Book Review: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Although Nicholas Sparks was the one responsible for transforming me from a Sweet Valley High reader to a mature bookworm, I took a very long break from reading his books. But when the news broke that he was coming to Manila, my best friend and I made sure to be there by hook or by crook. During his interview, he gave us a glimpse of what to expect in the book. That alone made more intrigued about the storyline. As soon as my husband got the book covered, I started reading and so the roller coaster of emotions began.

I had the same feeling when I met Nicholas Sparks and after reading The Best of Me. I was overwhelmed.

Dawson and Amanda were from two different ends of the world. They fell in love, the kind of love that broke all the rules, the kind of love that was meant to last forever. But because of some twists of fate, they broke apart not knowing that their unfinished businesses left their lives empty and lonely.

I loved how Sparks described their very young love - rebellious yet pure. Sparks made sure that he built all the other characters well enough since each of them played a very important part of how the story would end. While the conflict builds, I couldn’t help but feel the intensity of the characters’ emotions and the effects of the choices they’ve made along the way. I was having a hard time thinking how it would end. The ending, though not as realistic as I expected it to be, was somehow fitting. Having a quite controversial plot, it’s either you’ll love or hate this book.

You may find the use of a “ghost” irrelevant. But I realized that every person has a ghost. And unless we find the courage to face our haunting past, we cannot move forward and serve our purpose in life.

You may find the infidelity immoral. But I realized that all our actions and all our choices have consequences. All the opportunities that we missed will most likely never be offered to us again. And every chance of happiness that we let go will probably leave us wondering whether we’ll have the same chance again.

The Best of Me didn’t make me cry as much as I did with The Notebook. All the pages are still intact unlike my copy of A Walk to Remember which are almost torn out because of all the tears that it absorbed. But reading the book has left me choked up. It was as if I was battling with Amanda. It was as if I was trying to help her make the right choice. I felt the degree sadness brought by her regrets. But I was also grateful. I am thankful that I am living a life free from the “what if’s” of life.

If you’ve already read the book, I know that you’ll agree with me when I say that Chapter 15 is the most moving part of it.

“Being together isn’t about a honeymoon. It’s about the real you and me. I want to wake up with you beside me in the mornings, I want to spend my evenings looking at you across the dinner table. I want to share every mundane detail of my day with you and hear every detail of yours. I want to laugh with you and fall asleep with you in my arms. Because you aren’t just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can’t imagine giving that up again… You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.”
- Dawson Cole

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