Flip Through the Pages of Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

By Gabby O

Staff Writer

Lying out at the beach, sun on the skin, the feeling of the cool breeze: these are all things we look forward to during the summer. While working on the perfect tan, why not read a book to pass the time? Renowned author Nicholas Sparks has done it again; he has successfully constructed a love story that will have readers at the edge of their seats with anticipation. His newest book, Best of Me, should definitely be on the list to read this summer.

The story Best of Me centers on Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier. They were from different sides of the tracks, but that did not stop their love for each other throughout high school. When they got torn apart during the summer of their senior year, neither one knew what their future would bring or whether or not they would even see each other ever again. Fast forward 25 years, and the two old lovers are brought back into each other’s lives due to a death of a mutual friend. After so much time apart, they will revisit their past emotions, and past memories will resurface. That one weekend will change both of their lives and their love for each other forever.

This reemerging love is not the only conflict in this love story. Currently, Dawson works on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. One night, there was an unexpected explosion, killing 24 people and landing Dawson in the hospital. Starting that night while floating in the water, he begins seeing a strange man everywhere he goes. No matter how hard he tries to follow or get a closer to look at the figure, he can never find out the identity; it even haunts him when he arrives at Oriental, North Carolina, for the funeral of his friend.

On top of the strange sightings, Dawson has other problems as he returns to his home town: his family. The Coles are referred to as whiteBook Review- Go1 trash with dark, belligerent personalities. Dawson’s mother left when he was younger, and upon his return to Oriental for the funeral, his father has been dead for many years. His two older cousins, Abee and Ted, are out to get him as soon as they realize he is back in Oriental. Fueled by revenge, Ted is the ringleader in the manhunt to find their cousin. He will stop at nothing until he has sought out Dawson.

On the other hand, there are conflicts on Amanda’s side as well. She is married to Frank and has three children. Her marriage, however, is not what she thought it would be. She had met Frank in college, and it set the gears in motion. Right after she got her degree, they were married. Amanda loved Frank in the early years of their marriage, but after a tragic event in their lives, he became an alcoholic. Amanda found herself in the position where she felt like she was the only responsible parent. Many times she felt like divorcing him, but she could not do that to her children, and she still heartily believed Frank could change back into the guy he once was. As she is reunited with Dawson, Amanda realizes that she truly loves him, even more than Frank. However, she has a family that she cannot just run away from. She has to look deep within herself to come up with what she should do.

This alluring romance is typical of Spark’s novels; they always present a surprising plot-twist.  Just like his other engaging stories, this rocky love story has been critically proclaimed. It has been called “unforgettable…Makes you settle in for another romantic date with this well-respected and talented storyteller,” by HubPages.com. Another website, BookReporter.com writes, “I could not put it down…a classic Nicholas Sparks tragedy but with a twist of hope…If I can pick my favorites from him, THE BEST OF ME will rank with Message in a Bottle and The Notebook– it was that good.”  Even students at Woodstock are familiar with this renowned author. Sophomore Sophie Stignani states, “I love Nicholas Sparks! I love the movies and all his books. I can’t wait to read The Best of Me.”  The Best of Me has already gained some popularity among the student body as well. Sophomore Brooke Burris said, “I absolutely enjoyed The Best of Me! Nicholas Sparks hasn’t disappointed. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good book.” This book will move readers, sending them on an emotional roller coaster ride. If readers want to look for other Nicholas Sparks’ books, some are The Guardian, The Choice, The Rescue, Nights in Rodanthe, and Safe Haven.

Whether it is lying out at the beach, tanning at the poolside, or just for one of the quiet, relaxing moments at home, The Best of Me should definitely be the book to pick up and read. This world’s bestselling author of love stories has completely outdone himself when writing his newest book. He has stated on his official website that Warner Bros. has bought the rights of this story to make a movie. Without a doubt, the movie will be just as sensational as this critically proclaimed novel.

 

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