In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths. Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew -- about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear -- was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?
My very first Nicholas Sparks novel! Before my review, I’d like to tell something on how this book landed on my reading pile. Last Christmas, I’ve made a book wish list wherein I listed down all the books I wanted as gifts for Christmas. The Best Of Me was the last book I added to that list, and how did it end up there? Okay, Nicholas Sparks was due to visit the Philippines before Christmas and I saw this big promotional poster plastered on a certain mall depicting his latest book. I got curious and a bit excited, I mean, Nicholas Sparks is coming here! I’m not a fan, hardly, but the movie adaptation of his books is really good and it’s safe to say that I’ve seen almost all of them and liked them surprisingly (rarely do I read romance novels, only the ones with enough substance in them, same goes with the movies). At first, I wanted to go to his book signing and meet him, eventually, that didn’t happen. The Best of Me was given to me by a friend January of this year, so there goes meeting Nicholas. I did see on the news that the fans were all there to give him a warm welcome and I think that’s nice. I hope he’ll visit here again and I’ll make sure that I’m there on his book signing from start to finish.
The Best Of Me is a very emotional novel. Having read the likes of LaVyrle Spencer and Anne River Siddons, both powerful writers with numerous novels under their belts, I can’t help but compare Nicholas to them. I used to think that only women can write romance novels and that men can’t in anyway do it. I was proved wrong. Nicholas writes from the heart and his characters are splendid and always with a touch of uniqueness in them. I got misty eyed towards the ending of the book, how convenient right? I rarely cry from reading books (except Harry Potter, the scene with him talking to his parents on the mirror of Erised.) but with The Best of Me, the intensity and the passion Nicholas has crafted leaves no room for thinking, you can just feel the flood of mixed emotions and can't help but cry with Dawson and Amanda...because their feelings for each other is the true meaning of unconditional love...