This review was first posted on Music, Books and TeaThe Rescue was one of the first Nicholas Sparks books that caught my attention a couple of years ago. At that point, I wasn't sold on the idea of reading a Nicholas Sparks book - it seemed like they all had sad endings, something that I wasn't particularly into at that time. Then I read A Walk to Remember last year, and found myself slowly becoming a fan of Sparks work. So I couldn't turn down the opportunity to read The Rescue, and it was definitely worth the read.I found the first 150 pages of this book to be completely absorbing. A lot of action takes place within those pages, as the car crash that is mentioned in the synopsis happens right at the beginning of the story. I did think that Kyle's disappearance would have lasted longer than it did, but at the same time, if it had gone on any longer, it would have dragged and held back the story. I found the outcome of the rescue a little unrealistic, but, as I'm not a fireman, and probably never will be, I'm not the best person to judge. What I did like about it was that it wasn't a rescue that required daredevil feats from all the fire crew. Instead, it took logic and a knowledge of the surrounding area, which is certainly something that Taylor had.As is typical with the Sparks books I have read, he created some wonderful characters that I couldn't help but fall in love with. Denise Holden was a strong woman, that was something I could tell from the first few chapters of this book. Her world revolves around her son, Kyle, who has learning difficulties. She barely makes ends meet, and she devotes everything she can to Kyle. Denise spends most of her day working with Kyle on his speech, and documents every single piece of progress he makes. Her evenings are spent at the diner, with Kyle sleeping in the back room while she works. Denise's life completely changed because of her son, yet she never once really blames him. Obviously, she gets frustrated with him, like any mother does with their child. And I felt Sparks really portrayed their relationship well. Denise didn't appear to be the kind of person into taking risks, so for her to be willing to let Taylor into both her and her son's lives was a huge step for her, and I imagine that there are several people in the world in her position. They may or may not have a disabled child, but a child will be in the centre of their universe, and they have to decide whether or not it's worth letting someone new into their lives. And on the flip-side, people like Taylor have to decide whether or not they're willing to take on that kind of role. Luckily for us, both Taylor and Denise take the risk, and it turned into a beautiful relationship.Taylor McAden was such a well-written character. There were so many hidden depths to him, and it took nearly the entire book to finally get the full picture of what his character was about. I love characters like that, and Taylor was no exception. If I believed that men like him existed in the real world, I'd definitely be packing my bags and heading to a small southern town! Unfortunately, I know better. (boo!) There were times where I wanted to pummel Taylor for being so damn frustrating and not opening up to Denise, especially as she gave him basically all of herself, yet he gave so little in return. What I did love the most about Taylor was how he interacted with Kyle. He knew that he had difficulties, yet he took the time to play catch with him for about an hour when he could have been doing other things. I loved Taylor and Kyle's relationship, which made me very, very frustrated with Taylor when he disappoints Kyle terribly.The ending, as typical with any book by Nicholas Sparks did make me cry, although not at the part I was expecting it to. Whilst a lot of Sparks' work is predictable, every so often he adds in a little plot point that takes me by surprise, and it was this point that made me tear-up. It was such a sweet moment, and it really encapsulated the journey that all these characters had taken throughout the course of the book.The Rescue is a book that I'd recommend to most people, even if you're not a fan of Nicholas Sparks. It's a tear-jerker, and yes, some of it is predictable, but that doesn't take away from the book. For me, this book has some of the best written characters that Sparks has created (in comparison to the others that I've read), and it was these characters that made me enjoy the book as much as I did.