Just in time for Valentine's week, I finally finished my first book for this year. I've mentioned previously that I was struggling to start my Reading Challenge last month. And after so many nights of plodding through 400+ pages, I'm done with Nicholas Sparks' latest novel.
Here's my review (plus my Valentines gift to you)
The Longest Ride is about two love stories. First is the story of Ira and Ruth Levinson, a couple whose story spans from the second world war till the present day, where Ira finds himself trapped inside his car following an unfortunate accident. He struggles to survive through speaking with his departed wife and reminiscing about their marriage. The other love story is about college senior Sophia and cowboy Luke. As opposed to Ira and Ruth's enduring story, theirs is just beginning. In an interesting twist of fate, their lives intertwine and change forever.
My thoughts: Nicholas Sparks has become one of those authors whose books "you have to read", just because of the name. The work is not necessarily extraordinarily good (like "The Notebook"), but you just have to read it, because you know, everyone else is reading it. This particular book follows his usual formula: long drawn out conversations, slow paced story flow, and then an unexpected twist towards the end that, hopefully, will send you bawling and wishing your husband/boyfriend/significant other loved you in that same intense way. I have to say, Sparks' is losing his "spark"(pun intended). I noticed this when I read the "True Believer" and "At First Sight" duology. All downhill from there, I think.
One part of the story that was interesting for me is how Ira and Ruth amassed a valuable collection of art during their marriage. I checked for Sparks inspiration for this, and he only mentioned something abotu Black More College. But I recalled this New York Times article about the Vogel couple, and the similarity to that storyline in the book is interesting. Guys, if your partner suddenly asks you to start buying paintings, you'll know she's read the book.
Since a lot of Sparks' novels end up being made into movies anyway (and yes, this book is being made into one), I'd suggest you skip this and just wait to go to the cinema. Most of the movie adaptations for Sparks' books almost always follow the novel, you probably won't miss anything if you skip this book altogether.
I can say all sorts of negative things about Sparks' work, but I can't deny that the movie versions of his male characters don't miss the mark. So ladies, as a consolation for my bad review, here's a recap of the leading men in Spark's wonderful world of romance. You're welcome and Happy Valentines Day!
Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) -- swoon!!
So ladies, who's your pick for the best leading man from Spark's movie catalog? Tell me in the comments section!
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