May 29, 2012

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Title: The Guardian
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Ships Launched: 584
Pages: 382
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Year Published: 2003
Genre: Romance/Thriller/Contemporary Fiction
Synopsis: Julie Barenson’s young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died – a puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now, four years later, twenty-nine year-old Julie is far too young to have given up on love. She may be ready to risk caring for someone again. But who? Should it be Richard Franklin, the sophisticated, handsome engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband’s best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she’s had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire . . .

Eh. I don't know. Was this book amazing? Did it tug at my heartstrings? Did it make me cry with heartbreak and laugh with joy?
Um... No. Not really.
I picked up this book because, well, it's Nicholas Sparks. Mr. Tearjerker Romance Writer. And I'm a girl. Do the math.  
But unfortunately, this book didn't really work for me. The beginning was really, really slow. I actually found myself doing other things, namely cleaning, to avoid reading the book. I think that's a bit sad. 
But then things picked up a little, and I got a bit more interested in the story. There was more romance. I was happier.
Then Mr. Creeper revealed himself. For those of you who haven't read the book, I won't disclose his identity and spoil it for you, so we'll just call him Mr. Creeper.
Mr. Creeper horrified me. He was, well, creepy. Terribly so. He was a stalker sociopath murderer who didn't seem like one. 
Sparks has this very unique writing style. He writes in third person, mostly in one or two characters' points of view, but he also writes some passages in the supporting character's views. He lets you into their heads and see what they are thinking.
Being in Mr. Creeper's head freaked me out. He was so evil, but he believed he was doing the right thing! It was insane. He made me want to scream. 
When you read this book, the romance resolves pretty quickly, and you'll be wondering how the book is so long if the love mystery is already over halfway through.
The other half of the book is all Mr. Creeper. I'm glad I read this book in the daytime, because otherwise I would be peering out my bedroom window, freaked out that someone could be out there with a camera. 
The other characters are okay, I guess, but they all seem kind of flat. None of them really change, and none of them are really that original. 
Overall, this book was okay at best. I don't know, it just wasn't really that interesting. When I think about this book, the first thing that comes to mind is how creepy Mr. Creeper was. I don't think that was Sparks intention when he wrote this book. If you don't mind slow books and like to read about creepy stalkers, then try it out! Otherwise, I wouldn't put this at the top of your TBR pile.

+5 – Humor – A few parts in this book made me smile.
           -50
Mr. Creeper – Yes, I know 50 points is a lot. But unfortunately, Mr. Creeper was too sick minded for me to just let slide. He will haunt my dreams for days.
           -20
– Slow Plot – If you feel a sudden desire to do laundry or do the dishes rather than read a book, you know something's wrong.