Standalone Sunday is a meme created by Megan at BookslayerReads. Where each Sunday you feature a book that is a standalone (not a part of a series) that you really like and would recommend to others. (Visit the BookSlayerReads page for more info).
I like to think of Nicholas Sparks as my first literary love, or like my readers virginity taker. A weird fact about me is that I didn’t always like to read — I actually hated it to be honest, and although I made it through school with outstanding grades, English class was my least favorite. The reason it’s strange isn’t because non-readers are weird either (okay maybe a little), but it’s because reading for me now isn’t just a love affair, its an obsession, a lifestyle. Not only do read regularly but I write Every. Single. Day.
The very first time in my entire life that I actually locked myself in the house for three days straight without even a shower, and with very little food, because I literally couldn’t function in life until I finished the damn book – was a Nicholas Sparks book. Since then I love to read!! The clouds parted and the sun’s rays shone down on me with a readers enlightenment. I finally knew what all the fuss was about, and over time my addiction grew into something completely out of this world. Some say its abnormal, but here in the Book Blog World I feel like I fit right in. I know that many have mixed feelings about Nicholas Sparks and I could careless – I LOVE him! I feel in a round about way that I owe Nicholas a piece of my soul, and because of that he gets to be my stand alone pick this week!
The very first of his that I read is not a stand alone, so it is not my rec. BUT, one of my very favorites of his is BEST OF ME .
The reason I love this story is because it isn’t quite as far fetched as some of his other stories. It’s so completely common for some people to hang onto their ‘first love’. It’s also common to think back to the what ifs in regards to a first love when your life didn’t turn out quite like you had imagined. In BEST OF ME Nicholas brings teenage sweethearts back together for a very short time makes them reflect on the past side by side. They long for each other, they imagine what their lives could have been, and they’re torn between that and what actually is. The ending brings about the harsh realities in life’s responsibilities and a sense of integrity and family roots. Then he takes a knife and jabs you in the heart as per usual with his books!!! Have a box of tissues ready because it will be needed!
“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?