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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy, sad story about life, love and loss
Written in that special way that only Nicholas Sparks can, At First Sight is a must read. If you and your love are contemplating marriage, you can learn a lot from this book. I especially liked Jeremy's father's advice to him and Doris's advice to her granddaughter, Lexie. To get the full effect of this story, I recommend that you read True Believer by Sparks. It is the...
Published on November 5, 2005 by Carolyn Rowe Hill

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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A tortured journey...for the reader
*Note: This review contains storyline spoilers.

Nicholas Sparks is one of the few contemporary writers I follow. That said, I'm thinking of cutting my ties after reading this book. I am all for sad endings, but they are not always appropriate simply in the name of the "Kleenex" factor, or in the hopes of pumping out yet another Hollywood tearjerker. I felt as...
Published on June 30, 2006 by M. L. Dias


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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy, sad story about life, love and loss, November 5, 2005
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
Written in that special way that only Nicholas Sparks can, At First Sight is a must read. If you and your love are contemplating marriage, you can learn a lot from this book. I especially liked Jeremy's father's advice to him and Doris's advice to her granddaughter, Lexie. To get the full effect of this story, I recommend that you read True Believer by Sparks. It is the precursor to this book and by reading it you will better understand what happens in the continuing love story between big city (New York) boy, Jeremy Marsh, and small town (Boone Creek, North Carolina) girl, Lexie Darnell. I learned to like Lexie much better in AFS. When she listens to her grandmother, she grows.

Nicholas Sparks's writing seems to come so naturally. His dialog is believable and well thought out. The scenes he describes come to life and he can make the reader laugh, sigh or cry as appropriate to the moment about which he's writing. I don't want to give away any of this story other than to say it's about the struggle to adjust to one another when a couple that knows each other only a short time decides to marry. They have so much to learn about one another (which is why it is generally believed that couples know each other a couple of years before taking that long walk down the aisle). There is love, devoted friendship, anger, jealousy, betrayal, and deep sadness in this story. When I finished it, I just sat for a time and reflected on all it meant: its beauty; the ah-hahs I felt when I read sequences that I could identify with personally...the ones that made me laugh or sigh, and those that brought tears to my eyes.

If you're thinking about a gift for the holidays, I'd recommend giving True Believer and At First Sight as a package to a good friend who enjoys stories of life, love and romance (by the way, the title for this book is most fitting).

Carolyn Rowe Hill
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A tortured journey...for the reader, June 30, 2006
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
*Note: This review contains storyline spoilers.

Nicholas Sparks is one of the few contemporary writers I follow. That said, I'm thinking of cutting my ties after reading this book. I am all for sad endings, but they are not always appropriate simply in the name of the "Kleenex" factor, or in the hopes of pumping out yet another Hollywood tearjerker. I felt as if the entire 600-page saga was a total waste of time after finishing At First Sight--we suffered with Jeremy and Lexie through an endless onslaught of arguing, getting to know one another AFTER the ring was on her finger, and all sorts of lies/omissions of truth sprinkled throughout. And for what? A maudlin, contrived scene in the last three pages of the book? In hindsight, the ending was also a bit too predictable, seeing as how the introduction of the book pretty much gave it away.

My other problem with this book was Lexie herself. Perhaps it was a manipulation on Sparks' part, writing the second novel almost entirely from Jeremy's point of view (except for one scene between Lexie and her grandmother, Doris), but I often found myself downright annoyed with her. She lied to Jeremy twice and didn't tell him about her past even after Jeremy had opened up and told her about his fertility problem in True Believer. I felt such disparity in their relationship--Jeremy was expected to give himself completely to her, while she kept secrets and nagged at him incessantly. What person wouldn't break under such constant pressure after turning his life upside down for another person (who never had to make any sacrifices to be with him)? Sparks didn't redeem her until the last arc of the story (the latter half of her pregnancy), which dragged on far too long and seemed to be nothing more than filler. Moreover, some of the bedtime scenes during their early marriage, during which she would run hot and cold on him and expect him to be fluent in her convoluted body language, did nothing to help her already-damaged character. I didn't find any of her nagging to be charming (in one scene, she nags him when he wants to order a porterhouse steak at a restaurant, so he orders the figure-friendly tuna instead--at which point, she says mournfully, "Oh, I was hoping you would order the steak so that I could try a bite.")--in fact, it was woefully childish. Sparks presented a very simplistic, hackneyed view of marriage and the communication divide between men and women--it almost makes you wonder how the same writer produced such rich, complex couples as Noah/Allie and Garret/Theresa.

Jeremy's rift with Alvin was another glaring weakness in this story. It came out of nowhere, and Sparks simply dropped it a few pages later. The narrative presented a very one-sided view of what Alvin did, which, while manipulative, was an expression of concern for his friend. The truth was, Lexie did lie to him, and Alvin erred only in the way he chose to help Jeremy. The book ends without ever reexploring their lost friendship, which I don't "buy," since he was Jeremy's confidant in both books.

Honestly, I feel as if Sparks tried twice to pull off a Shreve-ian twist at the end here (first with the Alvin storyline, and then at the end of the book), and failed in the execution. Sometimes, bittersweet doesn't work. In the case of a two-volume, 600-page saga with limited character development and loose plot ends, it definitely didn't work for me. In the end, Sparks tried to dress up the Jeremy/Lexie relationship with the trappings of the supernatural to compensate for the lack of actual chemistry between them--but their relationship didn't stand out to me at all. The only thing ghastly about their love story was how long it dragged out and how little payoff there was for the reader in the end.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love/Hate, June 27, 2007
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This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
As in True Believer, for me the these two just did not jell for me. How does one love in one week, when they spent so little time together? I could not get this story line. I hated the ending. Too tragic. I just have to admit that after reading most of Nicholas Sparks books, I keep hoping he will give us that happy ever after that we sometimes need to believe in. He does admit to writing tragic books and I guess after reading all but two of them, you'd think I would have gotten that already! In A Bend in the Road, the characters do get together and I'm sure somewhere down the road there will be a sequal and one will die! I guess when the end of True Believer ended so abruptly and nobody died, the sequel just had to have tragedy. But I think True Believer and At First Sight could have been one book. Then True Believer would have ended just like all the others!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Malevolence Wins the Day, January 8, 2006
By 
Edwin A. Locke (Westlake Village, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
Unlike The Notebook, which is a beautiful love story, this story gets you hooked by pretending it shares the same benevolent, happy sense of life as that book--and then bashes you in the face with a tragic and totally arbitrary ending. I have never been so disappointed or felt so betrayed. Unless you enjoy tragedy, I recommend skipping this book entirely. If the author has now turned malevolent, check out any further books by Sparks before you buy them.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible book, February 23, 2006
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
At First Sight tells the story of divorced writer Jeremy Marsh and his marriage to smalltown librarian Lexie Darnell. It follows the couple from Jeremy's move from New York City to tiny, southern Boone Creek, North Carolina. It follows their wedding plans, their house purchase, her pregnancy.

And if that isn't enough, it throws in some paranormal events, a nosy old small-time mayor and a tear-jerking ending that feels manipulative and unoriginal.

There is room on my bookshelves for simple, sweet books. But the writing has to be honest, and it has to soar, for the simplicity to work. The writing in At First Sight seemed strained. Conversations between Lexie and Jeremy made them both seem unlikeable at best and cliched at worst.

When I see such rave reviews, and realize that Sparks is a bestselling writer, I think too many readers are selling themselves short.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read 'True Believer' first if you want to know what's going on., July 3, 2007
By 
maya j (Quail Crossing) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At First Sight (Paperback)
I didn't realize that 'At First Sight' was essentially a sequel to True Believer. Right from the beginning, it rang hollow with me and the characters didn't seem very well fleshed out. I frankly had a hard time accepting why this great guy from New York would give up his fabulous life for a woman like Lexie. She was irritating, high maintenance, childish, bratty, selfish- and the list goes on. I just couldn't envision their relationship, and from the plot line, evidently, his friends had a hard time with it too. At any rate, this irritating scenario transpired over many pages, and I kept thinking- "Is there going to be some sort of SOMETHING happening?" because it was really needing it. Needless to say, Nicholas Sparks has an easy-going writing style, and his stories always end up with a cloyingly sweet finish, so getting through the book wasn't a problem- understanding the characters was. It seems as though he was trying to evolve a plot line that just wasn't there. It now, however, makes sense to me that I did not understand the dynamics of the characters or why he loved the woman in this story so much, because I had not read the first book, 'True Believer.' Now that it's too late to go back, I would definitely recommend that a person read that book first, and then maybe 'At First Sight' would hold more credibility and understanding. It started out not making sense, and it ended that way for me. It wasn't the worst book in the world, but I didn't love it either.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Sparks at his best, August 27, 2006
This review is from: At First Sight (Paperback)
Wow...i made a point 3 years ago,when i first picked up a Nicholas Sparks novel (A Walk To Remember)that i was going to read all his other works as well. The last one i got to read was At First Sight and boy was I glad that this was the order i had chosen because that was an ending to what i have viewed as a magnificent journey in love, loss and life. Nicholas Sparks has never disappointed me when it comes to his style of writing and even though i have predicted some of his endings before (not that it took the thrill away from the novel) this one completely threw me and my tear ducts for a loop. This completely epitomized how love should be and as i read Lexie and Jeremy's journey i too felt as though i was in love with them. If you are looking for a feel good book that touches the heart this is definitely for you. Sparks doesn't stray from his small-town formula but he definitely keeps you wanting more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Predictable and poorly written, February 14, 2006
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
The book is bad. In fact, after about 1/3 of it, I'm giving up. The internal dialogue is adolescent in its immaturity, and it is frustratingly repetitive. Where the story is going is obvious from the first chapter, and when I flipped ahead to see if it was as trite and predictable as I thought, indeed it was. Take a pass on this one. I recommend The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time--which also has a story that is without surprises, but is a very well-written book from the point of view of an autistic boy who offers amazing insights into "normal" behavior.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What happened to Nicholas Sparks?, August 28, 2006
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
Like True Believer, this book moved along quickly and superficially, without supporting details to add depth and interest. It didn't draw me into an emotional connection to the characters, and I didn't grow to care enough about them to be moved or saddened by what happened to them in the end. I am not convinced that Jeremy and Lexie were truly in love and belonged together. They seemed so wrong for each other, always fighting and unable to get along at all. He was unhappy and depressed throughout the story while she was uncompromising and not very likable. It made their relationship and everything else seem meaningless and pointless. I totally understand what compelled Alvin to go to the extremes he did to try and knock some sense into his friend because I found myself just as exasperated with Jeremy.

This book, and the one before it, doesn't live up to the high standard Nicholas Sparks set with his previous masterpieces, all of which moved me to tears and evoked very powerful feelings about characters that lived in my heart long after their story ended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sparks worst novel, February 15, 2006
This review is from: At First Sight (Hardcover)
Although I didn't love True Believer I liked it enough to want to read the continuation of Lexie and Jeremy in At First Sight. I read about two thirds through and then just skimmed the rest of the book because I lost all interest. I don't mind a sad ending (loved The Notebook and A Walk to Remember) but the plot line was so dragged out that I was completely bored. The details of the pregnancy did not make for good reading and were too drawn out. The ending couldn't come fast enough for me--definitely his worst novel and I have read them all.
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At First Sight
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks (Hardcover - October 18, 2005)
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