True Believer & At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 2, 2010
True Believer and At First Sight are two books in a series by Nicholas Sparks. Despite being an avid Sparks' fan and a lover of anything cheesy, sweet, or romantic, I was incredibly disappointed with these books.

True Believer is about an investigative journalist from New York City who goes to Boone Creek, North Carolina, to investigate some “paranormal” activities. While there, he meets and falls for a charming and attractive Southern belle but, of course, complications occur. I'll stop there. I don't want to ruin the book, and because At First Sight is the continuation, I will not include any more plot to avoid giving away too much about the first book.

The writing seems rushed and forced and, given that Sparks wrote these in a single year, that doesn't surprise me. The characters are weak and clichéd, the plots are slow-paced and choppy, and the overall message of both is identical. The worst part is the heroine, Lexie. She's too static and boring. I have always loved Sparks' capacity to write from the male point of view while still holding fast to strong female characters, but these books left me feeling relieved to be rid of her.

While they are not the worst books I have ever read, I cannot hide my amazement that these came from the pen of my beloved Nicholas Sparks. If you want to read a romantic story by Sparks, try The Lucky One or A Bend in the Road, but pass over these two.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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