Two By Two Book Review

Two by Two: Book Review by Dinh.
3 stars out of 5

Synopsis:

At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down.

In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

Synopsis from hardcover version, 485 pages, copyright October 2016, and published by Grand Central Publishing

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Two by Two Book
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Review:

If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan, be warned, you may be disappointed in his latest book Two by Two.Β 

Two by Two is the 3rd book I have read byΒ by Nicholas Sparks. Having read See Me last year, I sort of knew what to expect going in. Β And surprise surprise, I didn’t get any surprises! My expectations were not high, although I expected it to be well written, and it came in about where I expected.

I don’t know if I would have finished the book if I didn’t do it on audio book. I started reading the hardback book at first and then finished reading the book by audio. It was easy to listen to while I was doing other things and I am glad that did it that way.

Let’s take a closer look at the book to see what worked and what didn’t.

Plot

The story is about a divorce basically. A divorce that involves a family with a child.

It’s about Russell and how he finds himself getting divorce and didn’t see it coming. And it’s written from his point of view.

Although the story line is about Russell’s divorce, there is also a bit of romance. Russell’s old flame (who’s also divorce) will enter his life and a romance will be re-kindled.

I liked the plot because it highlights the emotional difficulties that divorce has. Also divorce is such a common occurrence these days, it’s good to get an insider look.

Writing

I can’t complain about Nicholas Sparks’ writing. The book was easy to read, though the topic of divorce and its consequences can be hard.

Sparks story telling ability is there but the book was not compelling.

The story did not evoke any emotions that you’d expect in a romance. There’s no lovey feeling all over or a good tear-jerker.

What I got was annoyance at Russell, and how one sided the story was. Russell was sappy and just blind about his whole life so he didn’t see problems or solutions right in his face.

Nicholas Sparks Two By Two

Characters

  • Russell

Russell is the main character and the story is told from his view point.

He’s a romantic and grew up doing all the cheesy things that he considers will make the other females fall for him. Some of these things worked well with his ex-girlfriend who liked that sort of thing. But his wife Vivian, she didn’t appreciate it after a while.

Although Russell is portrayed as a nice and smart guy, I didn’t warm to him. How did he not see the writing on the wall?

There are signs. People don’t just want a divorce overnight. It’s usually a slow process.

I found the side characters, like his sister and his father far more interesting.

Russell’s father is a remarkable man. I liked that he quit the Church when he found out that his daughter was gay. He choose her over the Church.

The side characters helped to build and hold the story together or it would have been a complete flop.

Ending

I am glad that the ending worked out as I expected. Russell is a nice guy and did the right thing at the end. It took him long enough to figure it out as well!

The other positive thing about the ending is that it left a positive note on how one can get over divorce and move on with one’s life. It was not all gloom and doom.

We all can have second chances.

Nicholas Sparks

My Final Thoughts

This contemporary romance novel was an okay read. I would say to check it out if you are a Nicholas Sparks fan. But don’t hold your breathe, I heard it’s not like his earlier works that he is well known for (like Notebook). I haven’t read any of his earlier works so I can’t compare, but Two by Two for me just barely made the okay mark.

Though the writing is good, the book is not compelling. People who have gone through a divorce may relate to this more and may enjoy it more than I did.

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17 thoughts on “Two By Two Book Review

  1. Regardless of how I feel about Sparks, I admit that I’m a sucker for happy endings. And, Sparks always delivers that happy, euphoric closure that I think attracts readers. I hope that next one is better an more compelling, Dinh.

    1. Hi Lonna.
      I think Sparks is a good writer but he just lost his spark (pun intended). It’s hard to keep writing good books year after year.

      I am not sure whether I will be checking out more of his books…So far it’s been okay and I am looking for super.

  2. This is a very honest Two By Two book review. I think that you have addressed all of the issues that I look for when going to read a book. I don’t want to waste my time reading an “Ok” book. It really has to be an enjoyable read. So, thank you for such an open review on the subject. I think I will let this one pass me by.

    1. Hello Simon!
      I agree with you. Plan on reading a book that is great not just okay. You’d want to continue reading so just read books that are fantastic.
      I got my love of books late in life because I was given brilliant books one after the other and just wallowed in the joy of reading.

      Do check out the other reviews to see if they may interest you.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Hello El!
      Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚
      I check out your review and left a comment and also followed you. πŸ™‚

      I am looking forward to getting to know you better and to read your posts!

      Dinh

  3. I don’t know what it is about Nicholas Sparks, but I just can’t seem to get excited about the idea of reading his novels… and even though he has some famous ones, I doubt I ever will read them. They just seem okay…

    1. Hi Olivia!
      I know what you mean about Sparks. I can’t seem to get excited about reading his books either. I figured I’ll give him a try and move on. His books are just okay and nothing to cry home about.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

  4. Would you consider Russell just your typical type of guy, oblivious to what’s going on around him … maybe that’s why his wife divorced him!?. Nice honest review!

    1. Hi Linda!
      I think the divorce is suppose to be typical- someone is oblivious to the signs of a marriage breaking down. Russell is also suppose to be your typical guy. He works hard for his family and doesn’t really think about anything else.
      I think that the marriage wasn’t meant to be in the first place. They both married for the wrong reasons and it showed when there was no communication when things take a turn.

      Thanks for popping by and sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Yvonne!
      I didn’t read Notebook but have seen the movie many times. I love the movie and do want to read the book some day….
      I would imagine that Notebook would be a much better read than Two by Two.
      Sparks has just gone through divorce and I think that might have affected how he writes.

      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club!

  5. The review is very much like reading the book itself. Excellent outline and beautifully built out review. I enjoyed reading this book review.

    Cheers,

    -Danyel

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