Happy Friday, my friends!
Can you believe it’s June? We were at the pool today which makes me realize it is totally summer now! And we are loving it.
Today I am here to review A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. This was the first time reading this novel for me. Although, I absolutely love the movie with Mandy Moore and Shane West. And I definitely cry every time I watch it. Ha!
I have read a few Nicholas Sparks novels in the past. But not for years. I’ve definitely read The Notebook, Dear John, and The Last Song. And I remember really liking them as a teenager. This book was just okay for me.
In fact, I’ve recently seen the movie. And that prompted me to read the book. So I know I’m judging the book by the movie (that seems backwards, right?)
- Again, it’s been years since I’ve read a Nicholas Sparks novel. So I can’t remember if I always found the tone to be a bit juvenile, and the writing a bit boring. But perhaps I’m outside the target audience now? I’m not sure.
- If you’re going to read Nicholas Sparks, you know there’s going to be two things: love and tragedy. For me, that means I need to be in the right mood for it all. I love a good love story. But too much sadness is hard to read.
- The writing is easy to read quickly as well so I finished this one in just over a day without shirking everything else in my life (which I sometimes do–haha). If you want a book for the beach, for vacation, or just for the afternoon, Nicholas Sparks’ novels are perfect.
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks follows the love story of Landon and Jamie, two people who never thought they’d be soulmates. Goodreads summarizes, “Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood…”
“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
A Walk to Remember
First, I want to say that I love this love story. It’s such a beautiful story! Landon is a typical teenager who wants to be well liked. Jamie cares what God thinks and shows kindness towards everyone. An unlikely twist of fate brings them together, and they fall in love. This is the best kind of love story. It’s a love that makes people into their best selves. It’s a love that makes them kind, forgiving, and patient. It’s a love that lasts a lifetime, even if it only lasts a moment. All the beautiful morals it celebrates are just lovely.
Second, I must admit that I like the movie better. I know, crazy! This is shocking to no one more than it is to me! I rarely like the movie better than the book. But I found myself picturing the characters as they are portrayed in the movie. And I think some of the scenes are more emotional, more romantic, and more complex in the movie. I prefer that. This is a simple book. The writing is simple. The story is simple. In fact, the writing, the story, the love were all pretty bland for me. it wasn’t exciting or riveting. I just didn’t feel the depth of emotion or reach for the tissues like I thought I would.
I did like how central God and faith are in this story. Jamie is a lovely example of someone living her beliefs. Her faith isn’t just something nice to think about, it is central to the way she lives her life and how she interacts with others. I enjoyed the scenes at the orphanage and how much she wanted to help give the kids a wonderful Christmas. I also enjoyed the Christmas play (better than the movie’s play plot) and the beautiful message there. The scripture read at the wedding is a favorite of mine as well and a beautiful reminder of how to strengthen love and make it last.
Overall, a nice story with a beautiful message. I just wanted more of everything–character development, emotions, plot, passion, and maturity.
What is your favorite Nicholas Sparks book?
Any movie over book lovers out there?