If I am going to buy a contemporary novel worth 800 pesos, the book should be written by Nicholas Sparks. I will not gamble such large money just because the author is well-known, because a lot of people have read the book, or because the book has a film adaptation. I will buy the book because I know I will like it. I have read six books of Sparks and watched three movies based on his novels. I know for a fact that anything he wrote is worth reading and worth sharing.
The biggest reason why I like his works because his stories always leave me with teary eyes. If not, his books make me say, “Ahhh, I’m touched.” His writing is filled with pathos. His novels have depth and drama. After reading Sparks’ novel, I realize I love sorrow. I like to read other people’ misfortune or suffering because it makes me think deeply of some neglected life lessons.
I like his stories because he uses ordinary people as his characters. His characters are teacher, soldier, senior citizen, small city dwellers. I get the grasp of the kind of life a typical American citizen has. I have a picture of what is made of North Carolina’s population. His usual setting for his novels is North Carolina where he resides. I like how he builds events in the characters’ lives which make these characters significant. His choice of characters, makes his stories realistic and dear to his readers. I find personal connection with his fictitious people. I see myself, my parents, my sister, and my friend in his characters.
Also, I appreciate writers and artists who can sustain the interest of the people without adding unnecessary erotic details because it shows a lot of their craft in storytelling. That’s another reason why I like Sparks. He writes love stories with subtle description on love scenes. Of course, there are a number of adult stuff in his novels but nothing compared to other romance novels which have every page showing two bodies are busy doing something.
One good thing about Sparks’ stories is that they speak to all ages. They are the kind of stories you can talk about to your parents over a family dinner. Seriously, can you talk about vampires and hobbits to your parents over dinner? On the other hand, you will sound nonsense to your parents if you talk about how a girl meets her prince charming. Anybody will find relevance with Sparks’ stories. His stories go beyond a man and a woman falling in love. His stories give insights on universal love, sacrifice, and even the value of family and marriage. Not everybody may enjoy the process of reading a book. Still, his stories can be sold out even to the nonreaders. (That’s why film producers like his works.)
Sparks helps me believe that there is true love. I know this sounds cheesy but that’s the theme of all his novels. His works give you hope that there are people who can do grand things for the people they love. The grand things people can do for love doesn’t mean a guy bringing a bouquet of roses for a girl or a man fighting his love for a married woman. Sparks showed me the essence of true love. If you love someone, you will be faithful and patient. If you love someone, you will do what’s best for him or her. True love means to give way and to let go, sometimes. True love requires acceptance. He showed me that you can still be in love like high school sweet hearts even if you are in your 60s.
So dear Mr. Sparks, I hope to meet you at Podium.
For more details on Sparks’ book signing in Manila, click here.