by Nicholas Sparks
Needs editing, boring, sex scene at 47%, still boring
Every Breath seriously needs an editor. There is so much “tell” and not enough “show” that the story moves at a glacial pace, compounded by an overreliance on long inner monologues. I grabbed Every Breath on a whim because my sister-in-law raves about The Notebook. I had not read any books by Nicholas Sparks nor seen any movie made from his books, but I like a good romance. Every Breath came up as #1 on Amazon under Clean & Wholesome Romance. I was a bit surprised when I hit a sex scene at 47%. Now, normally this wouldn’t bother me, but here I am about halfway through the book and almost nothing has happened. At all.
To be fair, there was a little action. A man drove to the airport and thought of the danger it would be if it were night. He flew to the US. A lady visited her parents’ cottage by the shore. They met on the beach. They met at a restaurant. They talked a bit. They inhabited slow scenes with lots of inner monologues, lots of descriptions, and virtually no action. Finally something happened! These two people who have known each other about two days, I think (sorry, lost track with all the inner ramblings), are now madly in love and jumping into bed. I think he ate some olives in there somewhere. Did they eat their dinner that she was chopping veggies for? I was so bored I can’t remember.
The woman is trying to assess her six-year relationship with the man she loves because he’s so perfect; she intends to marry him and have the children she’s been yearning for as soon as they get over this rough spot in their relationship. The man she’s just met has no intentions of ever marrying, is sterile and can’t have kids, is a lone wolf who loves his solitary life with the exception of missing his son (begotten before he was sterile, sorry for any confusion there). And suddenly these two acquaintances know that they are deeply in love with each other. They knew upon seeing each other (she’s beautiful; his butt looks nice in tight jeans) how incredible their connection is. They share a few stories and a dinner and are now presumably rocking toward happily ever after. Or at least, the bedroom.
Something must happen in the last half of the book, but I don’t really care. I’m so bored and irritated with the overkill on inner monologues, the plodding pace, plus the hackneyed instalove cliché, that my eye rolls gave me a headache. (Confession: it was the frustration with the story that gave me the headache, not the eye rolling.) Every Breath is a DNF for me.
ETA: Another reviewer said they read the entire book and in the author note at the end, Nicholas Sparks admits the entire premise of the book is a lie. The book is NOT based on a true story. That’s despicable, imo. Before buying the book, I read the intro as part of the sample, I double-checked that that the author had signed and dated the intro, just as authors do for true introductory notes, and I had checked that the Kindred Spirit mailbox is real (it is). I did all that because I wanted to make sure it was based on a true story before I read it. That premise drew me to the book. To find out the whole intro is a dramatic fabrication, a literary device, makes me glad that I didn’t finish the book and find that at the end. Nicholas Sparks deliberately played and manipulated us readers with that intro. Not cool.
Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, 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 against personal happiness in devastating ways.
Illuminating life’s heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, EVERY BREATH explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties — and asks the question, How long can a dream survive?