Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Safe Haven Page 50

Still working my way through Safe Haven. I keep wondering what it's like to be able to read through one of these in a day or two the way that reviews seem to promise should be the case with Nicholas Sparks books, but I'm going to finish it because, honestly, I want to see the movie, and I hate to watch a movie when I haven't finished reading the book first. 

A little hard to do this on a Kindle, but I managed! My quote for this week is from Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks. You can purchase Safe Haven on Amazon.

- "Katie reached for it, brightening as she examined the picture. Alex noted how -- at least for an instant -- everything else in the world seemed to be forgotten."

I actually feel like this quote illustrates everything that is wrong with this book, from the all-too-commonplace names to the fact that this is on page 50 and the romantic vein seems to be moving a bit too quickly for the novel. It feels like Sparks is in a rush and not really thinking through his characters or the story that he's trying to tell and it's very frustrating to feel left behind as the story progresses. 

But it's getting better. And I still think that I want to see more of Nicholas Sparks. I just hope that the next book I read gets to be horror of some sort or another. I'm just itching for horror or suspense!

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Monday! I'm Reading Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks

It's a Monday, and this week, that means a few things for me. My husband is currently unemployed, and since my primary income comes from writing (mostly online), I've spent quite a bit of my time for this week working on writing projects that are currently underway. Trust me when I tell you that it's a lot less exciting than what it sounds like, considering that most of my writing is what I would consider "web writing." It's not the great American novel that's coming out of my computer, but just a few articles here and there, some book, video game and product reviews, and a few pennies in return. Nothing even remotely excited. 

I am getting excited about the new Switched at Birth episode that's on tonight on ABC Family. This is one of the bright spots in my week, when every new Monday also counts down another week that there's no income coming into the house. It's pretty scary stuff, but I enjoy sitting down with the show, then curling up with my Kindle and a good book.

Lately I haven't been reading as much as I should, which is rather disappointing. I've spent so much time writing that it's hard to squeeze in a moment or two to read a good book, and it doesn't help that the majority of the books I've been picking up lately just aren't all that good. I wish that I could just find one book that captivated me enough to draw me back into reading as a habit, without having to re-read another novel for the third time (can anybody say "Hunger Games?"). Reading should be relaxing and enjoyable, a break from writing, but instead lately I'm finding it quite a chore.

It's possible that I'm looking at it wrong. I mean, for heaven's sake, it's hard to read when you're a writer trying to dissect what works and what doesn't. Given that I write romance and smut, most of what I read is romance and smut. The smut's terrible, with very little variation. There's not much out there that I enjoy enough to keep reading and I'm quite certain of my ability to do better than the books that I'm reading. The romance is another story. Most of it's pretty good, but I can't connect with the characters and the stories are repetitive.

For years I've been avoiding Nicholas Sparks because he was over-rated. I've said that about a lot of really terrific authors whose work I enjoy (such as Ian McEwan, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, and others) and I figured that it was time for me to take the plunge. I meant to purchase Dear John but somehow made a mistake and wound up with Safe Haven instead. I knew the general storyline due to the fact that I've seen the trailers for the movie, and while it's not particularly my cup of tea story-wise, I figured that it would be an interesting introduction to Nicholas Sparks.

Ugh. That's about all I have to say about this book. It's getting better as I get through the first fifth of the book or so, but I'm utterly disappointed with what I'm reading. The characters all run into one another, and I don't find any of them sufficiently unique to keep me interested in what I'm reading. The story is, so far, rather bland, and I'm really working hard on making myself like this book.

But I'm going to finish it, because I'm reading it. Let's challenge me to be finished by Friday, shall we? I think I need book goals to get me reading again, right? Right. Support is encouraged, of course.

In the meantime, I'd love to know what you think of Nicholas Sparks. If you could speak in general terms so as not to spoil Safe Haven or any other books of his that I might pick up, that would be pretty great. I'm really curious. I don't particularly like what I'm reading but he's ridiculously popular. Why?