Book Review: Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

two-by-twoI haven’t read a Nicholas Sparks book in a long time. Reading his books feels like going home. They’re familiar: Full of love, family, and ugly tears. Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks made me question my priorities. It made me want to live it the present. It made me want to chase after my dreams. There aren’t many books that make you feel that way anymore, are there?

Russ and Vivian seem to have the perfect marriage and the perfect family. London, who is about to start Kindergarten, is portrayed as the ideal child; she is easy-going, loves art class, and adores Barbies. When Russ decides that he hates is job, and is probably about to get fired, he decides to open up his own advertisement company. Vivian, who is stay at home mom, with London, decides that she is not going to stop using credit cards and getting mani/pedi’s just because money is a little tight. When Russ’s business doesn’t start up as quick as expected, Vivian decides to take it upon herself to start working full-time, leaving London in Russ’s care, over the summer, without daycare. In the meantime, Russ learns that his child’s best friend is the son of an ex-girlfriend, someone he once thought he would marry.

I honestly don’t know why Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks received so many bad reviews. I know that sometimes, people read to escape reality, and Nicolas Sparks likes to paint a beautiful picture of amazing love. This book is no different although, others may disagree. There is a lot of true love in this story: love from the past, love between parents and children, and a whole lot of family love.

A couple qualms I had with this book are: it was very long, the twist 3/4 into the book threw me for a loop, and how the ending just seemed rushed. Other than that, I fell for these characters, except for Vivian, and wanted them all to end up happily ever after. Unfortunately, in life,  fairy tales aren’t always real.

I really like the tie in with the book children’s book, Two by Two. Russ and Vivian read this fictional book to London before bed. It would be neat if it were a real book, or if Nicolas Sparks came out with a children’s book to go along with his adult novel. I personally love Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi, which is wonderful retelling of the Noah’s Ark story. Even though there isn’t a real children’s novel to accompany this book, there is a soundtrack that is available  through January 3 , for free, which is inspired by the novel, in collaboration with JD Eicher. Head over to the author’s website to download the digital CD (four songs) after signing up for an email newsletter. (The CD can be downloaded directly from the website. No purchase necessary.) How cool is that? Also, how adorable is the book’s cover? Russ is pretty much the perfect dad and even though Vivian doesn’t  think he is the perfect husband, he seems pretty awesome to me.

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