Title: The Best of Me
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Romance, Women’s Lit, Contemporary
Published by/on: Grand Central Publishing/ 2011
Length (HC): 292 pages
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.
Rate: 3.5 of 5
You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.
I didn’t anticipate the lengthy amount of time that I would be reading this! It took me five weeks, five weeks, people! This is the second book I’ve read by Nicholas Sparks, and though I love most of the plot of his books (those that I’ve read and watched, I mean), this one in particular leaves me this particular sense that I’m missing something–as if there was a part in the book that I skipped; I’m not particularly sure if that’s the intent of the author. I just am not so fond of the ending of The Best of Me, perhaps.
I’ll say it straight-up…I was crying for like the last third of the book. I’m not even ashamed. It’s just something you anticipate when you pick up a Nicholas Sparks book, you know? It’s like you’ve already signed up for it. But that doesn’t stop me from stopping every few pages and just stare at our living room with many questions (e.g. Nicholas, why would you do this to my heart? Nicholas, what did I do to you? Nicholas, JUST WHY.). I did enjoy this, though, don’t worry.
After I went on vacation at my Lola‘s (that’s ‘grandmother’ in Filipino), I had this weird drive to read every Nicholas Sparks there is in the universe. I really loved The Lucky One that much. Anyway, so much about that. So, I moved on to the next which is this one because my cousin said this is great. I LOVED THE GENERAL PLOT. Oh my, I really like these kinds of stories with first love/long lost loves and all that jazz. I really like it. Maybe that’s a second favorite after war/soldier romance stories. I was squealing with delight at our local bookstore (read: it was not a pretty picture :P). I was SO excited to gobble this one up, you can say.
The setting of this book is not really something special since it was set in the South–much like most books of Sparks’ are. But, for me, it added something to the general sequence of the story.
Meanwhile, the characters of this book makes me feel unusual. Because the character that I truly and genuinely loved and adored while reading it is Tuck. Who is
almost actually not there…weird, right? The two main characters (and really where the story revolves) are Amanda and Dawson. While I still felt for the two characters, I was moved with Tuck’s character. I don’t know how and why, but I just thought that his story was a little bit sad but also adorable.
Overall, I liked this book and I would–a hundred percent–still read more Sparks books. Because…hello? Nicholas Sparks.
P.S. I watched For Me and My Gal (starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland) because of this book. AND IT IS GOOD.
P.P.S. Is the movie version of this one good?
P.P.P.S. I forgot to tell you, I was ugly crying for a solid ten minutes on this book’s ending, hahahahahahahait’sokayi’mgoodhahahahahaha.
Lastly, I want to remark on some themes of the story. It’s the cheating. I understood the fact that Dawson and Amanda wre each other’s one, great love but I didn’t think that that was enough of a reason to cheat
…but then again, is there enough reason to cheat, ever? That’s another avenue of thought…let’s not get carried away. I had a hard time coping up with Amanda and Dawson getting together for the last time because the things stands true–it’s still cheating. And perhaps, it was one of the general aesthetic of the storyline or something that really happens in real life but I thought the act wasn’t justified enough. What do I know, really. That’s actually the main reason why I gave this a 3.5 instead of a 4. I loved Dawson and Amanda’s characters. I got them, like, I got their point of views. I tried really hard to understand where they were coming from. But I got a hard time sympathizing with them.
*Cover image and synopsis via Goodreads; Gifs via Giphy