“Our love is like the wind. I can’t see it, but I can feel it.” -Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember
When I first came across Nicholas Sparks’ novel, A Walk to Remember, I had no idea of what to expect. But really, nothing I could have possibly imagined would have come close to the work of art I ended up reading. “First you will smile, and then you will cry -- don’t say you haven't been warned.” (Sparks, xiii) Reading the book was a journey, in every way, shape, and form; a journey of self-discovery and love and hope.
Detailing the relationship between rebellious bad boy Landon Carter and church-going, good girl Jamie Sullivan, A Walk to Remember brings to life the fairytale romance we’ve all wished for. Reckless Landon, who grew up with a distant dad and selfish friends, doesn’t understand the meaning of kindness. Innocent Jamie, who lost her mother at a young age, goes through life with her Bible and a smile. When the two meet, against all odds, they find a friendship with each other which gradually develops into something more. While Landon teaches her that maybe there is more to life than she thought, Jamie shows him that “without suffering there’d be no compassion.” (Sparks, 57) A classic cliche that becomes an unexpected journey, Nicholas Sparks takes the story we thought we knew and the ending we hoped was coming into a whole new direction. With a magnificently unexpected twist at the end, the journey of Landon and Jamie is so terrifyingly real that it brought me close to tears. Full of terrible tragedy, teenage angst, and true love, the story of these two perfectly flawed characters will touch the heart of even the most resilient of readers.
Easily the best book I’ve ever read, A Walk to Remember is a book everyone should read. With the rollercoaster of emotions to divulge into and words so captivating they mold themselves into your mind, the novel is beautifully written and makes for a truly enjoyable read. Sparks invites readers on an incredible ride, allowing us to find parts of ourselves in each character, both good and bad. Relatable and intimate, we get to see Jamie and Landon as more than two people falling in love, but instead as two individuals struggling, who end up finding both each other and themselves. Thought-provokingly deep, this book really made me consider the type of life I want to live, and the kind of person I want to become. A Walk to Remember is the kind of book that you want to read on a rainy day, or when all you want is to cuddle with a blanket and lose yourself in spine-bound pages. Lovers of anything from Romeo and Juliet to Pride and Prejudice will certainly love this book about two lovers with completely different families and values. Set in the 1950’s and written from a male perspective, A Walk to Remember takes a novel approach to the usual frenemies-to-lovers that you would expect. With main characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, a real story of what it means to fall in love, and a healthy dose of teenage drama, the book is everything you could ever hope for - and more - when picking out a good read.
Romantic and drama-filled, the book has taught me more about life and what it means to be human more than I could have ever imagined, and I am forever grateful for the self-love and growth it instilled in me, allowing me to see that we, as humans, are not perfect, and that we don’t need to be. Stating that we’re not “meant to understand it all the time” and that maybe “sometimes we just have to have a little faith,” the book gave me hope for a brighter future even on the darkest of days. As a reminder that the world is flawed and so are we, A Walk to Remember is the perfect story of finding yourself through a romance that can only be described as a miracle. In the words of Nicholas Sparks himself, the novel was “in every way, a walk to remember.” (Sparks, 237)