February 21, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Notebook' by Nicholas Sparks

'The Notebook' by romance king Nicholas Sparks is a story about two teenagers who meet one eventful summer and fall in love with each other for a lifetime. It is a story about believing in love even in the toughest of times and never losing hope.
It starts of on a summer when Allie, only 15; met Noah- a low class 17 year old, shy but energetic- and they immediately clicked. Together, they never wanted to be apart and had hopes of spending their lives like that and growing old with each other.
Unfortunately, Allie had to leave Noah behind due to a change in residence and interference of her family which seemed to despise this sweet-natured boy. Noah's letters to Allie were left unanswered. Time flew but both of them had each in other in their hearts even though they had given others a try.
Now the jump. Allison Hamilton, now 29 years old, cannot ignore the fact that she is still smitten by her first love, Noah Calhoun. Torn between her talented fiancé, Lon, a rich lawyer and her soul mate Noah, a guy who just seems to laze around and repair roofs; Allie is in the middle of a catch-22 as whatever step she takes will end up hurting either of the two.
The novel was engaging and steady paced and the actual story is set in the days before the depression of 1929. Nicholas Sparks writes in a free flowing, natural manner, heavy on emotions and sentiments and at the same time passionately romantic.
If you enjoy reading love novels then this is the book for you. If you don't then this is the perfect book to start reading this genre. From the beginning to the end, you end up admiring the characters and even their flaws. Spark paints a beautiful scenery of the hurdles and the joys that are a part of love.
Sparks does manage to ignite a great deal of 'sparks' in Noah and Allie's love story. Some parts of the book will have you fighting tears and wishing for a happy ending or better, for finding a love like theirs. The real grip of the novel is when the setting returns to the prologue (though the first chapter is not really called that) where an eighty-seven year old Noah is fighting for his love, who is afflicted by Alzheimer's and at times, can't even remember who he is. Noah has to read out to her from her notebook and what does he read out to her? Their own story, of course! And then the anxiousness sets in and you end up turning page after page and before you know it, the story is done with.
Sparks alternates his characters' POVs paragraph wise in some earlier chapters though he uses the third person narrative. This can get irritating at times for the reader, as in romance novels you need to give the reader some time to settle down on a character before once can really connect to them. I wish though the author had thrown a bit more light on the ending which is a little metaphorical and might suit some but most definitely, not all. Overall, do read it for the relationship between Noah and Allie and also for the fact, that another romance writer is saying so! And what am I saying? Of course, a healthy 4.2/5!

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