Book Review - The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 11 October 2011
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
My Copy: Library - hardback

In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew -- about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear -- was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?


Nicholas Sparks is one of those authors that everyone has read, or at least seen a movie based off one of his books. I usually love his books. They're good for when you want a sad love story. They offer a hard dose of reality or give you a chance to cry if you haven't in awhile (okay, maybe that last one is just me). Readers can pretty well pick up one of his books and know what they're getting into. The Best of Me was much the same. 

Amanda is a wife and mother who has some martial problems following a family tragedy. Dawson is your rough-around-the-edges man who works on an oil rig and spends his time alone. He never married or even dated after Amanda. He was from a bad family, and she was from a good one. Tuck was a lonely man who let Dawson live with him, gave him a job, and provided a place for Dawson and Amanda to hang out. In the beginning of the book Dawson and Amanda have just found out that Tuck passed away. While Dawson had kept in touch via letters, Amanda had visited Tuck many times over the years after the tragedy. Tuck left special instructions upon his death to reconnect Dawson and Amanda. They meet at his house after years apart, and here's where you can expect a somewhat typical Nicholas Sparks love story. 

The ending kind of ruined the book for me. Everyone expects a sad ending to most Nicholas Sparks novels, but this one felt way too contrived. He tried too hard to make it work and make all the connections. I did love the characters, especially Tuck even though he was written more as a plot device than a character. It wasn't one of his best novels, not even really one of his good novels, but it is still Nicholas Sparks at the core.

Rating Breakdown:
 Plot: 3 stars
Pacing: 4 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Ending: 2 stars
Recommend: Maybe, if you like Nicholas Sparks


Post a Comment

Thanks for any comments! I truly appreciate receiving them.

I reserve the right to remove any comments which I consider to be attacking another commenter's character or mine. I have no problem with debates and disagreements, but there is no reason to make personal attacks against another person for their views. I will also delete spam.