This review was originally posted on Books and Swoons
This is not my first time around the block with a Nicholas Sparks' novel. I have read a few of his other works and seen the movies adaptations. Since I have seen the movie version of A Walk to Remember, I was prepared for the sadness and the angst. However, I wasn't as heartbroken as I thought I was going to be. Instead I felt sort of indifferent to it.
There are several reasons why I was so undecided with this book. I had seen the movie with Shane West (heyyy boy) and Mandy Moore and I loved it. I had actual tears when I watched the movie and so I believe the element of surprise was already ruined for me and I knew what to expect.
Another reason I was very matter-of-fact with A Walk to Remember could be because I'm already used to the depressing and heartbreaking story line and sometimes I don't even bat an eyelash. I like to think it's the first reason though; I don't like thinking I have such a cold heart.
I did enjoy the book, though. I found myself sighing at Landon when he was being sweet and tender to Jamie. Especially when they first kissed. So sweetttt....
"Instead of moving towards the chairs, I took a step closer to her and found myself reaching for her hand. I took it in mine and looked right at her, moving just a little closer. She didn't exactly step back, but her eyes widened just a little, and for a moment, a tiny flickering moment I thought I'd done the wrong thing and debated going any further. I paused and smiled, sort of tilting my to the side, and next thing I saw was that she'd closed her eyes and was tilting her head, too, and that our faces were moving closer together.
It wasn't that long, and it certainly wasn't the kind of kiss you see in movies these days, but it was wonderful in its own way, and all I can remember about the moment is that when our lips first touched, I knew the memory would last forever."
I love the simplicity of their courtship. The book is set in the late 1950s, and Jamie is the minister's daughter so their relationship is very chaste. I enjoyed reading the book in a male's POV. I tend to read a lot of female main characters so this was refreshing. Landon was supposed to be your typical bad boy but I just giggled because the people of Beaufort in the fifties had very different measures of a bad boy.
....that was the kind of thing that made other parents shake their heads and whisper to their children, "You don't want to be like that Carter boy. He's on the fast track to prison."
Me. A bad boy. For eating boiled peanuts in the graveyard. Go figure.
My favorite part was right at the end, when Landon figured out what he had to do. I felt myself anticipating Landon's next move, which I believe is a great way to see how Mr. Sparks has the reader hooked on his work. I was finally tearing up while Landon was prefacing his request to Jamie.
"Do you love me?" I asked her.
She smiled. "Yes."
"Do you want me to be happy?"
As I asked her this, I felt my heart beginning to race.
"Of course I do."
"Will you do something for me then?" She looked away, sadness crossing her features. "I don't know if I can anymore."
"But if you could, would you?"
I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together, sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously, and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I'd never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment.
"....what I wanted to do was give her something that she'd always wanted.
It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along.
Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I'd been searching for, the one my heart had needed to find. She'd told me the answer as we'd sat outside Mr. Jenkins's office, the night we'd ask him about the play."
I know this isn't my last read of Mr. Sparks's work. I thoroughly enjoy his novels and A Walk to Remember was definitely refreshingly different and normal amid all the paranormal and dystopian that I'm currently reading.