True Believer (Hardcover)
36 journalers for this copy...
New York skeptic Jeremy Marsh makes his living exposing frauds in the articles he writes for Scientific American. His latest target is a famous psychic who claims to speak to the dead. The acclaim he receives for his expose places Jeremy in the public eye with an appearance on national television. Jeremy then travels to Boone Creek, North Carolina, to search for the truth behind the mysterious lights that appear in the local cemetery. The legend is that an old curse causes the spirits to wander, and now the town wants to capitalize on the phenomena to bring in badly needed tourist dollars. But Doris McClellan, the local psychic, wants the lights debunked, and asks Jeremy to investigate. What Jeremy doesn't count on is falling for Doris' granddaughter, Lexie, the town librarian. Lexie has had enough of smooth-talking city men, and shields her heart, but Jeremy keeps trying to penetrate her tough shell. Lexie never wants to leave Boone Creek, and she believes that Jeremy will never want to stay. Although Sparks' latest starts with great potential, the main characters feel cool and distant; it is the secondary characters who embody the warmth and verve that usually mark Sparks' best-sellers.
This was a very enjoyable book, and would have received a much higher rating from me had it stood alone. However, as a Nicholas Sparks book, I was holding it up to some very high expectations set by his previous masterpieces, and quite frankly, it fell very short. It simply wasn't up to the calibre of his previous books and lacked the very qualities I love most about his writings. It reminded me of a Danielle Steel novel rather than something from the deeper, more engaging, Nicholas Sparks.
In a word, the story was superficial. The supernatural premise that drew the characters together was riduculously hokey, and pitting New York citylife against life in sleepy small town America didn't capture my interest the way it could have had it been presented better, with more exciting characters and plot developement.
Noticeably absent: there was no deep emotional connection between the two protagonists. Even though I easily buy into the soulmates, meant-to-be concept of love-at-first-sight, I did not find the romance and coming together of these two characters to have that kind of depth or energy. I'm not convinced they truly belong with each other, or their relationship will last much beyond the end of the story.
As well, there was no emotional connection between the characters and the reader. There wasn't a deep passion for me to feel alongside them. I didn't grow to care for them as people nor did I become as emotionally invested in their relationship, as I have with other Nicholas Sparks characters. These two will be easily forgotten, whereas Noah/Allie, Jamie/Landon, Theresa/Garrett, Paul/Adrienne, Miles/Sarah, and all the others have continued to live in my heart long after I put those books down and moved onto other reading material.
On the positive side, there were flashes of Nicholas Sparks's brilliance scattered throughout the book. His use of vivid descriptions and attention to detail was impeccable, as always. The dialogue flowed naturally, with the right blend of wit and seriousness, and sounded realistic (very important to me in a romance novel, as most don't have this quality and instead use incessant and annoying bickering so the conflict/tension comes across as abrasively hostile instead of deep and abiding love).
All-in-all, although I was sorely disappointed, it was still a pleasant story and worthwhile reading. I hope Nicholas Sparks goes back to novels that draw the reader into an emotional investment into the characters and their story, with their bittersweet tragic endings (or even happy ones as in The Wedding and Three Weeks With My Brother). I prefer to feel strong emotions and intense passion when I read a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Since new books from Nicholas Sparks are in high demand, I'm hosting a booray for it.
1. valentina1209 in NY
2. timollie5502 in PA
3. tmtdino30 in PA
4. vzfamily in OH
5. i-spy in IL
6. sp4home in IA
7. ksreader in KS
8. Mamikaem in MO
9. hennismm in OH
10. RaineeRose in NY
11. Sherria in CT
12. faramir10 in TX
13. tiatia in VA
14. Brendalc57 in CA
15. kimsbooks03 in PA
16. cuteblondeGTA in ON, Canada *doesn't reply to PMs so will be skipped*
17. cestmoi in ON, Canada
18. kayjay33 in BC Canada
19. Morgail in KY
20. thegoaliegirl in OH
21. momx3lovesbooks in NE
22. kennie2775 in NS, Canada
23. missprisy in MA
24. collectorkerri in IL
25. hobbit in NY
26. rainwolfe in MD
27. nancyluvsbooks in MS
28. clawdette in LA
29. sleepymom in Colorado
30. dabercro in UT
31. Aramena in OK
32. top-tappser in WA
33. Sissyrun in CA
34. caridad in FL
35. dnsvm in CO
36. ckcpurple in IN
37. Dawnini in TN
38. NMReader in NM
The rules are simple: Journal the book when it arrives and contact the next person on the list for their address. Read the book and pass it along as quickly as possible, within 3-4 weeks at most. Make either a journal entry or controlled release note when you’ve sent it off.
Please make a good-faith effort to keep the book in good condition and to make this bookring a success.
Thanks to all for participating.
Journal Entry 4
bookring in bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, May 26, 2005
Released 13 yrs ago (5/26/2005 UTC) at bookring in bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
beginning its journey: on its way to timollie in PA
Got this in the mail yesterday night when we got back from our long weekend away. I'm really looking forward to it - I have always enjoyed Nicholas Sparks.
Well, I thought this was a nice story. A good, quick read, as I've grown to expect from Nicholas Sparks. I was surprised that the ending wasn't tragic, however - it was good to have a happy ending after reading so many of his sad ones! Thanks for sharing it with us!
I sent this off to tmtdino30 this morning.
Recieved it in the mail today. Cant wait to read it. Finished it and mailed it out today 7/6/2005 to vzfamily. Great book, enjoyed it alot
As with all of Nicholas Sparks' books - I loved it! Although I must admit I was a bit dissapointed with the explanation of the lights!
Journal Entry 9
Postal Release in Willard, Ohio USA on Friday, July 15, 2005
Released 13 yrs ago (7/15/2005 UTC) at Postal Release in Willard, Ohio USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sending this along to i-spy who is next in the bookring. Hope you enjoy the book!
Arrived in yesterday morning's mail & I finished it last night! Nice book, very typical of Sparks. Nice, light, summer read. Thanks for sharing!
The book has arrived safe and sound. I will edit this journal entry after I have read the book. Thanks Valentina1209 for sharing the book.
Edited 03Aug05: I enjoyed this Sparks book, as I thought that I would. It was a refreshing, light, summer read. As a previous post, I didn't find the explaination of the lights very interesting. I did predict the ending. It was a little too obvious, but I liked the ending anyway.
Journal Entry 12
in the mail in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, August 05, 2005
Released 13 yrs ago (8/6/2005 UTC) at in the mail in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
This book is on its way to ksreader. USPS tracking # 9102010521297519467265.
Received the book and will be reading it on my lunch hour this week before sending it off to Mamikaem in MO.
8/18/05 This took me longer to get through than I expected. Without the normal intensity between Sparks' characters, I didn't feel the "must-read need" I normally do. The story is alright, but not what we've all come to expect from such a great author. I do appreciate the chance to get to read it though, thanks valentina! --Book is off to next reader!
Received this in today's mail. I'm going to rush through the book ring I have in front of it so I can be sure to get through this in my alloted time. Thanks to all before me who sent this along!
UPDATE: 08/28/2005 - began this today.
Like the others before me, I was a little disappointed in this novel. Although I enjoyed the characters, I had to roll my eyes at this "great love" that was found after knowing each other less than a week. Pul-eeze! (Can you tell I'm not the mushy type?!) Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this even though it just didn't capture me like Sparks' other novels. I just recently found out that Sparks' next novel is a sequel to this one, so I'll be looking forward to that.
Mailing to hennismm on 09/06/2005.
Will finish this weekend. PM'ing the next person in line. Sorry I had this book so long.
I had a hard time with the first 100 pages of this book. Once I got past that point, I could not put it down. I think the beginning was too descriptive but the details were needed to complete the story.
On its way to RaineeRose in the morning.
Received today. This will be my next read. Thanks!
It took me a little longer than usual to read this Spark book; normally, I devour them. I, like hennismm, found the first hundred or so pages a little slow, but after getting through them, I found myself reading a lot faster. Truthfully, it probably wasn't the book at all but the fact that I just started a new job and had little free time to read.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I'm always interested in (and skeptical of) people like Sylvia Browne, so the subject matter in this book was great for me! Sparks' books are great, but the endings are usually predictable, and that was certainly the case for this one. I enjoyed the ending, though -- even though I knew it was coming!
Thanks, valentina1209, for starting this ring. I'll send this on to Sherria ASAP.
Journal Entry 20
sent via media mail at Rochester, NY post office in Mailed to another BC member, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Monday, November 07, 2005
Released 13 yrs ago (11/7/2005 UTC) at sent via media mail at Rochester, NY post office in Mailed to another BC member, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sending to Sherria. Enjoy!
Arrived yesterday, safe and sound. I'll start it as soon as I finish my current book. Thanks for sharing!
This was my first Sparks novel, and I have to say that I was disappointed. I've heard so much about this author's compelling novels, but all I found was a predictable romance. The plot was extremely predictable; the characters were quaint, but nothing special.
Ultimately, it was too much "romance" for my tastes. I had expected much more story about the investigation of the ghosts and how the "mystery" of them was solved. There was almost none of this, and the author never got around to *really* explaining what caused them in anything more than the most vague terms.
I may give Sparks another chance, as other journal entries seem to indicate that this isn't his best work. Still, I was glad to have the opportunity to read it. Thanks for sharing valentina1209! I'll drop this in the mail for faramir10 tomorrow (11/22/05).
Recived in the mail today. Thanks Sherria.
Enjoyed the book, but have to agree with everybody else about the main characters. To me, it seemed like all they did was go back and forth with each other. I thought Doris and Rachel were the warmest people in the book.
I also would have liked to see more explanation about the lights.
I mailed this to tiatia this morning.
Received in the mail on Thursday late. Oh how that pesky work gets in the way of fun stuff.
Plan to start this weekend if the Christmas last minute stuff doesn't derail me. With no tree up yet, that may be an optimistic timetable. Will journal when I finish. Happy holidays to all and especially Valentina1209 who started this ring.
Once I made time to read this, it zipped along. Certain parts of the ending were predictable, although I thought some parts would happen sooner. While better written than a Harlequin romance I thought that Sparks did not have enough character or plot development to place this book far above that genre.
To be popped into the mail to brendalc57.
Just received it in this evenings mail and will start it tomorrow. Will journal once it is read. Thanks tiatia for sending it to me.
Jeremy Marsh a writer for a Science Magazine is contacted by a psychic woman from Boone Creek, a small town in N. Carolina, to come and investigate a local mystery. The mystery is that on foggy nights there appear in the old Cedar Creek Cemetery some lights or ghosts...they can't quite figure out what they are.
The story places Jeremy in this small town investigating what this lights really are and how he comes to solve the mystery. But not without first getting into a very interesting relationship with a very mysterious young woman in this town.
The story is good I enjoyed reading the book. In Sparks manner of writing he pulls one into his book and keeps you there and of course the ending just is really something else as you think one thing is going to happen at one moment and you turn the page and he zaps you with something else, so all in all it was a pretty good read.
Just waiting to hear from kimsbooks03 and will send it off to her. Thanks valentina for the opportunity to read this book.
Arrived today. I just finished a book so I will start this one tomorrow.
I have to say that I agree with some of the previous readers, this book just didn't seem to live up to the expectations I had for it. When I dive into a Nicholas Sparks book I can't wait to meet the two main characters, with Jeremy and Lex I felt their story was rushed. In my opinion they didn't really spend much time together, so I don't see how was possible for them to fall for each other.
Valentina1209 thank you for inclduing me in this ring.
Journal Entry 31
Montrose, PA Post Office in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Released 12 yrs ago (4/5/2006 UTC) at Montrose, PA Post Office in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I sent this out last week via air mail.
My computer is down at home and this is the first chance I've had to make release notes.
This arrived today!!! Will read and journal again soon.
I have to agree with the previous journallers.
What Nicholas Sparks does best is create empathy between the reader and the characters, he makes us see ourselves in his characters and thats what makes his writing so poignant and so touching.
In this novel, he seems to be on too many tangents - a fake haunting, a young woman with a sad past, a psychic grandmother with common sense, an opportunistic mayor, a stereotypical red neck Deputy - and none of it seems to come together for a cohesive, interesting story.
I'll be putting this in the mail for kayjay33 on Monday.
Canada Post Tracking # 7210 7250 0039 1951
This very large book arrived in my mailbox today. I will try to read it quickly and send it on its way but it could take a couple of weeks. Thank you Valentina1209 for including me in the bookray, and thank you Cestmoi for sending it to me so promptly , as well as surprise book from my wish list.
In spite of what others have said, I still enjoyed this book very much.I agree that it isn't one of Sparks best books, it never once made me choke up with emotion as so many of his stories do, but it was a good light read. Some of the secondary characters were just that , real characters and added much to the pleasure of the story. I will be sending the book on to the next person in line soon.I'm just waiting for the address.
The book is on its way to Morgail in Kentucky. I sent it this morning by Canada Post.
Arrived today! Will start reading tonight.
I enjoyed this book. It was a good love story & I liked the characters. I, too, was surprised at the lack of tragedy, but I found the happy ending to be a good one.
Mailing to thegoaliegirl in Washington today.
Just received this book and can't wait to read it. Have a couple of other books ahead of it... but am hoping to get to it really soon.
I really enjoyed this book. While it was lacking some of the tragedy that can be there in some of his books, I really liked this book. It was different enough from anything that I've ever read and found it a fun fast read. I really do like his books, the more I read, the more I want to read by him!
Mailed to momx3lovesbooks yesterday.
kayjay33 would like to invite any interested participants of this bookray to join her bookring for At First Sight, the sequel to True Believer. PM her for details.
Caught today and Im looking forward to another Sparks book! I just finished my CR so will start this one now.
07/09-Like others have said, I didn't have the huge emotional attachment regarding the characters in this book has I have with other Sparks books, but I did enjoy it. Im looking forward to reading the sequel.
Will be in the mail mid week.
mailed to kennie2775 via surface mail. Custom Claims #LC881730684US
Journal Entry 45
from not specified, not specified not specified on Tuesday, July 25, 2006
book arrived today. can't wait to read it! thanks.
August 8,2006- just finished reading this book and have sent it on to missprisy. hope she enjoys this book as much as i did. thanks for including me in this bookray. kendra stach
Received, can't wait to start it...I have one ring in front of this one. Once I finish it, I'll start this.
I really enjoyed this book. Mailing to collectorkerri today. Thanks for letting me be a part of this bookray.
I have a few other rings before this one, but I'm a fast reader, so I'll be as quick as I can.
Only a few more journalers are needed and this book will make the Bookcrossing Top 100 Books Most Traveled. Thanks for sharing to so many valentina1209.
Not one of Nicholas Sparks' better books, as previous journalers have said. I didn't quite buy the "great love" of Jeremy and Lexie, as it didn't seem authentic. And the explanation for the lights was kind of lame.
Sent on to hobbit today.
This book arrived in today's mail and I'm very much looking forward to reading it, as I have enjoyed the other books I've read by Nicholas Sparks. Thanks for sharing!
This was waiting for me on my chair when I got home from class last night. And I'm off work today!
Sorry for the delay. Our rep came and shared a compound infection (sinus, bronchitis, etc) with us, during one of our busiest seasons. Yay.
Finally thinking Spring may come after all... and finally made it to the post office this evening.
On it's way to Nancyluvsbooks
Received this book yesterday. The only book I've read by this author was The Notebook, and I loved that book. I read romances once in a great while, but they're not my favorite, and the synopsis of this book looks like a basic romance (reminiscent of Nora Roberts). I'm trying not to pre-judge the book before I even start it, but, being a fan of the paranormal, this book already looks like it reverts away from the plot that would be interesting to me, i.e., the investigation into whether or not the light phenomena in the cemetary are real, and detours to a romance. However, Nora Roberts wrote a ghost story romance that I liked, entitled Black Rose, and so I may like this one, too, even if it doesn't have the emotional power of The Notebook. I just hope that the paranormal flavor of the story doesn't get totally abandoned by the romance plot.
This book wasn't my cup of tea. I was very bored by the entire story. I never felt any emotions for the main characters; in fact there was very poor character development throughout. The paranormal factor started out being a little intriguing, but then became just as lame as the romance. My guess is that if Nicholas Sparks hadn't already been famous, he would have received a rejection slip from the publisher on this one.
Thank you for including me in this book ray, Valenina 1209.
Mailed to clawdette today.
received today, will journal when read
I am FINALLY releasing to sleepymom..sorry for the delay...life got in the way.
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did other Nicholas Sparks books but still a good read.
received today. Will read ASAP. I am in the middle of another book right now though. This will be next.
I finally finished this book. I am sorry it took so long, life and family and HP got in the way of making it a quick read. I agree with the others. This was not a great Sparks book. I normally LOVE his books.
Dabercro asked to be skipped so am sending this to Aramena on Monday.
I just checked Saturday''s mail here at the office and this book was waiting for me! Since my current read is pretty massive and a totally different type of book (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon), I plan to go ahead and start this one soon and it will be probably be my at work book.
There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said! I enjoy Sparks' books, though I don't think of him as a great writer, just a great storyteller (not that I could do any better, mind you!). I never connected with the main characters in this one, and didn't really believe in their great love either, though I did believe it a little more on Jeremy's side than on Lexie's, if that makes any sense! I didn't really feel that any of the characters was very fleshed out. The ending was very pat and predictable. Frankly, I would have preferred that the mystery of the lights not be solved!
Regardless, as I reached the end of the book, I was caught up in it, and it was still an enjoyable read. After seeing the JE up above about the ring for the sequel, I clicked on the link, only to discover that it has apparently stalled.
Starbrightxx already has a copy of the book, so I PMd andreadawn86 yesterday, and as soon as I have her address this well-traveled book will be on it's way again!
Update 9/14/07: andreadawn86 said to skip her, so no one left! Notifed valentina1209, and she posted in forum to see if anyone else interested.
After some apparent PM delays, I have top-tappser's address and the book is being mailed today!
Rec'd today via the postman. Will begin it as soon as I finish the ray in front of it.
Sparks writes beautifully. I will continue to read all he has to offer. It is true that these characters did not seem to be as well developed and likeable as those I have read about in the past. But, the book still held my attention and I finally did relate to them some in the last couple of chapters. Maybe this is developing the characters for the next book (At First Sight) which I have on my shelf and was waiting to read until I could get this one. I noticed somebody earlier in these journal entries offered it as a ring/ray, but it is stalled. I am willing to give up my copy to replace it if you would like. Just drop me a pm. When I finish with it is yours, if you want it. I have the address of the next reader of this book and will get it in the mail this week. Thanks for the opportunity to read it.
Mailed to Sissyrun today.
Arrived safely in today's mail. Currently reading another bookray. Should start this one soon!
Just finished and I kinda feel ho-hum about it. I've read a couple of other NS books and they were better. The beginning reminded me of watching John Edward's Crossing Over with my sister. You want to believe, but you know there's a trick to it. The ending was predictable. I think I like Doris the best.
PMing caridad for her address.
Journal Entry 68
N/A in Mailed via media mail, A Trade -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Released 11 yrs ago (12/5/2007 UTC) at N/A in Mailed via media mail, A Trade -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Mailed today to Caridad.
Wow! The cover photo is the same one I used on some of my Christmas cards this year from thegreatergood.com. Will put in the soon TBR pile.
I was disappointed because this one was so predictible and didn't have as much of the omph as other Sparks books I have read. Thanks for sharing, Valentina1209.
PMed dnsvm for mailing address.
Just received this and will start soon. Wow! This book is well-traveled. I'm a little leery after reading some of the journal entries, but I found the sequel at a garage sale and thought I should try one out first.
Pm'ing ckcpurple today for address too!
I finished this book this week and actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It wasn't a show-stopper of a read, but it held my attention enough. This summer I plan to read the sequel and see how everything with Jeremy Marsh turned out.
Sending off soon!
Received! Sorry it's taken me so long to log that the book made it's way safely to me. Really busy and just came up for air. Plan to read during my vacation in mid-May. Will send to next as soon as I'm done. Will p'm Dawnini.
Thanks for including me in the bookray!
Just received another copy of this book with the sequel so I am PM-ing NMReader so it can keep moving.
BTW - skipping Dawnini because already read them per acountkel's bookring and no response to previous PM
LOVED IT!!!! I thought it was fantastic. Vintage Sparks. That's why I read him. Love reading romance from a male mind. Sending to NMReader.
It has arrived. Thank you.
I loved this book. I am going to send as a RABCK to cafekat
Journal Entry 80
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA on Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Released 10 yrs ago (8/5/2008 UTC) at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Mailing to cafekat - for RABCK contest
Confirmation delivery # is 0308 0070 0000 7605 9306
Wow!! I am soooo excited to receive a book that is so well traveled.