Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

It was a productive and yet relaxing 3 day weekend! And one thing I for sure wanted to check off my to-do list was to finish The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks.  I am a HUGE fan of NS and I've read every single one of his books, but this one just shyly missed the mark for me.  And a brief heads up, there's a bit of a spoiler in this review, but like most NS books it's fairly predictable anyway so does that REALLY count as a "spoiler"?

I love a good romance story mixed in with a bit of suspense, which is true of all of his novels, but this one also added the issue of infidelity.  And as much as I may love the characters and even feel for the situations they may be in - I just can't justify a situation where cheating on your spouse is an ok thing.  Isn't the goal of every writer is that their reader can identify with the characters?  Well this where I take it too personal and I just can't identify or go there in my head.  I too, like anyone else out there, have had a first love back in high school.  And a book like this takes you back to all those old feelings and memories.  And for me, those memories and feelings are best left in the past and not brought to the forefront of my mind where I'm left wondering, "what if?" 

The concept just didn't grab me and I'm bummed that this isn't one I'll be raving to all my friends about.  Marriage is too often cheapened in this day and age and one's own selfishness is too often the priority, leaving the families behind, broken and hurting.  I was disappointed in Amanda and some of the decisions she made. Life is hard and terrible things happen to good people, but it's not a free pass to do whatever you want.  I like this quote a friend of mine posted the other day, "We are not who we are because of what's been done to us. We are who we are because of how we choose to respond."

Bummer, hopefully better luck next fall.

Description: THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

Rating: ***

Recommend: I think I'm incapable of not recommending a Nicholas Sparks book, but this one would definitely come with a disclaimer. ;-)


Ceska said...

Sparks does it again. Always a wonderful story teller. Another one that i couldn't put down. The story of Amanda and Dawson is timeless; their love lasts a lifetime.

Jeff Rivera said...

Not all books are perfect, and Nicholas Sparks is no exception to that rule. I know that, I write love stories too. But I liked this book, it is very different than the rest of his love stories, mostly because of the tragedy that brought two people together.