Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Summary: “See me just as I see you . . .
Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he’s determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.
Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.
A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria’s lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria’s past begin to surface.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
I’m fairly determined that after See Me, I’m not a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks’ books anymore. He’s written too many and the plots and characters are just recycled versions of each other. He attempted at something new with this book, by including a sort of mystery/thriller plot, but it failed so miserably. There were so many plot holes and I had too many questions, which is never good.
Furthermore, the plot was weak and dragged for the entirety of the book. The romance was unhealthy, with Colin taking his anger out of everyone and legitimately scaring Maria on more than one occasion. You shouldn’t be afraid of your significant other; that’s just not right.
I did enjoy seeing a biracial relationship in this, though I cannot attest to if the Hispanic representation was any good. I think See Me was an attempt by Sparks to branch out of his comfort zone (romance lacking diversity) as this was both culturally diverse and had a rather different plot than what he commonly writes. While the cultural part was great, the rest…not so much.
In all honesty, my main issue what the length of this book. Everything was drawn out and boring, making a 500 paged book rather painful to read. This really could have been shortened to a good 300 pages. I wouldn’t be surprised if added up there were 200 pages of backstory. I love backstory, but not when there’s multiple chapters in a row of it. And seriously? Dialogue shouldn’t last more than a paragraph at most realistically–not five pages (this may be an exaggeration, but it was too long). When you’re on a date, no human being is going to rant forever about their past–that’s not a date, it’s a lecture.
Also, on the topic of dialogue, does Sparks know how people talk? Has he ever observed a conversation? The dialogue here just felt too scripted and oh-so unrealistic. Maybe I’m being picky, but when I’m reading a book I love dialogue that sounds both raw and real, something that could be overheard at a restaurant or spoken between friends–not something lacking emotions as though they’re being fed the words.
Anyway, I think his books are just a little overrated. Perhaps you’ll end up loving them. 🙂