The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

63%

15 Critic Reviews

I wouldn't say “The Best of Me” is Sparks' best work. The tale is beautifully told, but the plot itself...struck me as (dare I say it?) a little on the sappy side.
-Examiner

Synopsis

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Starring Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Luke Bracey, and Liana Liberator

"Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She'd believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen."


In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew -- about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear -- was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?
 

About Nicholas Sparks

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Nicholas Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on New Year's Eve, 1965. As a child, he lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair Oaks, California when he was eight. In 1984, he received a full scholarship to run track and field for the University of Notre Dame. Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and spent 56 weeks on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list followed by another 54 weeks on the paperback list. Sparks has had a string of New York Times bestsellers including: A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle, The Rescue, A Bend in the Road, Nights in Rodanthe, The Guardian, The Wedding, True Believer and its sequel, At First Sight, Dear John, The Last Song, Safe Haven and The Best of Me. Safe Haven became his eighth film adaptation. Sparks is involved in many local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina and the Nicholas Sparks Foundation.
 
Published October 11, 2011 by Grand Central Publishing. 308 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Other, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 30 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Best of Me
All: 15 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 7

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Nov 21 2011

Sparks's ability to capture the truths of this affair makes the story both heartfelt and heartbreaking. It's quite possibly his best work in years.

Read Full Review of The Best of Me | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Nov 21 2011

Sparks's ability to capture the truths of this affair makes the story both heartfelt and heartbreaking. It's quite possibly his best work in years.

Read Full Review of The Best of Me | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Thompson on Dec 17 2011

I wouldn't say “The Best of Me” is Sparks' best work. The tale is beautifully told, but the plot itself...struck me as (dare I say it?) a little on the sappy side.

Read Full Review of The Best of Me

Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton on Aug 09 2011

It is bittersweet yet satisfying. If it had ended any other way, this would not have been a Nicholas Sparks novel.

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The Bookbag

Below average
Reviewed by Ruth Ng

It hasn't put me off trying another of his books, but I was a little disappointed not to get my tissues out at the end of what was otherwise a fast, engaging read.

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City Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Ochs on Feb 19 2012

There are many touching moments throughout this love story as well as a sweet sentiment that can bring tears to the reader, making The Best of Me worth a read.

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The Celebrity Cafe

Below average
Reviewed by Jackie Morrison on Feb 22 2012

With the violence that follows their love its cliché to give these characters the ending that Sparks did.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by eileym26 on Jan 19 2014

My personal opinion of the book was that it was amazing! It is an absolute must read. This book has the perfect mixture of romance, adventure, and mystery. I am not usually a romance novel fan, but I could not put this book down.

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Wondrous Reads

Above average
Reviewed by Prophecygirl on Sep 02 2014

In the end I liked The Best of Me, though I'm sure there are better Nicholas Sparks books awaiting me. A slow start somewhat hampered my reading, but as the story progressed so did my enjoyment of the novel.

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Having Said That

Below average
Reviewed by Heather on Sep 27 2013

Will they rekindle things or won’t they? I honestly didn’t care either way, that’s how much I wasn’t into their love story.

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Book BagLady Reviews

Good
Reviewed by BookBagLady on Sep 17 2013

The Best of Me was a book that I just couldn’t put down. Had I of been able to stay awake, I most likely would have read it in one sitting.

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Reading Between Pages

Below average
Reviewed by Kavyen on Oct 23 2011

I enjoyed the book tremendously but it is definitely not one of his best works.

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Handwritten Girl

Good
Reviewed by Bronagh on Sep 16 2014

...Nicholas Sparks has written a beautifully romantic about love and heartbreak that will you reaching for the tissues as this tender story pulls at your heartstrings.

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Fiction Book Review

Below average
Reviewed by Citra Florenca on Nov 03 2011

...the protagonists were so boring. The Best of Me is also full of back story which in my opinion, a little too much. There are many unnecessary details that make book even slower.

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Feather Online

Good
Reviewed by Tynin Fries on Nov 15 2011

I loved this novel because the story line, though unpractical at times, is the kind of story that makes my Saturday, lying in bed reading about love and romance, a perfect day.

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Reader Rating for The Best of Me
78%

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