Review: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Title: A Walk to Remember
Author: Nicholas Sparks
First Published: September 2000
Publisher: Warner Books
Source: Personal Copy | This book has been on my radar ever since I watched the movie
240 pages




In a nutshell
Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he'd fallen in love. Certainly the last person he though he'd fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town's Baptist minister... Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart --- and the joy and pain of living.

I might never have read this book if not for the movie, by the same name. I was enamored by the movie, enough to want to read the book. As happens almost all the time, there were really big differences between the book and the movie, and I can't say I am happy about that.

I think...
Landon Carter is a typical high school student, with scant interest in his academics. His father is a Congressman, whose family has a long history with Reverend Sullivan, Jamie's father. Jamie, on the other hand, is the personification of the ideal girl. Loved by all, including the adults, for her everything is about the Lord's plan. She manages to see God's hand in almost every event, no matter how much sadness may be caused. When Landon and Jamie are paired up in a drama, they inevitably find themselves seeing each other more often than they had ever in all they years the knew each other.

I couldn't appreciate Landon's and Jamie's relationship much. I think the movie brought it out better, but in the book, it just fell flat on me. Landon initially doesn't want anything to do with Jamie, and spends a lot of time letting the reader know what he doesn't like about her. When his turnaround came, I found it hard to buy. His change appeared to me an abrupt makeover. The author tries to show it as being gradual, but when you consider the time span, it really wasn't. As for Jamie, I'm sure there are good girls like her, but a perfect one like her was just a little too far-fetched a concept.

However, I was still able to enjoy the book. The length and the easy writing had a lot to do with that. A Walk to Remember is a breeze to read. I read it in one sitting. Landon proves to be a great narrator, as his wise-crack mind manages to see the humor in even the most absurd or dismal situations. I wouldn't really call this a romantic comedy, which it is not, but there is some well-placed humor that can entertain you. Although I shed quite some tears while watching the movie, I couldn't work myself up while reading this book. I guess that's because I already knew what's coming. Nicholas Sparks' books aren't famous for HEA endings.

The previous Nicholas Sparks novel that I had read was The Guardian. I wasn't too impressed by that one either. I somehow feel that I may be done with Nicholas Sparks, unless I get strongly inspired to try any more of his books.

What did you think?
Have you read this book? I'd like to know what you thought about it. Please leave your review link in the comments, or a brief opinion, if you hadn't reviewed it.

Did you like it or you didn't? If you didn't, at what point did the book turn you off.

Did you sign-up for the Glorious giveaway?

7 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I can't remember if I've read this one or not. I do enjoy Sparks' books from time to time, but they've all run together in my mind.

Emidy said...

I'm a bit hesitant to read a book by Nicholas Sparks. The movie version was okay, though! Thanks for a great review.

StephTheBookworm said...

I love Nicholas Sparks. I read this one when I was about 16 and I cried like a big baby. Have you tried The Notebook? That's his best book in my opinion.

Lisa said...

I haven't read this one but I've read two Sparks books and that was enough for me!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Thanks for your honesty :)

Erisian (FNORDinc.com) said...

sounds to me like you should just watch the movies.

i have enjoyed all the films made from Spark's books, but have heard similar comments from others and just stayed away from the books.

it is rare when the book is NOT better than the film, but it has to happen sometime

Aths said...

Kathy, I know I still have Sparks' more well-known books yet to read, so I may still try him, but not yet, just not yet.

Emidy, I am hesitant to read him too now.

Steph, I have Notebook on top of my Sparks' TBR, so if I do read him, that will be next. Thanks for recommending that!

Lisa, haha, I second that!

Juju, you are welcome!

Erisian, well said! I guess I will be just sticking to Nicholas Sparks' movies rather than his books.