Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Source: Library
Pages: 398
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: September 17th 2013
Series: Standalone
Verdict: Buy

SummaryIra Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

Review: I'm ashamed to say that I am a Nicholas Sparks newbie. Why am I ashamed? Because I, book junkie, somehow haven't read one of this many, many books (and oh man, he's written a lot) until now. His work is renowned, many of his books have been turned into major motion pictures, and his storytelling abilities are constantly praised. And I'm a newbie. I am a silly, silly person. Let's just leave it at that, because now that I know what Nicholas Sparks is all about, there's no turning back. 

I've always thought that The Notebook would be the first Nicholas Sparks book and movie that I would read and watch respectively, but looks like I was wrong on both parts. No disappointment there though. I'm not sure which movie I watched first, The Last Song or A Walk to Remember, but both were great. Yet somehow, I still haven't watched (or read) The Notebook... Hm, I suppose I'll have to fix that movie and book situation soon.

Anyway, reading The Longest Ride was great, and I'm glad that this was my first glimpse at the world of Nicholas Sparks amazingness, because it's definitely left me wanting more. I've never read a book with more than two alternating POV's, so this was a nice surprise. It was so interesting reading a book that intertwined the three lives of three different people into one completely connected and whole story.

There's so much going on, but it's a good thing. It was really easy to follow, and I loved the authenticity. Ira was adorable, recounting his times with his departed Ruth with Ruth. Does that make sense? If you've read it, I'm guessing it does. And if you haven't, doesn't that little twist make you want to? As his health dwindles, the stories get cuter and cuter and I was transported. And I was just banging my head (internally, of course) because why wasn't anybody coming to save him? His side of the story was just so beautiful.

But then so are Sophia and Luke's stories. Gosh, this whole entire book was just so beautiful. As the love story of Ira and Ruth is revealed, the love story of Sophia and Luke is being lived. It's amazing how everything unravels. So many emotions will be brought on, and if I had just one word (other than beautiful) to describe this book, the individual stories, and Nicholas Sparks, it would have to be that everything is breathtaking. 

And the conclusion, oh, the conclusion. It brought on the feels, that's all I have to say. The way they connected at the end is both heartbreaking and life changing. I sort of saw the ending coming, but I never thought of how it would happen. Wowzers, I sure didn't see that coming, and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. I'm not kidding when I say that it's life changing, because it is literally life changing. If you read it, you'll see what I mean... Basically, read this book because it's awesome, wonderful, beautiful, amazing, and... quite frankly, I'm on a Nicholas Sparks newbie euphoric journey.

I think it's appropriate to say that I am officially a Nicholas Sparks fan. The only problem is, which one should I read next?!

Pure perfection


  1. You know, I have yet to read a Sparks book. I watched The Notebook and hated it (oops?), and never bothered to read (or watch) anything else. Not for me! But I'm glad that you enjoyed this book so much. I don't think Sparks is going to stop writing books anytime soon, so you're in luck ;D

    Fantastic review, Grace!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Haha, yes, I've heard many mixed things about The Notebook. Looks like I'll have to see what it's all about sometime soon! And yes, very good point; I can't wait to read more Sparks books!

      Thank you, Alyssa!

      -Grace :)