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Book Review: See Me by Nicholas Sparks

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Nicole Tracy | Literary Columnist
Colin Hancock is giving
his second chance his best
shot. With a history of violence
and bad decisions
behind him and the threat
of prison dogging his every
step, he’s determined to
walk a straight line. To Colin,
that means applying himself
single-mindedly toward his
teaching degree and avoiding
everything that proved
destructive in his earlier life.
Reminding himself daily of
his hard-earned lessons, the
last thing he is looking for is
a serious relationship.
Maria Sanchez, the
hardworking daughter of
Mexican immigrants, is the
picture of conventional success:
with a degree from
Duke Law School and a job
at a prestigious firm in Wilmington,
she is a dark-haired
beauty with a seemingly
flawless professional track
record. And yet Maria has
a traumatic history of her
own, one that compelled her
to return to her home town
and left her questioning
so much of what she once
believed.
A chance encounter on
a rainswept road will alter
the course of both Colin and
Maria’s lives, challenging
deeply held assumptions
about each other and ultimately,
themselves. As love
unexpectedly takes hold between
them, they dare to envision
what a future together
could possibly look like . . .
until menacing reminders of
events in Maria’s past begin
to surface.
As a series of threatening
incidents wreaks chaos in
Maria’s life, Maria and Colin
will be tested in increasingly
terrifying ways. Will demons
from their past destroy the
tenuous relationship they’ve
begun to build, or will their
love protect them, even in
the darkest hour?
While many elements of
See Me are classic Sparks:
the bad boy from the wrong
side of the tracks; the hardworking
girl who has never
learned how to show her
true self; it’s the character
of Colin that helps set the
novel above the rest.
As readers begin to get to
know Colin, Sparks thoughtfully
asks readers to consider
just what it takes to
redeem one’s self in the eyes
of others. Do we forgive with
one good deed, or does it
take years of living clean
to truly earn forgiveness?
Conversely, do we allow for
small slip-ups, if it’s all part
of the recovery process?
Colin grapples with both
sides of this equation deeply,
especially as his relationship
with Maria begins
to take hold. Though his
candid approach toward
his redemption allows for
most in Colin’s life to accept
either side of that equation,
Sparks points out that there
will always be those who will
struggle with the surface
appearance, something that
Colin experiences in ebbs
and flows with Maria.
It’s that journey to overcome
those biases, coupled
with Colin’s growing evolution
of learning how to apply
his negative tendencies in a
positive way as he begins
to protect Maria against an
unexpected stalker. Colin
learns that redemption is
absolutely possible, but
there are also those who will
help him shape his past into
a foundation for a positive
future.
All in all, See Me is classic
Nicholas Sparks at his best.
He has written a compelling
romance about two
individuals from seemingly
different worlds, who learn
to mutually trust themselves
again and each other. Colin
and Maria have a very trueto-
life romance, that readers
will definitely love.
Through the relationship
that develops between Colin
and Maria, Sparks reminds
readers to look beyond surface
appearances, to find
the common bonds that
lie beneath. It’s those very
bonds that make this such a
page-turner of a story.
See Me is strongly recommended
for all fans of
Nicholas Sparks novels, and
for readers who are looking
for a romantic read.
See Me is available at
the Howard County Public
Library. Copies are limited,
so if it is unavailable, ask at
the front desk to be put on
a waiting list for it.

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