by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: Oct 11, 2011
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.
I'm not really sure that Nicholas Sparks' books are for me. I always think that the movies turn out better than the books, which is a rare feat. This one, for me, was melancholy from the very beginning, there wasn't much hope to be found. Dawson's life was so very sad from beginning to end, the only bright spots seemed to be the father figure he found in Tuck and his brief romance with Amanda. I genuinely felt sorry for him, but I had a hard time sympathizing with Amanda at all.
I'm never a fan of the cheating storyline, I feel like no one wins, and I really wasn't a fan of it here. If Amanda wanted to be with Dawson so badly, why didn't she go back to him instead of marrying Frank in the first place. Again, I found it hard to find much sympathy for her.
There were auxiliary characters' points of view throughout the novel, and I didn't really get much out of their chapters. Yes, they were all tied together at the end, but I just didn't feel like they added enough to the novel to enjoy wading through their stories. I would have preferred to see things from Frank and Amanda's points of view, with Tuck's story tying them together.
Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 2/5
Bottom Line: Overall, a very melancholy read with a very predictable Sparks style ending.