“The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks

Nonfiction. I picked this up at the book store because it was a bargain book and a #1 NY Times bestselling author, not realizing this was the “love-story” author who also wrote “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember,” “Dear John,” and all the other mushy stories of love.

It was a decent book; two stories at once, one of an old man who is nearing death and keeps having visions of his late wife and all their memories together, the other of a sorority girl who meets a bull-riding cowboy and their journey of love in different worlds. The cowboy is of course handsome, chivalrous, and strong; he is trying to save his ranch which has hit financial problems. The girl is in college trying to get her degree while falling in love with the cowboy. The old man’s memories consist of his wife, their love of art, and the struggles many married people have faced. The book ends very happily and the lesson is most likely the same in all Sparks’ books (although I haven’t read any others so may be off base): life has ups and downs, but love will pull you through.

My favorite quote from this book was: “Yet experience has taught me that fate is sometimes cruel and that even a boatload of hope is sometimes not enough”.

Shortly after reading the book I found they had made it into a movie and so watched that one evening. It followed the book to a degree, but also took on slightly different plot-lines. Overall it was just another chick-flick. The best part of the movie was learning that Clint Eastwood produced a gorgeous son! Scott Eastwood definitely plays a hot cowboy and despite the movie being kind of lame, the eye candy was worth it. Check out his great acting abilities:

In conclusion, book: worth reading if you want a feel-good love story, movie: worth watching if you like bull-riding and cute cowboys.

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