Why we keep coming back to the over-the-top romantic stylings of Nicholas Sparks' oeuvre.
OK. We know. Nicholas Sparks can be corny. Our moms like him and, no, he's no Dostoevsky. But hear us out. With four of his books already adapted into film, and two more slated for 2010—including the forthcoming Dear John (the YourTango partner that inspired us to write this post)—perhaps its worth considering that Sparks knows something about love and life that we don't. In ascending order, here are the top 10 reasons we can't get enough of Nicholas Sparks.
10. He doesn't mind when we cry. In fact, he encourages it, gifting us with weep-tastic storylines rife with youthful romance, unfortunate death, star-crossed (or long-term, or tragedy-ridden) lovers, reconnection against all odds and outsized emotions.
9. He's warm and fuzzy. Light some candles. Set the mood. On second thought, don't even bother. When you're reading Nicholas Sparks, there's no reason to set the scene, because Sparks has already done it for you. His words have the ability to make even the most cheesy love scenes come alive, which may explain why so many of them have been brought to visual life onscreen. Erotic Literature: Our 5 Favorites
8. His fiction is based in reality…or at least his reality. While the plots of his novels make us bemoan the fact that such romance does not—or cannot—actually exist, Sparks doggedly continues to be a fictional character come alive. A believer in old-fashioned romantic gestures, he regularly writes his wife, Cathy, love letters, or surprises her with romantic getaways. Sparks gushes that Cathy is the love of his life and, in an interview with Sydney, Australia’s Sun Herald, said, "The moment I met my wife I knew I would marry her." 4 Things You Didn't Know About Romance Novelists
7. He has given his loved ones the gift of immortality. Remember Jamie, the young cancer victim in A Walk To Remember, whose dreams of love and marriage come true not long before she dies? The character was reportedly inspired by Danielle Sparks Lewis, the author's younger sister, who met a man who wanted to marry her despite her own terminal illness. Sparks' other novels are similarly peppered with people from his life, and we love that he continues to honor them in his writing.
6. He's a giver. In case you weren't aware, Sparks is well known for his generosity. He donated $1.5 million to the creative writing department of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, and donated almost $900,000 towards a track for the local high school in the North Carolina town where he and his family live.
5. He's a smarty-pants. You wouldn't know it from his purple prose, but Sparks has got brains to match his oversized heart. He graduated from Bella Vista High School in 1984 as the valedictorian of his class, and went on to major in business finance at the University of Notre Dame. He graduated from there in 1988, with top honors.
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