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Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks // Book Review

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Okay so it's no secret I'm a big fan of cheesy easy going stories and this is totally one of them. Perfect for a wee bit of downtime reading between working.

I'm not going to lie and say this is a thriller with heaps of twists and turns - come on it's Nicholas Sparks. There's going to be love, there's going to be some kind of break up, and there's always going to be a lot of smushy descriptions and Two by Two* did not disappoint.

I freaking loved it. I mean it's not a ten out of ten kind of book but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story follows Russell as his life falls apart. It may sound a bit depressing but trust me, you get rather emotionally invested in Russell's life to the point where you want to slap his wife at least every chapter. I always love (and hate) when a character is written so well that you want to throw the book across the room every time they do something. (I'm looking at you Umbridge) That is Vivian all up, seriously the way she's written I don't understand why Russell puts up with her. But hey, I'm not really selling this right now am I? Well trust me, for every time you want to throw the book across the room you also want to squeeze it to your chest for how adorable his little girl is, and her and Russell's relationship. This book is very much about their relationship, and how it develops throughout the divorce, I may have shed a tear or two at the end.

So basically his wife decides she wants a divorce just after he decides to quit his job and start a business on his own and the story follows his struggles. Add other struggles from his extended family and you've got one hell of a tale to endure. As Russell works in advertising and I read this as a break from uni work in the last few weeks of the semester I totally connected with him more than I probably would have if he were a banker. Also the fact that he's a people pleaser and sometimes that means he's a push over, I totally feel that too. While going through all of this Russell spends most of his life trying to please everyone else; Vivian, his daughter London, his sister, his parents, all of his clients and tends to forget about himself. While the book is very much about his relationships, it's also all about his own development to be stronger and rely less on others and pleasing them.

Each chapter starts with a flashback to a significant part in Russell's life that connects with that part of the story. Which develops the characters personalities, knowing their back stories, and shows Vivian wasn't always the horrible woman she seems to be in the present. One thing I didn't like was how Russell was described as being totally head over heels in love with his wife and would do anything to get her back and then the next chapter he was snogging another woman.

But apart from that last point I really enjoyed the book. It seems like it's very much a love/hate book seen as it's rather different than his older novels like The Notebook and Dear John. Try it out, see what you think?

*This book was gifted to me for review by Hachette NZ however all opinions are my own. 
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