Thursday, December 9, 2010
First Love, True Love
Written by: Nicholas Sparks
Released: October 1, 1999 by Warner Books
Summary: In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.
A friend of mine read this when it was first released – we were in elementary school then – and at the time she told me how amazing it was. I then promptly forgot about it and even once I watched the movie (love it) it was a while before I got around to grabbing a copy for myself. It then took forever for me to read it.
I am glad that I finally got around to reading this book. Granted, I really dislike Nicholas Sparks as a writer because I don’t enjoy his writing style, but I did enjoy this novel though I found it lacking in events. But let me specify; I think that since there is so much more that goes on in the movie (since I did watch it first), and there is the generational difference between the two, I just didn’t relate on the surface level. However, once I got into it and dug deeper, the base of the novel is one which I think most would be able to connect.
Landon as a narrator was an interesting choice, though at times he was rather shallow (just like the summary says) and annoying. I mean, the first time that he takes interest in Jamie is when he notices that she’s grown breasts and gotten a tan. Also, the way that he treats her at times made me incredibly sad to read. She deserved better for most of the book.
Jamie as a character was one who would have been teased mercilessly even now – who carries around a bible all the time? – but she just seemed so genuine and kind that it was hard to side with the other characters and their initial dislike of her. She was a well-crafted character in my mind but was sometimes too nice for her own good. A little anger never hurt anyone and neither did the occasional tantrum. I’m just saying...
The love story that this story encompasses is one that I greatly enjoyed. It was simplistic and yet so moving; it’s reminiscent of the movie Love Story. It had me in tears at the end even though I knew how it was going to end, and it was lovely.
But when it comes down to it, that’s all this book was; lovely. It was a nice read (even though it was Nicholas Sparks, sorry) and would be one that I would recommend... but I liked the movie better. You just can’t compete with Shane West; which is why the movie version of the cover doesn't bother me near as much as it would normally. Still, I’m giving this a 6/10.
Posted by -k