One of the biggest brand-name authors in the romance book industry is Nicholas Sparks. He’s a superstar in the medium, with his most well-known hit being The Notebook, and a good majority of his work ending up being produced into mainstream movies. The book I’ll be looking at today, The Longest Ride, is set in North Carolina, and it features a smokin’ hot guy, fiery love, and possible death.
Even with these seemingly exciting qualities, the story here is bland. I didn’t feel as though I developed a connection with the characters or really cared about their romance. If this is the first Nicholas Sparks book someone reads, then they might feel differently and actually like this story, but I felt like I was reading any one of his other books. The characters, plot, and even the writing are all similar to his previous work.
Although I did not have any connection to the characters, the romance in the book attempts to be relatable. The romance is hot, but doesn’t seem like it will last in the beginning. One of the two leads, Sophia, is fresh out of a relationship. Opposite her is Luke, a cowboy who tries to win money to pay for his farm.
The two protagonists are completely different, and they don’t even have a lot in common. They share similar ideals and find each other in a time when they both need someone. The love they share is entirely passionate, with an overwhelming amount of desire for each other. Neither of them is able to go even a couple days without seeing the other.
The sexy, passionate love that is shown in The Longest Ride feels different from Sparks’ other books. For instance, in The Best of Me and The Notebook, the major component of the story is compassionate love, or long-term love. I do enjoy reading about a variety of different relationships and different situations, and this one did enough for me despite the similarities with Sparks’ other books. Nicholas Sparks is able to show a variety of different relationships that relate to many different audiences, or the same audiences that are looking to relate to different situations.
— Gina Capperino, Former Asst. Blog Editor