3.5 out of 5 stars.
Nights in Rodanthe is the first Nicholas Sparks book that I've had the pleasure of reading, and it certainly won't be the last.
At first, I was a bit skeptical. The beginning of the story doesn't have that initial, great pull that I'm used to in novels. There was a lot of telling and very little showing. Emotions and incidents that I wanted to be explained and drawn out were only briefly glossed over. There was a bit of confusion between what was happening in the past and what was happening in the present, as there would be short flashbacks that appeared with very little warning. When the POV character changed (because it switches back and forth between the female MC, Adrienne, and the male MC, Paul), I found some of the final lines to be, well, quite cheesy. Less than five pages in, I was sure the book would be a flop.
Nevertheless, towards the end of the first chapter, something happened, and I felt myself reaching out to one of the main characters. Even with all of the (well, what I thought was ) wrong above, I was touched by the humanity of the leading female, Adrienne.
It was then that I realized I wasn't reading the way I should be. Nights in Rodanthe is less like what I'm accustomed to with reading and more like what I'd expect when listening--when being told a beautiful, torturous love story. Yes, sometimes things are glossed over, and sometimes the endings of heartfel moments are cheesy, but so is life and so is love. People don't normally function as though there is going to be a story written about them. Because of this, every part of the story was important and interesting and suspenseful. When added to the way the points of views switch at just the right moments and the character's unique relationship and honest dialog, I found Nights in Rodanthe to be 3.5 star book.
If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it.
<3 Gina Blechman