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The Best Of Me (Playaway Adult Fiction)

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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 funera 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.


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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 funera 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.

30 review for The Best Of Me (Playaway Adult Fiction)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Clifton

    This was probably the most disappointing Nicholas Sparks book I have ever read. The book's premise starts off promising enough; high school sweethearts meet again at the funeral of a mutual friend some 25 years later and rekindle their romance... a romance it turns out that had never really ebbed. Dawson Cole, one of the main characters, comes from a family of violent lawbreakers and thugs, while Amanda Collier, the other main character, comes from a wealthy, upstanding family. You get the pictu This was probably the most disappointing Nicholas Sparks book I have ever read. The book's premise starts off promising enough; high school sweethearts meet again at the funeral of a mutual friend some 25 years later and rekindle their romance... a romance it turns out that had never really ebbed. Dawson Cole, one of the main characters, comes from a family of violent lawbreakers and thugs, while Amanda Collier, the other main character, comes from a wealthy, upstanding family. You get the picture: star-crossed lovers whose personal circumstances ultimately short-circuit their relationship. Great stuff, huh, and vintage Sparks! Then the story and plot begin to unravel for me. First of all, there is the "ghost" that keeps showing up at critical times in Dawson's life. This metaphysical "spirit" gave the story a cheesy quality and I found it hard to take it seriously. I mean after all, this is not a "Twilight" novel! Then there were the letters that Tuck (the deceased friend whose funeral caused Dawson and Amanda to be brought back together again) wrote to Dawson and Amanda. The purpose of the letters is made moot because of the book's contrived ending. Why include these letters in the story if they had absolutely no bearing in the book's finale? It doesn't make any sense! Finally, Spark's, once again, has the chance to have one of his novels end well, yet decides, also once again, to end it tragically. Yes, I know that life isn't an endless series of "happily ever after" moments...but neither is it an endless series of tragedies either. You'd think Sparks would have learned to mix it up a bit with the endings to his novels, because he is becoming predictable and to me, that means boring. The ending to "The Best of Me" was so contrived and predictable, that I already knew what was going to happen when the "ghost" led Dawson to the honky tonk bar! It is with great sadness that I give "The Best of Me" two stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    EDIT:(view spoiler)[DON'T READ THIS BOOK IF YOU'RE LIKE ME AND THOUGHT MAYBE NICHOLAS SPARKS COULD WRITE A NOVEL WITHOUT KILLING OFF ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS. (hide spoiler)] Is that better for you people? *rolls eyes* "The Best of Me" is a novel about two high-school sweethearts, Amanda and Dawson, who went their separate ways after high school and are reunited for one weekend when they learn of the sudden passing of their mentor, Tuck. I was intrigued by this book from the beginning because I EDIT:(view spoiler)[DON'T READ THIS BOOK IF YOU'RE LIKE ME AND THOUGHT MAYBE NICHOLAS SPARKS COULD WRITE A NOVEL WITHOUT KILLING OFF ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS. (hide spoiler)] Is that better for you people? *rolls eyes* "The Best of Me" is a novel about two high-school sweethearts, Amanda and Dawson, who went their separate ways after high school and are reunited for one weekend when they learn of the sudden passing of their mentor, Tuck. I was intrigued by this book from the beginning because I felt like that's kind of every woman's fantasy - to have a weekend to rekindle lost memories with your love from when you were young... anyways, as I was reading along I thought the book was good, but just good. At the beginning Nicholas Sparks wrote this little 'acknowledgment' where he thanked what seemed like every person he encounters every day and he incorporated the names of all of the past novels he has written. I think that was my favorite part of the book. And it wasn't even a part of the book. (haha.) As it got towards the end, I knew that someone was about to be killed off and I got really angry and almost didn't even want to finish the book. Like seriously, Sparks?! Really??? How hard is it to write a book where none of the main characters die?! I don't know why I expected anything different from him, and I'm beginning to think he is a soulless novelist who just sits at his little desk in North Carolina pining over which character he's going to kill off next. That's all I have to say about that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    Amanda and Dawson fell in love in high school even though they were quite different. Amanda was the popular type from a rich family, while Dawson struggled with problems at home. Amanda’s parent’s aren’t accepting of her relationship with Dawson which causes multiple problems. They spend some quality time together and then they must part. Time moves forward and Dawson has been away for quite some time. Out of the blue, he receives a phone call from a lawyer letting him know that someone from bac Amanda and Dawson fell in love in high school even though they were quite different. Amanda was the popular type from a rich family, while Dawson struggled with problems at home. Amanda’s parent’s aren’t accepting of her relationship with Dawson which causes multiple problems. They spend some quality time together and then they must part. Time moves forward and Dawson has been away for quite some time. Out of the blue, he receives a phone call from a lawyer letting him know that someone from back home has passed away. He doesn’t really want to go back and plans ahead of time to make the trip as short as possible. Quick trip, in and out. He’d do what he had to do and didn’t plan on hanging around any longer than he had to. He might have been raised in Oriental, but he’d never really belonged there. The Oriental he knew was nothing like the cheery image advertised by the area Visitors’ Bureau. Once back in Oriental, the memories flood in and he unexpectedly meets with Amanda for the first time in nearly 20 years. To me, this book is similar to The Notebook as it follows some of the same themes. I adore it nearly as much. This is a coming of age story I simply couldn’t put down with strong characters and beautiful writing. I loved the characters, especially Tuck–I think he was my favorite. If you’re a person who enjoys reading love stories with plenty of drama and emotion, this book’s for you. I normally don’t go for mass market paperbacks–in fact I never do–but this edition you see above has photos from the movie which I enjoyed. Nicholas Sparks will always be a favorite author and this is a favorite for sure. 5*****

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maritza

    PLEASE DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT THE STORY SPOILED! I was sooo beyond disappointed with this book! It had me all the way up to chapter 21, I kept thinking "how is he going to get them together" well he didn't ! That's how! I got excited when it seemed that Amanda was going to meet him at the cemetery only for her to turn right and go home! Which I guess was ok since she was almost home when she received word of the accident, but she stayed with Frank even after! No no no! I feel that Amanda wa PLEASE DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT THE STORY SPOILED! I was sooo beyond disappointed with this book! It had me all the way up to chapter 21, I kept thinking "how is he going to get them together" well he didn't ! That's how! I got excited when it seemed that Amanda was going to meet him at the cemetery only for her to turn right and go home! Which I guess was ok since she was almost home when she received word of the accident, but she stayed with Frank even after! No no no! I feel that Amanda was weak and a coward! Dawson stayed alone all those years thinking of no one but her, and she admitted that even on her wedding day she was unsure she should marry Frank, but she did it anyway! Why didn't she ever go and look for Dawson? Why didn't she just stay alone and be a teacher? Even at 42 she couldn't stand up to her mother which was very disappointing! It's not like they had to stay in Oriental, they could have lived anywhere! And then those letters from Tuck! UGH!!! It was clear that Dawson would have continued to wait for her to make her decision, while she would have clearly kept him waiting! She kept asking "what should I do?" And in her letter Tuck lets her have it and she still does the opposite...at least in The Notebook , Ally went back to Noah and they grew old together! I heard this book will be a movie in 2014 but honestly I will not be watching....horrible, horrible book! Dawson gave "the best" of himself that's for sure, which Amanda selfishly took until he could give no more! Ok...my rant is over!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)

    After meeting the author Nicholas Sparks last October 28th here in Manila and get him to sign my book, i started reading his latest novel which is obviously entitled "The Best Of Me". I tried so hard to refrain myself in reading this though it was really hard for me because i'm really curious about it. So here it goes, the book is definitely good! As the same as his other novels it is filled with flashbacks and old memories that in due time came back to the protagonists of the story. It was one After meeting the author Nicholas Sparks last October 28th here in Manila and get him to sign my book, i started reading his latest novel which is obviously entitled "The Best Of Me". I tried so hard to refrain myself in reading this though it was really hard for me because i'm really curious about it. So here it goes, the book is definitely good! As the same as his other novels it is filled with flashbacks and old memories that in due time came back to the protagonists of the story. It was one of the most touching story I've ever read and it is also one of those who makes me cry the whole time. I finished reading it the other night at around 11pm and guess what?? my eyes are scorching red from tears after reading it. It makes me feel sad as well as happy because even in a small span of time while reading it i was able to fit myself in Amanda and Dawson's shoes. I felt how they felt during the hard times and feel the happiness and love they feel whenever they are together. I guess this story just moves me a little for i'm a big sucker for romantic things and love. Silly me for crying at this but my tears just started pouring especially when Amanda (protagonist) says this line: "Please don't ask me to go with you, because if you do, I'll go. Please don't ask me to tell Frank about us, because i'll do that, too. Please don't ask me to give up my responsibilities or break up my family; I love you, and if you love me, too, then you just can't ask me to do these things. Because I don't trust myself enough to say no." In all, Nicholas Sparks still never really fail to show the main aspects of his novels. There's still the flashbacks, the memories, the tragedy and the everlasting love. This story would surely move you and touch those little heart strings of yours. YEY! :) * WATCH OUT FOR CHAPTER 15. :))

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    2.5 stars. I always feel cheated when I get to the end of a Nicholas Sparks book (I don't know why I keep reading them). He has such a magical way with romance but then he rips the happily ever after away. I love the descriptions and landscapes in this book. Sparks creates the perfect backdrops for love and creates the perfect moments that most mere mortals can only dream about. Then the characters (and the reader) have to pay the price for stealing such perfection by haveing it become nothing b 2.5 stars. I always feel cheated when I get to the end of a Nicholas Sparks book (I don't know why I keep reading them). He has such a magical way with romance but then he rips the happily ever after away. I love the descriptions and landscapes in this book. Sparks creates the perfect backdrops for love and creates the perfect moments that most mere mortals can only dream about. Then the characters (and the reader) have to pay the price for stealing such perfection by haveing it become nothing but a memory. This is how the book should have ended (and how I will have it end in my mind). I think it is slightly more realistic than the actual ending. Amanda and Dawson go back to their lives and their responsibilities after their life changing weekend. Amanda has re-discovered the long buried, adventurous, head strong, parts of herself that she really likes. She sticks it out with Frank until her youngest child graduates from High School. Then like a lot of couples, they throw in the towel. Dawson lets go of the guilt from his past and finds peace, having received forgiveness and taken care of his horrible cousins (without getting shot of course). He buys Tucks cute little cottage. He gets a safer job and a nicer trailer. Shortly after her divorce, Amanda finds her way to him, showing up out of the blue one day and they live happily ever after.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Pearl Angeli

    "I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same." *sobs* This book isn't fair! Right now my emotions are all over the place I don't even know if I could write a decent review. But heck, Nicholas Sparks did it again! Everything in this book is remarkable. Told in multiple POVs, I found this book totally engaging and emotionally-driven. I fell in love right from the beginning up to the end. With Nicholas Sparks' beautiful lines and plot, I could never stop admiring how gre "I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same." *sobs* This book isn't fair! Right now my emotions are all over the place I don't even know if I could write a decent review. But heck, Nicholas Sparks did it again! Everything in this book is remarkable. Told in multiple POVs, I found this book totally engaging and emotionally-driven. I fell in love right from the beginning up to the end. With Nicholas Sparks' beautiful lines and plot, I could never stop admiring how great a storyteller he is. I like the idea of childhood sweethearts reuniting again after so many years. This book, however, is different, because the reunion may or may not give them a chance to be together for a lifetime. That's the reason why I love this book. It doesn't guarantee a happy ending and yet it totally surprises you with its beautiful, heart-felt message. I found the plot twist predictable, however. But all in all, there's no denying that it's one of the utterly brilliant tales ever told by this magnificent author. I know it was published years ago, but if you want a Nicholas Sparks feels one of these days, you might want to consider this book. :) And oh, it has a movie adaptation which I will definitely watch! Rating: 4 Stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ali Green

    I used to love Nicholas Sparks. Dear John is one of my favorite books because of how deeply it touched me and spoke about true love. But it's the last book of his that I've absolutely adored that way. The Lucky One was a nice little story, and The Last Song touched me simply because, at the time, my father was dying of cancer. Safe Haven reminded me too much of The Guardian, and this book, The Best of Me...where do I start? First of all, by the time I had gotten to page 90, I'd already read sever I used to love Nicholas Sparks. Dear John is one of my favorite books because of how deeply it touched me and spoke about true love. But it's the last book of his that I've absolutely adored that way. The Lucky One was a nice little story, and The Last Song touched me simply because, at the time, my father was dying of cancer. Safe Haven reminded me too much of The Guardian, and this book, The Best of Me...where do I start? First of all, by the time I had gotten to page 90, I'd already read several peoples points of views. I hated that. In some stories, pov switching is effective, but not in this case. I liked the story between Dawson and Amanda, but the ending was cliche and predictable. Sparks usually knows how to kill off a character and it be effective, but this was just stupid to be honest. Sparks is a great writer and I have respect for his craft, but he needs to stop worrying about writing books that will turn into movies and get back to the roots of his talent. Start being a storyteller again. As a struggling writer, I looked up to him because of how well rounded his characters are and how touching the stories are (especially Dear John, The Notebook, and Message in a Bottle) but this book is, to be put bluntly, a catastrophe and I hope he gets out of the movie business and back into the book business.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Tear jerker! Those are the only two words I can think to describe this book. I really enjoy Sparks' novels. I always know I'm in for a good cry!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey the crazy cat lady

    It took me a while to get into the book but enjoyed it. It is different to the movie if you sae that first like myself. I wish Dawson and Amanda ended up together

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Translation Abbey

    Cuando comencé a leer el libro me di cuenta cómo iba a desenvolverse la historia, era evidente lo que iba a pasar, pero no por eso no lo disfruté. Saber que lo que pensaba se estaba cumpliendo me hizo tener una mezcla de sentimientos en todo el libro. Me gustó bastante, sufrí, reí, lloré… Me encantó la relación tan única y especial entre Dawson y Amanda (a pesar de que ella se me hizo muy odiosa en varias oportunidades). Esos 25 años distancias no cambiaron ese vínculo de amistad y confianza que Cuando comencé a leer el libro me di cuenta cómo iba a desenvolverse la historia, era evidente lo que iba a pasar, pero no por eso no lo disfruté. Saber que lo que pensaba se estaba cumpliendo me hizo tener una mezcla de sentimientos en todo el libro. Me gustó bastante, sufrí, reí, lloré… Me encantó la relación tan única y especial entre Dawson y Amanda (a pesar de que ella se me hizo muy odiosa en varias oportunidades). Esos 25 años distancias no cambiaron ese vínculo de amistad y confianza que se tenían en la adolescencia. La historia está situada en Oriental, North Carolina. Las descripciones de los lugares son magníficas...es como si uno estuviera en ese prado con flores… Es de lectura rápida y no me aburrió en ningún momento. Tiene un montón de frases geniales, algunas muy cursileras pero lindas. Sobre el final… MUY INJUSTO!! Me dieron ganas de llorar y me enojé con Sparks por hacerme sufrir de esa manera. En resumen, creo que el libro prueba que todo lo que pasa en la vida, sucede por una razón. Y si hay unas pocas palabras para definir este libro son las siguientes: Emocionalmente injusto. Calificación: 3 estrellas y ½. Es raro, pero debo reconocer que le colocaría 4 estrellas porque cada día que pasa me gusta más. Me dejó algo traumada y pensativa…

  12. 4 out of 5

    Makita

    Let me begin by saying that I listened to this book driving HOME from Canada (12 hr drive people) and it kept me awake so thank you to Nicholas, BUT....... I am pretty sick of Nicholas Sparks, his books are sooooo predictable but it was 10,000 times worse because of the man reading it. UGH!!! He could NOT do voices and I found myself rolling my eyes and laughing out loud because he was sooo bad. Seriously, where do they find these readers? I want that job. Dear Nicholas, I'm sure you are a nice ma Let me begin by saying that I listened to this book driving HOME from Canada (12 hr drive people) and it kept me awake so thank you to Nicholas, BUT....... I am pretty sick of Nicholas Sparks, his books are sooooo predictable but it was 10,000 times worse because of the man reading it. UGH!!! He could NOT do voices and I found myself rolling my eyes and laughing out loud because he was sooo bad. Seriously, where do they find these readers? I want that job. Dear Nicholas, I'm sure you are a nice man and I've always imagined that you write your wife the sweetest love letters and I have loved many of your books. I saw THE LUCKY ONE twice in the theatre and I loved MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE even though you killed Kevin Costner and THE NOTEBOOK is the only movie I have ever like better than the book but I think I am going to have to break up with you. We've had some good times, lots of laughs, many tears and hours and hours of pure entertainment but I think this is the end of our journey. I feel like we have grown apart. It's me, it's not you. I know you will still have lots of loyal readers and will be very happy. Thanks for all of the good times, Smiles, Makita

  13. 3 out of 5

    Buggy

    Opening Line:”For Dawson Cole, the hallucinations began after the explosion on the platform, on the day he should have died.” By now I’ve read enough Nicholas Sparks to know going in that I’m not always going to be guaranteed a HEA. In fact half of the suspense for me in reading his stuff now is that I’m not sure who he’s going to kill off. Sure it’s also frustrating as hell, because I always forget and then just when I’m all invested in the characters and wrapped up in their budding romance, bl Opening Line:”For Dawson Cole, the hallucinations began after the explosion on the platform, on the day he should have died.” By now I’ve read enough Nicholas Sparks to know going in that I’m not always going to be guaranteed a HEA. In fact half of the suspense for me in reading his stuff now is that I’m not sure who he’s going to kill off. Sure it’s also frustrating as hell, because I always forget and then just when I’m all invested in the characters and wrapped up in their budding romance, blam. Tragedy strikes. Yeah, more than once I’ve thrown one of his books across the room in disgust but I still keep coming back for more. Damn you Sparks. This was another good NS book which (as always) sucked me right in. I’ll be honest though there’s nothing particularly new here and even if Sparks’ name weren’t splashed all over the cover, there’d still be no mistaking who wrote it. The Best Of Me reads like bits and pieces of all his other books with; unrequited love, reunited lovers, Notebook-esque flashbacks with an older couple, moral dilemmas, a bit of spirituality, a tortured hero, unscrupulous bad guys and a predictable yet nail-biting ending while you await the outcome of (in this case) a shooting. Yet somehow all that’s ok because when something works for you and the reader why change it? Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole were teenage sweethearts in 1984 small town North Carolina; from opposite sides of the tracks, their intense and beautiful romance didn’t really stand a chance. You see the Coles are hard drinking, woman beating, law breaking, drug dealing, bad boys and Amanda’s folks are church going, stand up citizens. Despite the odds, or maybe because of they manage to find each other and fall in love, spending considerable time at old man Tuck’s garage where Dawson works. I really enjoyed their teenage romance which is told here through flashbacks from both sides of the pair who are now in their forties. Dawson is another quiet, somewhat tortured hero of Sparks’ who you can’t help but fall for. (I’m hoping to see Channing Tatum in the probable movie version) He works on the oil rigs, has spent time in prison and almost his entire life running from his messed up family and their reputation. Oh and he’s also never gotten over his one true love Amanda. When their old friend and mentor Tuck dies the pair are reunited in their hometown for the funeral. The grumpy yet crafty old man has left explicit instructions as to how his final wishes are to be carried out, including a trip to his cabin and some personal letters. As expected the years apart haven’t diminished what Dawson and Amanda feel for each other despite the fact that Amanda now has a husband and children. Throughout their reunion we have some bad guys gunning for Dawson, a ghostly/angel figure following him and adding intrigue as we don’t learn the whys for a long time, and a bad marriage that may or may not be worth saving. There are actually are quite a few characters involved here and Sparks has again written this using multiple POV’s which as the suspense factor increases get shorter and shorter, so that towards the end you’re only getting about a paragraph from each character. I found that this increased the tension level while he wove all the storylines together and left this reader on pins guessing the outcome. Damn you Sparks. 358jb4

  14. 3 out of 5

    Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨

    ★★★★★★★☆☆☆[7/10] There are only three places in the world where you stand the risk of losing many of your favorite persons- ⏩ Real world, during natural calamities. ⏩ Fictional world, Game of Thrones. ⏩ Fictional world, Nicholas Sparks novels. Throw in some romance, some supernatural conscience, some predictably melancholy farewell, there you go- you call it a best seller. Seven stars, because I stained the pages with tears. But then I go and cry about everything at the slightest provocation. Mich ★★★★★★★☆☆☆[7/10] There are only three places in the world where you stand the risk of losing many of your favorite persons- ⏩ Real world, during natural calamities. ⏩ Fictional world, Game of Thrones. ⏩ Fictional world, Nicholas Sparks novels. Throw in some romance, some supernatural conscience, some predictably melancholy farewell, there you go- you call it a best seller. Seven stars, because I stained the pages with tears. But then I go and cry about everything at the slightest provocation. Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, you owe me big time. I did it for you!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I am currently a Nicholas Sparks nut. I love a good ooey gooey romance novel. Shoot me. I've read a lot of his books and this is the only one that has made me bawl my eyes out for about half an hour after I had finished it. It is heart wrenching and I was hooked the entire time. I highly recommend this to someone who just is really in the mood to read a romance/chick lit.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Maria Miaoulis

    Nicholas Sparks, you never fail to deliver a great story. In fact, your job is never done unless I've been reduced to uncontrollable sobs, but I digress. In "The Best of Me," we meet Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole, high school sweethearts from different worlds who have a magical connection. However, they go their separate ways when their families and other events tear them apart. The death of their confidant, Tuck Hostetler, brings them back to their hometown 25 years later to confront their pai Nicholas Sparks, you never fail to deliver a great story. In fact, your job is never done unless I've been reduced to uncontrollable sobs, but I digress. In "The Best of Me," we meet Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole, high school sweethearts from different worlds who have a magical connection. However, they go their separate ways when their families and other events tear them apart. The death of their confidant, Tuck Hostetler, brings them back to their hometown 25 years later to confront their painful past and reflect on the decisions they've made since then. Their lives change drastically over the course of a single weekend and nothing will ever be the same once it's over. This is perhaps Nicholas Sparks' best work to date. He continues to grow as a writer, stretching the confines of the "romance" novels he has become famous for. "The Best of Me" boasts action, suspense, tenderness and paranormal aspects, all leading up to a heart-wrenching conclusion that is much deserving of being played out on the big screen, like many of his other novels. I highly recommend "The Best of Me" to all, but especially those who want to believe that endless love is possible.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Shaikha

    "I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same." Nicholas Sparks did it again. I think he secretly (not so secret anymore) enjoys RIPPING our hearts out. I cried. Not ashamed. 🤚🏼 It started off as the mother of all clichés (not complaining), I still liked this a lot despite the very predictable, yet engaging plot; but I admit that some parts SHOOK me (not spoiling anything, you're gonna have to read this). I'm glad I never gave up on Sparks and still am reading his beau "I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same." Nicholas Sparks did it again. I think he secretly (not so secret anymore) enjoys RIPPING our hearts out. I cried. Not ashamed. 🤚🏼 It started off as the mother of all clichés (not complaining), I still liked this a lot despite the very predictable, yet engaging plot; but I admit that some parts SHOOK me (not spoiling anything, you're gonna have to read this). I'm glad I never gave up on Sparks and still am reading his beautiful novels (I do have a thing for typical romance). PS: I think I'm more in love with Tuck than anyone else in the book + I loved the movie WAY more since it added more action and characters ( - Bobby Cole, Dawson's cousin AND best friend - and he didn't even exist in the book) that, too, BROKE my heart even more and made my cry like a baby.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aishu Rehman

    Can Nicholas Sparks put out a bad book? I think Not! The Best of Me is truly The Best! Everyone of his books are written from the heart and grab the reader's heart. This book made my heart swell with joy and then the pain my hear felt hurt so much, it felt as if it wasn't just a novel I was reading. I would very much like to change the ending, it just shows that Sparks endings aren't all predictably the same. This novel gets all the stars possible.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    Disappointed... I wanted to read this book, but once I saw the movie I changed my mind. I wasn't expecting a happy ending from this book, but the way this story was portrayed was kind of mean and unpleasant in my opinion. I am not talking about Amanda and Dawson's love story,as always that part was sweet and kind, I am referring to Dawson in particular. I hope that it doesn't come across that way in the book, but in the movie it seems like Dawson had a crappy life from the very beginning and cont Disappointed... I wanted to read this book, but once I saw the movie I changed my mind. I wasn't expecting a happy ending from this book, but the way this story was portrayed was kind of mean and unpleasant in my opinion. I am not talking about Amanda and Dawson's love story,as always that part was sweet and kind, I am referring to Dawson in particular. I hope that it doesn't come across that way in the book, but in the movie it seems like Dawson had a crappy life from the very beginning and continued to have a crappy life that he didn't deserve; it really was all shit for him, just to end in a bigger pile of shit. Maybe for Amanda the result was fate, destiny and all that, but for Dawson it was a terrible unfairness. So in conclusion, I can't say I liked the story as it was depicted in the movie. It wasn't beautiful or nice, only a horrible life intertwined with a few moments of love. I didn't watch a true love story, a watched a tragedy. A tragedy excused with the idea of a fated end, a larger purpose in life. I am sorry, but right now I am not in the mood for reading this type of predestined kind of tragedies. Safe Haven

  20. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I gave this book only 1 star because, although it was a typical Nicholas Sparks storyline, he clearly missed it in this one. I am an avid fan and have read everything he's written and normally can't wait for his next novel to publish. However, in this one, I didn't see the average warmth, caring and heart wrenching love that he's become famous for. The love story wasn't even in good telling. The ending sucked and really did make you feel that good guys finish last, no matter how good the heart i I gave this book only 1 star because, although it was a typical Nicholas Sparks storyline, he clearly missed it in this one. I am an avid fan and have read everything he's written and normally can't wait for his next novel to publish. However, in this one, I didn't see the average warmth, caring and heart wrenching love that he's become famous for. The love story wasn't even in good telling. The ending sucked and really did make you feel that good guys finish last, no matter how good the heart is. It was sad from beginning to end with a somewhat predictable ending. Some of the story just wasn't cohesive, didn't flow well and didn't make sense. And to top it off, I've never seen such violence within a family clan. It was too far fetched and I now understand why Mr. Sparks said in the introduction that it was a very hard story for him to write. He should have gone a route that he was familiar with rather than try and force something else. We are his audience and maybe he's better just sticking to what works and keep enhancing what we enjoy and know of him as a celebrated author. Sorry, that's my opinion. I'm returning the book for a refund.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Reem Alomari

    Nicholas Sparks has done it again. He has managed to write a book that has moved from page to page with such strong emotions it is as if he experienced every heartbreak, love, betrayal, loneliness and fright. He was able to bring the characters to life. The story is about the reunion of former lovers, Amanda and Dawson. They come back to their home town after hearing about the terrible news of the death of who used to be a father figure to them, Tuck. What unfolds after, is bigger than the both Nicholas Sparks has done it again. He has managed to write a book that has moved from page to page with such strong emotions it is as if he experienced every heartbreak, love, betrayal, loneliness and fright. He was able to bring the characters to life. The story is about the reunion of former lovers, Amanda and Dawson. They come back to their home town after hearing about the terrible news of the death of who used to be a father figure to them, Tuck. What unfolds after, is bigger than the both of them. I loved his way of writing just as I have always loved it. He would always describe every scene with great detail and would describe the feelings of every character from the book with details and real feelings as if he was in each and everyone's shoes. In addition, in a way I think he meant to teach the readers about the choices and decisions that, we the people, make in the real world and how they affect us in the long term. Personally, I learned that no matter how hard things get, I know everything happens for a reason. Of course I've always known that, but the book was a great illustration of that. Of destiny. Overall, the book was hard-to-put-down and realistic as well as thrilling. And Nicholas Sparks proved that endless love is reachable. My social media: Instagram: @reemobooks Twitter: @ReemoAlomari Email: [email protected] Youtube: reemobooks

  22. 5 out of 5

    ~Tina~

    I'm giving up on you Sparks. No more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    SUCH an amazing plot, written by the only one who can. I never could have foreseen the ending! A truly genius ending to an epic tale. Bring out the tissues! Several people's stories in one novel, where all of them have a meaning to each other in the end? I can only find this in a Nicholas Sparks novel. This novel is not at all some sappy, cliché love story. You are on your toes through the entire book, and you will be left with a feeling of "WOW, how is it possible to come up with a plot like th SUCH an amazing plot, written by the only one who can. I never could have foreseen the ending! A truly genius ending to an epic tale. Bring out the tissues! Several people's stories in one novel, where all of them have a meaning to each other in the end? I can only find this in a Nicholas Sparks novel. This novel is not at all some sappy, cliché love story. You are on your toes through the entire book, and you will be left with a feeling of "WOW, how is it possible to come up with a plot like this?". Again, I'm amazed at what this author can do with words.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Geo Marcovici

    Am recitit aceasta carte, cu aceeasi placere cu care am citit-o. Desi finalul este usor trist, pot sa inteleg totusi ca moartea unei persoane iubite a putut salva o alta persoana care se afla la inceput de drum. O carte a emotiilor intense! https://justreadingmybooks.wordpress....

  25. 3 out of 5

    C.K. Green

    OMG!! I just finished the Nicholas Sparks The Best of me and I want to cry so bad! I believe everything in life happens for a reason and this book proves that. As I read the series of events I knew exactly what had happened before the book told me and I wanted to scream "No" because true love overcomes everything. In the end I think in the end knowing what happened not only saved two lives that night but it saved her in so many ways and I believe he would say it was all worth it. I'm still so sa OMG!! I just finished the Nicholas Sparks The Best of me and I want to cry so bad! I believe everything in life happens for a reason and this book proves that. As I read the series of events I knew exactly what had happened before the book told me and I wanted to scream "No" because true love overcomes everything. In the end I think in the end knowing what happened not only saved two lives that night but it saved her in so many ways and I believe he would say it was all worth it. I'm still so sad though!!!

  26. 3 out of 5

    Amal Bedhyefi

    Just finished this masterpiece .. the ending took my breath away ♥

  27. 3 out of 5

    Megs ♥

    Have to give this one 3 stars. It started off quite well, actually. I enjoyed reading about Amanda and Dawson, and their forbidden teenage romance. I was interested to see what would happen when they met years later. They are now in their 40's when they are reunited to throw a ceremony for their old dead friend Tuck...He has pined for her all these years, and she married, had children etc. Of course her marriage is failing. Once they do meet up, unfortunately, the books seems to drag and drag... Have to give this one 3 stars. It started off quite well, actually. I enjoyed reading about Amanda and Dawson, and their forbidden teenage romance. I was interested to see what would happen when they met years later. They are now in their 40's when they are reunited to throw a ceremony for their old dead friend Tuck...He has pined for her all these years, and she married, had children etc. Of course her marriage is failing. Once they do meet up, unfortunately, the books seems to drag and drag...It has an almost sluggish pace that I found myself skimming through. I also found that I was more interested in the story of Tuck and his wife than Dawson and Amanda. The last chapter or so was much more action packed, and really pulled all the parts of the story together nicely. The only thing I can say, though, is that the ending was very sad, and was supposed to make the reader feel some emotion, but I felt very little, because I just couldn't bring myself to care much about Dawson...He was a good guy and all, but the story changed focus so much I never felt any connection to any of the characters. I do not like that fact that POV changed so much and to so many different people. This was just getting annoying after a while. Sometimes the POV change would come after just a few sentences. Overall this was an okay, very quick read that is sure to tug at your heart strings.

  28. 3 out of 5

    Inés Izal

    Es el primer libro de Sparks con el que no conecto. Todo lo veo demasiado dramático, ya sé que Sparks escribe así, pero aquí no me he creído la historia. Normalmente en el final de un libro de Sparks estoy tirada por los suelos y llorando a mares. Pues aquí estaba medio riendo.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Tonkica

    Ne znam u biti sto reci.. Nije me vuklo na citanje, nije me dirnulo.. Njegova Biljeznica je bila super i treba ju procitati i pogledati film. Za ovu knjigu to ne mogu reci, a za film cu ubrzo vidjeti. I btw, knjiga ima 311 stranica, a ne 236! :-/

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hayat

    1.5 disappointed stars “There's a lot of magic between you too, ain't no denying that. And magic makes forgettin' hard.” This is my first Nicolas Sparks book ever and in the end, I learned that Mr Sparks is big on angst, epic frustrating romance (at least in this book), never ending tragedies is his thing and wringing out every kind of emotions from each page is the very definition of a Nicholas Sparks. Despite all this, I had every reason to expect an epic romance with side serving of second cha 1.5 disappointed stars “There's a lot of magic between you too, ain't no denying that. And magic makes forgettin' hard.” This is my first Nicolas Sparks book ever and in the end, I learned that Mr Sparks is big on angst, epic frustrating romance (at least in this book), never ending tragedies is his thing and wringing out every kind of emotions from each page is the very definition of a Nicholas Sparks. Despite all this, I had every reason to expect an epic romance with side serving of second chance romance sprinkled with lots of cheesy sweet moments and an extra helpings of angst. The start of the book was promising and I was totally hooked on Amanda and Dawson's teenage romance and cheering for their big reunion because, lets face it, second chance forbidden romance is the best kind there is. That is until Mr sparks undermined the whole premiss for a contrived plot, random ghostly appearances, unnecessary multiple POV that takes time away from the central characters and an ending that left me feeling frustrated, disappointed and annoyed all at once. The hero and heroine never get a break and their romance is thwarted left, right and centre until I was left wondering WHAT WAS THE BLOODY POINT OF IT ALL! In the end, everything was so bleak and disappointing, just like this quote. “Life was messy. Always had been and always would be and that was just the way it was, so why bother complaining? You either did something about it or you didn't, and then you lived with the choice you made.” Dawson was sweet guy with high morals but he came off as a bit of a martyr, a self sacrificing hero and all round good guy. He is all snow white innocence compared to his dark family who are all abusive and think nothing of beating their women and children, blackmailing others or committing murder. But somehow, Dawson shows a remarkable lack of darkness such as resentment for the town's small mindedness and prejudice or a need for revenge as a result of the physical, mental and emotional abuse he'd suffered from his family. Dawson is intelligent and driven but he doesn't do enough to stop his murdering family either. He is a clever guy and I'm sure he could've come up with a better plan had he tried. Instead, Dawson kept silent over their activities and this caused him very little guilty conscience if any at all. Instead he rationalises it all away and that side of his personality doesn't mesh well with his all round good guy and a romantic hero image. And what middle-age guy stays celibate ever since his teenage romance with the heroine? It is all too much to believe. Amanda comes across as a bit of a pushover, someone who doesn't fight for what she wants, someone afraid to take the risk for what she really wants, who she really wants. Dawson needed a heroine who questions the small-town values, prejudice and family expectation and stick by him. Instead we get a heroine who is constantly pushed into one situation or another and gives up too easily when push comes to shove. And In that sense, both Amanda and Dawson were victims of everyone else's actions as well as their own mistakes. Neither one of them took the initiative. It was all so disappointing. In hindsight, the meaning of the title The Best of Me makes so much sense but the double meaning breaks my heart and I can't help feeling Mr Sparks is a bit sadistic. But I'm told this book is not the best of Mr Sparks work so next time I'll chose one of his highly rated book, but not just yet. First, I need to erase this aggravating book out of my memory.

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