The problem with sequels that I face personally is either they are too good, surpassing the prequel or they are simply too bad, shooting down the built up in its prequel by a big margin. The exceptional books with their equally or better sequels in my personal reading experience in last couple of years are of-course the Harry Potter and Lord of the rings as well as Clifton Chronicles by Archer (which worked for me big time and kept getting better barring the last book in the series but thats forgivable). When it comes to love stories they mostly do not work, look at the examples of “Me Before You” and the debacle of its two other parts, “The Notebook” and its sequel “The Wedding” (again by Sparks). Unfortunately with this one I had very high hopes as I had recently read its prequel “True Believer” and expected so much from “At First Sight” as name suggested that it will be a love story yet again after the protagonist meets the girl of his dreams and settles with her in the sleepy town of Boone Creek (North Carolina) but the way story goes forward in this one, it simply falls flat and for the first time ever by the pen of Nicholas Sparks comes a book that I am sorry to not to recommend to anyone especially to those who have read its earlier part and loved it too. Or may be this was a little too practical love story which was hard for me to digest as it reminded me so much of “Before Sunrise”, “Before Sunset” and its third part which was exceptionally real “Before Midnight”.
Even as an independent book it fails to make its mark on me when I almost expect nothing but just a good love story from it. So, the story goes like Jeremy Marsh an article writer in a science magazine moves from New York City to Boone Creek in quest of uncovering a ghost story from the sleepy town’s cemetery which he does but falls in love with the local Librarian (this was the high point). They do get married amidst a little drama and all that as it always happens in the love stories but the lame plot and whatever little suspense was so predictable that I could actually see it coming from a mile. And that’s what doesn’t work in the favor of the book and the story which should have touched my heart making me all emotional but it fails big time. The big move, compromise, sacrifice, love, affection, marriage, child birth and step ahead is all so slow or may be boring that the book with hardly 200 pages felt like an over stretched affair. Jeremy Marsh the atheist, who doesn’t believe in God and all that takes a U turn is what the rest of the story. I guess all good love stories should come to an end on Marriage or before marriage I will say as this one where Sparks tried after marriage is like showing the reader his own life which makes it such an uninteresting read. I couldn’t believe that I was reading my own life story being enacted by the main two characters of the book. There was no fun in it as there was hardly any connect with their insecurities after marriage. And when a book becomes too predictable the magic goes out the window and It just drags to the cheesy ending where everything has to fall in the right place (again).
If you have read this and liked it, do tell me how you liked it but if you didn’t like I did, you have my full sympathies. First time after may be 15 odd books that Nicholas Sparks magic has failed to work on me. Although I have half a dozen more of his books to read and I am really looking forward to get another kick from him in his next work (Dear John).