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Book Review | The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

BOOK REVIEW | THE CHOICE

200709-the-choiceTITLE: The Choice

AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2007

GENRE: Romance, Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&NINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEABEBOOKS | BOOK DEPOSITORY | ALIBRIS

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life — boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? (Description found on Goodreads)

MY THOUGHTS

(Before reading, please be aware that this review may contain spoilers)

It had been a while since the first time I read The Choice and it was like I was reading it for the first time. I’m glad I re-read it before the movie comes out next year because it’ll make it easier to compare the two later.

The Choice contains all the great qualities of a Nicholas Sparks book; a man and a woman who fall in love, a plot twist that will leave your heart aching, and several tear jerking moments that will force you to purchase a new box of tissues.

The book is separated into two parts. Part One tells the story of how Travis and Gabby met. They met in a way that reminded me of the 1961 animated film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians. While they didn’t get tangled in the leashes of their beloved pets, it is their dogs Molly and Moby that cause them to cross paths, so somewhat similar.

Part Two travels eleven years into their future where they have a nice house, great careers, and a wonderful family together, but a terrible accident has caused Travis to question every decision he makes.

While I did enjoy reading how Travis and Gabby fell in love, Part Two is where I felt more emotionally invested. Travis has to battle with the thought of losing his wife, all while trying to be a father to his children who are also feeling like they’ve lost their mother. This is where many of the emotional ups and downs are in the book. You can tell from his interactions with Gabby, in the hospital, that Travis really adores her and may not be able to move on without her.

Overall, this is another thumbs up for me, but that’s no surprise when it comes to Nicholas Sparks. I can’t wait to see how the movie turns out. The trailers make it seem like the storyline is going to differ from the book, but I’m sure it will be a great change. Stay tuned for my Book vs Movie post next year.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Spending time with you showed me what I’ve been missing in my life.”

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that you two make me believe that true love really exists. And that even the darkest hours can’t take that away.”

OVERALL RATING

5-gold-star-rating

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

nicholas-sparksWith over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include 12 #1 New York Timesbestsellers. All his books have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than 50 languages. Ten Sparks novels have been adapted into major motion pictures, with The Choice coming in February 2016. (About the author found on Amazon.com)

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember(1999), The Rescue(2000), A Bend in the Road (2001),Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding(2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice(2007),The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010) and The Best of Me (2011), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His seventeenth novel, The Longest Ride, was published on September 17, 2013. (Found on NicholasSparks.com)

You can see his full bio here: Nicholas Spark Biography

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Top 5 Favorite Nicholas Sparks Books

You might have already figured out that my favorite author of all time is Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read every single one of his books (some more than once) and can’t get enough of the stories he creates. So, today I want to share my top five favorite Nicholas Sparks Books.

#1 THE LAST SONG

6400090Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him.

Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them. (Description from Goodreads)

#2 THE LONGEST RIDE

"The Longest Ride" by Nicholas SparksIra 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. (Description from Goodreads)

#3 THE NOTEBOOK

15931Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned form the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever. (Description from Goodreads)

#4 NIGHTS IN RODANTHE

15926From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes a tender story of hope and joy; of sacrifice and forgiveness — a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often comes when we least expect it. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman.

Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne’s perfect getaway will be ruined — until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort — and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives. (Description from Goodreads)

#5 THE CHOICE

200709-the-choiceTravis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life — boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door.

Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen.

Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? (Description from Goodreads)

What are you favorite Nicholas Sparks books?

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Upcoming Book Review | The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

UPCOMING BOOK REVIEW

200709-the-choiceTITLE: The Choice

AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2007

GENRE: Romance, Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&NINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLE | ABEBOOKS | BOOK DEPOSITORY | ALIBRIS

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life — boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? (Description found on Goodreads)

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WWW Wednesday | September 9

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It’s that time of the week again when I participate in WWW Wednesdays hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words. Feel free to leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments.

To participate in WWW Wednesday, you need to answer three questions.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

200709-the-choiceTITLE: The Choice

AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

PUBLICATION DATE: September 24, 2007

GENRE: Romance, Fiction, Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | TARGETINDIEBOUND | iBOOKS

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life—boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies—he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? (Description and photo from NicholasSparks.com

RECENTLY FINISHED READING

cover58262-mediumTITLE: Eight Hundred Grapes

AUTHOR: Laura Dave

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster

PUBLICATION DATE: June 2, 2015

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | INDIEBOUND

A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she’s describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA TODAY), a “decadent storyteller” (Marie Claire), and “compulsively readable” (Woman’s Day). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect. (Description and photo found on NetGalley.com)

Check out my review of the book here: Book Review | Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

WHAT I MIGHT READ NEXT

201312-a-bend-in-the-roadTITLE: A Bend in the Road

AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

PUBLICATION DATE: April 1, 2005

GENRE: Romance, Fiction, Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N | BAM! | INDIEBOUND | TARGET | iBOOKS

Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. Missy had been his first love, and Miles fervently believes she will be his last. As a deputy in the North Carolina town of New Bern, Miles Ryan not only grieves for Missy, but also longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews. The second grade teacher of his son, Jonah, Sarah had left Baltimore after a difficult divorce to start over in the gentler surroundings of New Bern. Perhaps it’s her own emotional wounds that make her sensitive to the hurt she first sees in Jonah’s eyes, and then his father’s.

Tentatively, Sarah and Miles reach out to each other. Soon they are both laughing for the first time in years . . . and falling in love. Neither will be able to guess how closely linked they are to a shocking secret—one that will force them to question everything they ever believed in . . . and make a heartbreaking choice that will change their lives forever.

In A Bend in the Road, Nicholas Sparks writes with a luminous intensity about life’s bitter turns and incomparable sweetness. His affirming message carries a powerful lesson about the imperfections of being human, the mistakes we all make, and the joy that comes when we give ourselves to love. (Description and photo found on NicholasSparks.com)

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