#1 New York Times bestseller Nicholas Sparks turns his unrivaled talents to a new tale about love found and lost, and the choices we hope we'll never have to make.
Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?
Rating: 4 Stars
Book Title: The Choice
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Some may choose to scoff at the fandom that surrounds Nicholas Sparks’s writing, but I’ve never been one of those people. Then why did I wait so long to read another one of his books? Interesting question, ESPECIALLY considering how much I adored The Choice.
If I’m being honest, the real reason I decided to pick up another Sparks book after so long is that I wanted to read it before the movie came out (and I’m going to make it a mission of mine going forward with any of the film adaptations). The last one I read by him was The Last Song which, ironically enough, is my favorite movie all time and one of my favorite books of his. Unfortunately the book broke me just a bit (probably because I found myself relating too much to Ronnie) and I haven’t been brave enough to read any more of his writing since!
Set in small-town North Carolina, The Choice features two neighbors who live on the edge of the ocean and meet for the first time during a confrontation, one in which new-to-the-neighborhood Gabby Holland accuses Travis Parker of letting his dog run wild and getting hers pregnant. This scene was one of my favorites not because of the accusation itself, but of the way Travis takes the whole thing in stride and lets Gabby yell at him.
o Travis: Other than being the obvious dreamboat love interest, Travis has an adorable soft side to him that I just loved. He works with his dad at the town’s veterinarian clinic, taking care of all the locals’ pets. Not only that but he loves kids and is never one to complain about having his best friends over, even when their families tag along. In fact, Travis is the kind of guy who would invite his friends’ families over every weekend if he could. It’s one of his favorite things to do and I love that there’s no level of animosity that he feels towards them just because they’ve already settled down and he hasn’t. I think that speaks volumes about his character.
o The Timeline: The story opens with present day Travis discussing his life and how he would have done things differently in his marriage had he known better. Although it sets the scene for something bad to occur down the road, I liked that the book started with this part and then jumped to the story itself. It wasn’t confusing at all and I was excited to see a younger side of Travis and compare how much his personality had changed since the start of The Choice.
o The Setting: My dream would be to live on the coastline one day and I’ve always said I want it to be Georgia, but after reading The Choice I might just be open to North Carolina as wellJ I loved reading about Travis and Gabby’s little adventures they go on, whether it’s parasailing with friends or taking a late night cruise to one of Travis’s favorite spots. I also loved the small-town feels the book gave off, especially since Gabby was new to town and had no clue just how close everyone was. Having worked at the vet clinic with his dad for years, Travis knows just about everyone in town and them him. It’s cute seeing Gabby fit into all this and learning to adjust to her new surroundings.
While I know many will choose to skip over this book entirely for the fact that Sparks wrote it, I would argue that it’s worth giving a chance. It’s not like all the rest of his books, despite the general consensus that his books all follow the same plot (they don’t). And I thought this one was a little more upbeat than some of the rest. While I can’t promise there won’t be tears shed, I do think this story will be a little easier on the heartstrings than some of his previous ones. That’s one thing I’ve always loved about Nicholas Sparks though and his writing. It’s honest in a way that a lot of fiction just isn’t. And that’s what I loved about The Choice. It’s about real life characters who go through hardships and face difficult points in their relationship. You can’t tell me that dating isn’t like that! I hope those who have sworn off Sparks will give him another chance because I think that you’ll find yourself falling for The Choice just like I did!