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Saturday, October 22, 2011

you know he's gonna break your heart, but you just can't stay away

I've always felt that Nights in Rodanthe was the most heartbreaking Nicholas Sparks novel I've read, with At First Sight battling a close second. And while all of his books are great, I felt that his last few books lack.. Substance. I can remember reading Safe Haven and feeling a bit disappointed when I finished it. It was just.. Boring. There, I said it. I found a Nicholas Sparks novel that bored me to the point that I was willing to stop reading it. The only thing that got me going was the fact that I hate leaving books unfinished.

Usually, when a new Sparks novel has been released, I always get a copy and start reading at once. This time, though, I delayed getting a copy until I ran out of books to read.

The Best of Me, however, didn't disappoint as I thought it would. The story started simply: small-town high school sweethearts, a rich girl-poor guy thing, that didn't work out. Both led separate lives, until a circumstance forced both of them to come back to their hometown. The past caught up to them, blah blah blah, then comes the unfortunate twist that would break all the readers' hearts.
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.
The thing about Sparks' novels is that, halfway through the book, I'd already get this nagging feeling that it won't end well, but I'd still harbor that small sliver of hope that every thing is going to be fine, that love will prevail, and there's a happy ending for everyone. Maybe that's why it hurts so much. Because that hope, along with my heart, is crushed with the tragedy tragedies that befell the characters.

I started the book around midnight, thinking I'd read several chapters before I head on to bed and I ended up staying up till 5 in the morning trying to finish the book. When I finally went to bed, it was already daylight out, and I have this whopper of a headache from crying and lack of sleep - not a very good combo, I might add. And all the while I was reading, my subconscious is already mapping out what it thinks is gonna happen, and I'm like, "No, no. Please, no." Which led to more tears after because even though I know there's no happy ending there, I was hoping for something a little less heartbreaking.

But I guess that's the beauty of Sparks' novels - because it's not your typical sappy love story where the guy gets the girl at the end. It is real life, wherein sometimes, love just isn't enough. Not just romance, not just the good parts, but also the hardships and struggles in between.

Nicholas Sparks will be in Manila at the end of the month. I'm hoping I could attend his book signing, maybe meet him and shake his hand, and inform him that I'm suing him for breaking my heart over and over again.

I'm reading the book again. Masochist much? Damn.

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