Nicholas Sparks’ ‘See Me’ has clear intention, stunning romance

Lauren Glasby/Staff

“I think you can do whatever you want. In the end, we all live the life we choose.” Eyes scramble to this honest remark in Nicholas Sparks’ new novel, “See Me.” Writing a breathtaking story blending gut-wrenching moments with an electrifying plot, the author captures readers’ hearts once again — this time in the love story between Colin Hancock and Maria Sanchez.

A New York Times bestselling author, Sparks is known worldwide for his riveting romantic-fiction novels. Famous for writing “The Notebook,” “The Longest Ride” and “The Best of Me,” among others, Sparks has written works that have been projected onto the big screen, leaving readers and viewers alike in tears the majority of the time. Yet it is the genuineness of emotions in his heart-breaking tales that produces a gripping plot and has people closely reading page by page, hungry for more.

Set in Wilmington, North Carolina, “See Me centers on Maria — a diligent, successful and intelligent lawyer and daughter of hard-working Mexican immigrants — who is struggling to keep up with the business consuming her everyday life. When she meets Colin, someone who is given a second chance to make amends with his violent and self-destructive past, a little bit of fate, luck and perfect timing merge the paths of these two completely different individuals. Yet, when details of Maria’s horrific past resurface, their love is tested in ways neither could have ever imagined possible.

Pursuing a plot that thickens with every page, the novel also touches on the new, tangled commodities of true love. The truth is, many people like creating ideals in their head — of what they want in a lover, of how their lover should look and their lover’s possible range of interests, likes and dislikes. It gives people a sense of comfort knowing whom they are searching for. But the reality is, you never really know who or what you want — not until that person is standing right in front of you.

Musing on this truthful realization numerous times throughout the storyline, Maria admits that prior to meeting him, she could never have pictured herself with someone like Colin. Two people from two different worlds going in two separate directions — it could never work out, right? Yet it is the acceptance of each other’s flaws and the pure honesty in confessing about each other’s lives that gradually remove that doubt and fear.

The story additionally examines the fear that comes with change — in the workplace, in ourselves and within someone we love and care about. First impressions and opinions cloud false judgments people have made about Colin, but that does not stop him from striving to do more and be better. Conversely, is it possible for someone to truly change? Colin comes to realize that he cannot escape the person he once was but can build from it day by day. Maybe that is all that matters at the end of the day after all.

Not only does the novel reinvent notions of what can and cannot constitute as true love, but like all of Sparks’ novels, the gradual unfolding of events hits us hard. The plot scheme and careful choices made in representing each character maneuver toward a work that is nothing short of spectacular. The painfully honest remarks by the characters throughout the novel make us reevaluate our own lives and what truly makes us happy – something that not all authors have the ability to do.

“See Me” by Sparks gives readers a chance to witness a love story that breaks every expectation come to life. A tale that melts readers’ hearts while simultaneously sending them shivers, the story reminds us of the endless possibilities that new beginnings can hold if we just give them a chance. The future, after all, and what we decide to do with it belong to no one but ourselves.

Contact Mana Anvar at [email protected].