I don’t know about you guys, but I am an AVID reader. I used to stay up late at night as a kid reading intently by the light of my nite-lite.
My mom would always catch me, and tell me to get my A** to bed. I quickly realized that I had to get strategic, and started stacking pillows in my bed so it looked like I was sleeping (clearly I was a challenging child lol, sorry, not sorry). My reading habits continued like this for YEARS, until university, where it started to slow down (and drained my soul) and I eventually didn’t make the time to read anymore. In the past few years, I have started reading more again, especially when I find a good book (which is always a struggle for me). Unfortunately, I have never been able to get past the ol’ adage of “never judging a book by its cover”, so many a book tend to fall by the wayside, since two people aren’t kissing on the cover.
I recently finished reading a heartfelt, emotion-filled novel by Nicholas Sparks, called Every Breath. I haven’t cried while reading a book in quite some time. Nicholas Sparks, who you may know from his novels turned movies, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and The Last song (Just to name a few) is an American romance novelist who has written some of my favourite books of all time. His writing is truly a piece of art and has allowed my imagination to wander through many timelines and adventures.
I don’t want my reviews to reveal any spoilers to the novel so I will include a synopsis of Every Breath, to catch you up to speed:
Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At 36, she’s been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family’s cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future. Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina, but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother’s early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty and personal happiness against each other in devastating ways.
What makes this novel so great? Why did I get sucked in so quickly? Personally, I felt like the characters were so relatable. Everyone has been in a Romeo and Juliet-esque relationship where your heart pounds, and mind races with the thoughts of them. The novel is written from the point of view of both Hope and Tru. I felt like this was an excellent choice made by the author, because it allows us to see into the soul of these characters, and ourselves, and see how they react in all of the situations, whether it be good or bad. The book takes place in North Carolina, which reminded me of the summer that I had spent in South Carolina with my then-boyfriend. Being that the book is based in the same type of environment, beaches and cottage life, it reminded me of my times there and how much I loved the area.
The story develops quite nicely in the beginning, setting up each character and their lives currently. They come from completely different worlds, which is so fun to see how it affects their relationship. The time that they are together in the novel feels very innocent and respectful to me, because in many romance novels, the romance can seem either cheesy or scripted, but I found that Nick (we’re on a first name basis) really had a way of making their relationship and time together seem unexpected and natural. It never felt forced or something that wouldn’t happen in IRL (as the kids say). In my head, I saw it as being something that was very possible, raw, and made me hopeful for love and romance again. The characters truly cared for each other and in the end, were able to find a way to be together at last. I think it is a great lesson to many people of how a relationship should be, respecting the other person but also being open to new things. The two of them came together in an unexpected scenario and it just goes to show you that you cannot always plan things and that situations are often out of your control but you should be open to change. I also felt like the pacing for the story was very well laid out. I didn’t feel like it was rushed together, or that I was bored, waiting for the next piece of the puzzle to reveal itself and fall into place.
Now like any good novel there are twists and turns in the story where you think you can determine what will happen, but you will likely be wrong. I have been in a situation similar to Hope, where you are presented with two scenarios, each having completely different outcomes, and you are stuck with the ultimatum of which road you travel down. It is so hard to know which is the right decision, but she makes the decision that she believes is right for her at that time in her life. My heart aches for Hope, knowing that her inner conflict is full of thinking what might have been if she had chosen the other path.
Final Review: 8/10
The book had me all over the map in regards to emotions, love, giddiness, anger, and frustration. It showed me how you can defy the odds if you truly love someone. I would recommend this novel to ANYONE who enjoys a real love story and just wants to feel the feels.
Moral of The Story: READ BOOKS!