“If it comes, let it come. If it stays, let it stay. If it goes, let it go.”

Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks is about a man, Russell Green, who seems like he has everything he could ever want: a successful career, a gorgeous wife, and a lovely daughter. However, it seems like all of a sudden, everything changes and he is left with very little. How will he move forward in the face of this adversity? You have to read to find out!

I am not sure how Two By Two made it onto my reading list, if I am being honest. I was likely looking another book and it came up in suggestions, but I cannot be completely sure. In any case, I’ve been trying to work through the massive reading list on my 50 Book Pledge shelf rather than adding new ones to it. It seems to be going okay, but you just know I will end up adding new ones well before I am finished with it.

But back to the point.

I do not think I have read much (if any) Nicholas Sparks books before. I do know, however, that they are supposed to be these “epic” romance stories. There is supposed to be laughter, tears, et cetera. However, I really did not get any of that with Two By Two. It is not a terrible book, per say, but it is not what I wanted from a Nicholas Sparks novel.

For instance, there seems to be a very small amount of romance, if you can really pick it out at all. The main focus, in my opinion, is not an epic romance. Rather, it pokes holes in love and people. It seems to be, in my opinion, a much more cynical view of the world than what I was expecting.

The good news, at least, is the writing quality is still decent. I did not get annoyed with the grammar, spelling, conventions, et cetera, as I might with a book with poorer writing. As such, the story there does transition relatively well. I was still not entirely fond of the plot line. I think there were more things Sparks could have done to improve the book. For instance, the ending seemed tacked on, rushed, and too much stuff packed together. In addition, the beginning of the book seemed to be much longer and drawn out than it needed to be. Perhaps the beginning would have been better off a little more condensed, which would have given the ending more space.

I also think there was too much of an attempt to bridge the normal Nicholas Sparks style with a new perspective. I think he should have picked one or the other and leaned more heavily in that direction (e.g. more of the traditional style most readers have come to know) instead of what happened. Even if he chose the completely new direction, I think it would have turned out much better as a book, even if it was odd to read because of what readers were used to in one of his books.

In any case, Two By Two is not a terrible book. I would not recommend this book if you want to experience a traditional Nicholas Sparks romance, but if you want something a little more cynical in regards to life and love, this may well be a very good read for you. With that said, if you do read it, particularly if you have read other books Nicholas Sparks has written, I would love to know what you think. Did the romance hold up to you? Do you agree it seems much more cynical and lacking in romance? Let me know in the comments below.

~~**~~

Title: Two By Two

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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