Showing posts with label Nicholas Sparks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nicholas Sparks. Show all posts

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Two By Two – A Book Review

https://www.amazon.com/Two-Nicholas-Sparks/dp/1455520691/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=two+by+two&qid=1556133987&s=gateway&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=reviewthisblog02-20&linkId=4d2f356f9ebd858ccf22761a883e83a6&language=en_US
Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks
by Nicholas Sparks

I have been a fan of the books by Nicholas Sparks for many years. His romantic novels are wonderful.

I think what makes them especially interesting is that they focus on real-life situations.  There is romance and love, but love is not always perfect. Sparks' books describe times of absolute joy, as well as the daily love, disappointment, life journey changes and adjustments we all experience in our own lives. There is also always a touch of sadness just as we all experience from time to time. In other words, his love stories are realistic. Two By Two is no exception. 


Synopsis


Two By Two, published in 2016,  is about an ordinary guy – Russell Green – who has everything a man could want ~ a successful career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife (Vivian) and an adorable six-year-old daughter, London. They live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Russ is living the Dream, or so he thought. Suddenly he finds that the life he took for granted has turned upside down. In just a few months Russ finds himself without a job, his wife leaves him for a new job and exciting life with a real estate billionaire,  and he has become a single dad to daughter London. 

The story takes place over the space of a year which shows Russ struggling to adapt to a baffling new reality.  Trying to launch his own business while coping with the demise of his marriage, his days revolve around his daughter whom he tries to shelter from the consequences of these changes. His close relationship with his wise older sister, Marge and her partner, Liz, and his loving parents help sustain him during the emotional roller-coaster he finds himself on.


Source: Pixabay


“Friendship isn’t about how long you know someone. It’s about who walks into your life, says ‘I’m here for you,’ and then proves it.”
  ~Nicholas Sparks, Two By Two


Throughout the story are short sections of memories of Russ' childhood and his close friendship with his sister, plus memories from collage days when a foolish one-night stand costs him the girl (Emily) he was in love with. 

When a chance encounter with an old flame tempts him to take a second chance on love he finally learns that unconditional love is a treasure to be bestowed, never earned. 


Pillow Cover by pure_soul on Zazzle


“Happiness isn’t something someone can deliver. It comes from within.”
~Nicholas Sparks, Two By Two



Author Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks, Author

Nicholas Sparks is a romance novelist with 20 (to date) novels to his credit and two non-fiction books. He is also a screen writer. Several of his novels have become international best sellers and 11 of these stories have become films.  Probably his best known are “Message in a Bottle” and “The Notebook”. Almost all his stories are placed in a North Carolina setting, many of them along the coastal areas. Nicholas lives in North Carolina. 

His latest book just published in 2018 is Every Breath



Available on Amazon



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Friday, February 9, 2018

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Movie Review

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Movie Review
Travis Parker summed up The Choice perfectly at the very beginning when he said, "little seemingly insignificant decisions that clear the road for monster truck life altering ones.  Every breathe you take leads to another choice.  Some choices change everything".

Like any real relationship in life, Travis (Benjamin Walker) and Gabby (Teresa Palmer) are constantly making choices that will either lead them toward each other or away from each other.  And just like life, those choices are not always easy choices to make.  Perhaps, it is because we can all identify with the characters in this movie that make it one of the best romantic movies to watch.  Or, perhaps it is simply because we all want to believe in the power of love.

Years ago, I watched "The Choice" for the first time and thought it was a fabulous movie.  However, I had forgotten how much I loved the movie until last Sunday when I was searching for a romantic movie to watch.  I found it in the list of movies that are now available to watch on Amazon.  So, I immediately hit "play". Once again, I was pulled into the lives of characters that were so well developed that I felt like I actually knew them as friends or family members.


The Choice Movie Synopsis


Travis is a fun loving, womanizing bachelor who clearly has his choice of women in his small coastal hometown.  However, his new neighbor, Gabby, seems to only be annoyed by Travis and his lifestyle.  His loud music, partying, lackadaisical attitude, flirting, and his dog, agitate Gabby to no end.  Plus, the noise disrupts the quiet she needs to study for her medical board exams.  
 The Choice [Prime Video, DVD, Blu-ray]Check Price
With each meeting and interaction, the very serious Gabby becomes even more exasperated by his jovial, carefree personality.  The conversations between them are actually rather funny to listen to and watch.  Travis is just trying to be friendly, but Gabby sees it as anything but kind.

Remember how the movie begins with Travis talking about "choices"?  As neighbors, every day they are each making a choice of what they think about each other.  When Gabby's boyfriend has to leave town for a few weeks and her dog has complications while delivering puppies, Gabby makes the choice to run next door to Travis for help.  Later, Travis invites her to join him and his friends on a boat ride, she makes a choice of whether to stay or to go.  She is faced with that same choice, whether to stay or to go, several times.

At this point, I want to warn you.  You should expect your heart and emotions to be twisted during this movie.  I don't often cry during movies, but like other Nicholas Sparks stories, this one had me reaching for Kleenex.  Travis is so adorable in this movie that you can't help caring about him and the choices he has to make.  It is downright gut-wrenching.  Like I said earlier, Travis and Gabby are like friends and we all hurt for them.


SPOILER ALERT - This trailer shows more than I was willing to tell. Don't watch the trailer if you plan to watch the movie. In my opinion, it shows too much and takes away from the movie.

Nicholas Sparks Movies & Books


Nicholas Sparks is an author name we all recognize. In part because several of his novels have been made into movies. But mostly because he is an excellent romance novel author. Even people who don't normally embrace romance novels and movies as their favorite genre enjoy his work. I'll never forget the first Nicholas Sparks movie that my husband and I watched together. It was, of course, The Notebook. I can honestly say, I don't know which of us was touched the most by that movie. We both loved it. 

I previously reviewed and recommended another Nicholas Sparks movie, Safe Haven,  which is another Sparks novel that delves into some extremely difficult real life situations.
You will be more than halfway through this movie before you will understand why I also recommend Dawn's review of Me Before You if you love this movie. 

For those of you who prefer books, remember The Choice was a novel before it was a movie.

 




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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Movie Review Written by:
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Safe Haven Movie and Book Reviewed

Several years ago, I read the book Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.  If you have ever read a Nicholas Sparks book then you already know he writes about some very heavy, deeply painful real life situations.   As in life, not everything in his books is easy and happy.  He delves into the subject with a realistic perspective and he doesn't hesitate to tell it like it is. 

Safe Haven is a suspenseful, yet romantic book that brooches a too common subject that no one ever wants to acknowledge.  A young wife is brutalized by her detective husband.  She is trapped in the marriage with nowhere to go because she knows he would find her.  One evening, when he is in a rage, she stabs him in self defense and runs.  A neighbor takes her in and helps her flee Boston.  Erin cuts and dyes her hair, then boards a bus to Atlanta in search of a safe haven.

The Plot of Safe Haven


 Safe HavenThe bus from Boston to Atlanta makes several stops along the way.  When they stop in Southport, North Carolina, Erin doesn't board the bus when it leaves.  Drawn by the ocean and the peaceful surroundings, she introduces herself as Katie.  She gets a job and rents a house.  As you can well imagine, she doesn't trust easily, but she does reluctantly make friends with her neighbor Jo.  

As with any book that is made into a movie, I often prefer the book simply because there is more time to allow characters to evolve.  When we read, we feel like we really get to know a character personally.  That was the case with Jo.  She played a bigger "part" in the book than she did in the movie, but she was there in both of them.

Katie also makes friends with a little girl.  In both the movie and the book, it is believable to me that Katie would trust a child.  It would be easier for her to befriend someone so innocent and pure in motive.  She also meets Lexie's widowed father and her brother, Josh.  Even though she is attracted to him, Katie isn't initially quite as receptive to Lexie's father, Alex.  

I mentioned in the introduction that this is also a romantic story.  By now, you may have already surmised that Katie and Alex end up falling in love.  However, back in Boston, Katie's (Erin's) husband has issued a nationwide APB for a murderer, Erin Tierney.  He is determined to find her.  Unfortunately, Alex sees the wanted poster in the sheriffs office and confronts Katie.  He feels lied to and betrayed.  Since Erin ran, she didn't know if she had killed her husband or not, but she knew from the very beginning to avoid the police regardless.

There is a lot that happens after this.  Some of it is really sad, while other events leave you feeling extreme relief.  Like other stories by Nicholas Sparks, this story will cause you to feel deeply from one extreme to the other.  


Specifically about the Movie, Safe Haven


 Safe Haven on DVDI prefer the book, but some may well prefer the movie which does stay true to the original book plot.  I thought the actors were perfectly cast.  I completely disagree with reviewers who say this movie is unrealistic with a "ludicrous plot twist".  Life is often ludicrous.  Evil people bent on revenge often do unbelievable things because they have already thrown caution and logic to the wind.  

In the movie, Katie and Alex are adorable.  You really want them to have the happy ending.  You want life to give them both a break.  They have both suffered enough for one lifetime.  Unfortunately, Katie's past is determined to bind her forever.

When you watch the movie, or read the book, please return and tell me what you thought.  With such differing reviews, it will be interesting to see which reviewer you agree with.  For me, I think it is both an excellent book and an excellent movie that will cause you to fear, cry, smile and hope all at the same time.   

You choose which one you want!  The book and DVD are featured above, but the story is also available to view directly from Amazon, included in a Nicholas Sparks Triple Featured DVD, or to read on your Kindle.  If you are like me, you may want them all!!!








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Safe Haven Movie and Book Reviews Written by:
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