to be an extra. As much as I would have liked that experience, I turned it down. And yes, I have NOT seen the movie.
3. One day I was in Books-A-Million. There was a huge crowd of women fluttering around an author. He was a clean cut, preppie-ish kind of guy (I remember that his blue shirt had an unfortunate white collar.) When I found out it was Nicholas Sparks, doing a book-signing, I tried to skirt around the crowd. His handler stopped me.
"Don't you want to meet the author?"
"No thanks," I replied.
"But he's rather good. Have you read his books?"
"Umm. Yes, but I'd rather not meet him."
"You've read his books and don't want to meet him? Why not???"
"I'd rather not say," I said, trying to break the iron grip she had on my arm.
"He'll sign one for you."
"No thank you."
At this point, my struggling to get free caught the author's attention. He rose from his signing table, the red sea of women clustering around him parted and he came over to me. He was quite polite, and attentive, and inquired why I was so adamant about not participating in the book signing. Again, I demurred. He insisted. Did I like his book? Well-- no, not exactly. He pushed for details. I'd had enough and let loose with what I thought.
To give him credit, he didn't blanch though his handler did, and I actually heard a hiss from one of the ladies in the crowd. He thanked me for my opinion, and said he would rather have someone who vehemently disliked his book that someone who said it was so-so. At least he'd stirred a strong emotion in me. To this day, that is the only thing I like about Nicholas Sparks.