Saturday, December 28, 2013

Story of Love, Friendship, and Crime ~ "The Guardian" Book Review

by: Uel Ceballos

No one can ever question the unparalleled knack of Nicholas Sparks in pulling the heartstrings of his readers. Sparks is known for his inspiring romance novels wherein several of them have already been turned into a movie such as “A Walk To Remember”, “Message In A Bottle”, and “Dear John”. There’s really something in this guy’s words and way of telling stories that set the readers in various hues of emotions. His books always succeed in hitting the effects that the story would want to trigger from the readers – to bring out the hopeless romantic side in them. Sparks is such a virtuoso on such thing; he never fails to nail it. 

On this book, “The Guardian”, Nicholas Sparks has given us something new of which he hasn’t done in his other previous books. He has added another element here, the element of thrill and suspense and the result was as awesome as he did to his other novels. 

“The Guardian” focused on Julie Barenson who is living in simplicity in Swansboro, North Carolina. Her husband died and left her a Great Dane puppy named Singer. Julie mourned for her husband’s death and took her almost four years before she finally decided to get back into dating. Many guys are pursuing Julie but only two of them have really captured her eyes and maybe this time, her heart. One is Richard Franklin, a gorgeous, refined engineer, a real romantic and definitely every woman’s fantasy.  The other guy is Mike Harris, easy and uncomplicated guy, an industrious mechanic, and the best friend of Julie’s late husband.  You may think of it as another typical love triangle wherein the main rule is “may the best man wins.” Well, you couldn’t really help thinking that way because it really is. But as I said this novel has presented us a different kind of story of which the author has never risked doing before. Sparks has put together the elements of romance, suspense and friendship and the story was perfectly distributed in parts that accordingly justify each element.

The unique thing about this romance-suspense novel is that the story of love wasn’t set to be inferior to the tale of suspense. Actually if not for the gist at the back cover and the foreshadowing comments and appraisals in the first leaf of the book, you wouldn’t anticipate the psycho-thrilling constituent of the story while reading on the first few pages. Sparks had already build up the relationships and the psyche of the characters before he had gone to the main dangerous twist that laid on the story, thus the occurrence of peril was duly justified. 

Nicholas Sparks used a dog character and that added to the beautifully balanced story. Singer represents the element of tenderness and friendship that will surely melt your heart. If you have loved Marley in the autobiographical book “Marley and Me” and have admired Buck’s bravery in classic novel, “Call Of The Wild” then you will surely love Singer as well for his unique, light and easy but remarkable character here in “The Guardian.”

I was personally amused when the author mentioned here one of my favourite Broadway musicals, “The Phantom of The Opera” and how it was used for a metaphorical forewarning of what will about to happen next. I can already picture the scenes in a movie while I'm reading through the pages. The pursuit of the antagonist here has also make up for a good detective fiction that somehow reminds of John Grisham’s kind of novels.  

For this book that marked Nicholas Sparks’ attempt to reel away from his usual way of writings, I’ll cheer on it with 8 Cups of Latte!