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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Notebook
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THE NOTEBOOK is the romance novel of this generation!

Ali and Noah are two very different people, or characters, depending on how you think about it. Ali is from a wealthy family that thinks very highly of themselves, and Noah was raised by his father and has had to work for every penny he has. Which is not much. The characters come alive and it is almost like you personally know both of them. It's amazing! Ali takes a vacation to New Bern where Noah lives. As the summer progresses, their relationship grows stronger and stronger and they fall in love. They fight all the time, but for some crazy reason they are madly in love.

Then the summer ends.

Noah and Ali are devastated that she has to leave. Her parents won't let her stay because they think that she is too good for him. It's absolutely devastating. He writes her letters, which she never receives because her mother intercepts and keeps them. She thinks that Noah has forgotten her.

Then World War II begins.

Noah is deployed for a couple of years and comes home when the war is over. During this time, Ali gets engaged to Lon, a lawyer who her parents approve of because he is socially acceptable. Noah buys an old plantation and fixes it up, and he and the house wind up in the newspaper. So Ali decides that she needs to go see Noah before she gets married, even though she hasn't seen him in fourteen years. At their reunion, they realize that they never fell out of love.

Read the book to find out who Ali chooses, Noah or Lon!

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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on July 12, 2004
This book was so amazing. I read the entire thing in one night (stayed up until 5:30 a.m. finishing it and then got up and went to work 3 hours later--yes, it was that good). I was disappointed to read another review that stated Mr. Sparks is not a great writer but presents a good story. I think what the reader was trying to convey was that while the story is not written in elegant prose, it's simplistic language wraps you up so tightly in the story and doesn't let go until the last page (which then leaves you running to find the sequel, The Wedding). It is so well written and in such a casual easy-read manner that you can't help but feel a part of these characters in your soul. My heart ached for them as I turned page after page. A longing to be one with the story enraptured me almost as if I were telling my own story. There were several times I cried audibly while reading, tears streaming down my face. Never has a book touched me so deeply! I can't wait to see the movie! If you love love stories and have ever known the real true kiss of love (as Mr. Sparks surely must have) you will LOVE this book! I think I will read it again and again over the years to come.
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on July 1, 2004
Nicholas Sparks has been my favorite author for a very long time now. I have read each and every one of his novels (and his recent memoir) since the original release of THE NOTEBOOK almost ten years ago.
THE NOTEBOOK is Nicholas Sparks' first, and by far, the BEST of all the novels he has written. This is the book which started it all, earning Nicholas Sparks a place on Best Seller lists everywhere. When it was originally released, the HC spent more than ONE YEAR (actually, almost TWO YEARS!) on the Best Sellers list. By now, it is probably close to (or maybe even surpassed) its 50th printing!
This novel is such a fan favorite, and "Noah and Allie" are so beloved, that Sparks was inspired to write a 'sequel' (THE WEDDING) to it just last year (the only 'sequel' he's ever written!). In fact, according to a recent poll on Sparks' website, the character of 'Noah' is by far the most popular of all the characters Sparks has created, earning more than TWICE the number of votes that the second place character earned!!
The recent release of the movie has spawned a new 'generation' of readers and should (rightfully so) earn Mr. Sparks many new fans. I hope that those who have recently read THE NOTEBOOK for the very first time will continue with Noah & Allie's story, by following it up with THE WEDDING, and then at least one other of the many Best Selling novels Sparks has written. (To fully appreciate the wonderful 'gift' of Nicholas Sparks and THE NOTEBOOK, I encourage readers to read his recent Best Selling memoir, THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER, where readers can learn how these characters were brought to life, and what has inspired Sparks to be the author he is today!).
What I love about a Nicholas Sparks novel is that most readers can identify with at least one of the many characters he has created over the years. Whether it be the lovable, sentimental 'Noah'; the sweet, innocent 'Jamie' (WALK TO REMEMBER); the strong, hero 'Taylor' (THE RESCUE); the life-saving protector 'Mike' (THE GUARDIAN); the cautious loner who rediscovers love 'Garret' (MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE); the hard-working, determined, loving mother 'Denise' (THE RESCUE); the smart-alleck young man who learns how to love 'Landon' (WALK TO REMEMBER); or any one of the many others, Nicholas Sparks creates characters which we can all find within ourselves. Readers can identify with these characters in every way - from their strong will, vulnerable hearts and determined spirit.
Altho classified as a "love story", THE NOTEBOOK and other Sparks' novels, are not just love stories between a man and a woman - within the pages of a Nicholas Sparks novel, readers will find the love stories of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors. They are the inspired "love stories" of all of us, and are especially needed in the world we live in today.
THE NOTEBOOK is a truly inspired story, and Nicholas Sparks is a gifted writer, deserving every bit of the attention & praise this new movie has generated. By climbing the Best Sellers list again - nearly ten years after its original release - and capturing the hearts of a new generation of readers, THE NOTEBOOK has proven itself to be a classic, timeless love story for all ages, and Nicholas Sparks as an author to be cherished, appreciated, and read for many years to come.
(If you've read THE NOTEBOOK and enjoyed it, be sure to follow it up with THE WEDDING - Noah & Allie aren't "complete" until readers have gone full circle!)
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on June 22, 2004
I'm really surprised by the amount of criticism by people who scoff at this book's simplicity. A book doesn't have to be longer than the Bible in order to be a touching read. Nor does it have to go into hours of drab detail and boring history in order to be satisfying.
I found this book to be spectacularly moving. It touches on both the hardships of love in youth, and love in old-age. Yes, the book is small and is an easy read. (At approx. 200 pages, I woofed it down in about 3 hours.) But few books grip me enough so that I feel compelled to actually read 3 hours straight. Even if it had been 6 hours long, I think I would've finished it in one sitting.
Despite what haughty 'literites' may tell you, the book is moving. It has changed my perspective on the elderly,... I now see them in a different light. You see history. You see love.
Do be careful where you read this, though. I made the mistake of buying the e-book and reading it at work. I had to fake allergies to cover the fact that I was teary-eyed most of the afternoon.
If you're looking for a great book to kick off your summer, I highly recommend it!
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on June 5, 2004
I was recommended by my younger sister to read this book. I did and enjoyed it for its entertainment value.
Like any action movie, we know movies like The Matrix or any of that sort will never be nominated for the Oscars.
"The Notebook" is not a work of literature compared to the works of Hemingway or Twain or Steinbeck. But, "The Notebook" does move me as an individual. It may not challenge me on my intellect when having to read books like "Bhagavad Gita" and analyze it line by line; however Sparks' novel truly did move and captivate me--it is after all a romantic novel.
I find any person odd and awkward if they did not feel anything when reading this book. They should at least feel a miniscule amount of a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
To continue, I do fine Allie's decision to go to Noah during her engagement a flag-raising issue. Had Allie and Lon been married for quite some time and then if Allie visits Noah, then this will be issue of moral degrading on her behalf.
Bottomline is: I truly enjoyed reading the novel which is a break from reading "literatures" from college assignments. I for one, sincerely recommends to other people my age to borrow from a friend or have a copy. And go see the movie when it comes out in theatres June 25, 2004 and please share the movie with your significant other. :-)
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on April 10, 2004
Love is only the most wonderful thing on the planet, and what is more refreshing and uplifting than the blossoms of love among youth? Nothing, in my opinion. Personally, I will never become tired of a good love story and The Notebook is just that. In fact, it is somewhat hard to grasp that a man actually wrote it. The vivid descriptions play a major role in the novel. The places, people, dreams, hopes come alive on the pages. It is almost like poetry. Of course, the love between the youngsters is lost for a while because family members don't approve of the lads social status and therefore think that he is not good enough for their daughter. Each of them moves on in life and she winds up engaged to another fellow several years later...only to entertain the idea of her first love and what it would have been like with him. I cried seventeen times when I read this novel for the first time. It ranks as the second best love story I have read so far this year. (The first is "Lucky Monkeys In The Sky")
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on November 3, 2003
Everyone, doesn't matter who, we all read books at one time or another. Whether you have someone read it to your or you read it yourself, you have heard one. I'm here to tell you about a certain book I read. The book is called The Notebook. The author of The Notebook is Nicholas Sparks.
The main characters in The Notebook are Noah and Allie. Noah is very kind, sensative, strong, hardworking, and he is also a poet. Allie is very outgoing, kind, has a sense of humor, and is intelegent. The two meet one summer when Allie comes to North Carolina where Noah lived on summer vacation. They meet at a fair when their friends introduce them. Immediatly they hit it off. They spent the whole summer together, and very much liked each other. They both lost their virginity that summer. Although Allie's mother didn't like her and Noah being together Allie ignored her mother's wishes and continued to see him anyway. Sometimes she would even sneak out to see him. The summer came to an end and Allie had to go back home. Noah tried sending Allie letters but he never got one back so eventually he just stopped sending them. Fourteen years later Noah was restoring an old home and it was posted in the newspaper. Allie saw it two weeks before she was about to get married and decided she had to see him again. So she went to visit him and told her soon to be husband ,Lon,that she just had to get away and go shopping or something, and he let her go. Allie and Noah fell very much in love all over again, but when it was time for Allie to return home she was faced with a very difficult decision. She did come to a decision though, and spent the rest of her life with the man she very deeply loved. A love so great that nothing could tear it apart, even a love to create a miracle.
Literary elements used in The Notebook are Imagery because its almost like you were there when you were reading it. How the author describes the beautiful place they were in you can almost imagine yourself there. It also had a Surprise ending which I thought was very interesting with how everything worked out in the book.
I think this book was really good. I would recomend it to someone who likes love storys. I thought the ending was extremely good and it couldn't have been better.
Now that you have an idea about The Notebook, you should read it. It's very interesting and is one of the best books I have ever read.
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on January 15, 2003
I think "serious" readers might dismiss this book as yet another trashy, self-indulged, semi-romantic, unoriginal story but that seems like a great injustice. There is something genuinely touching about the characters, their vulnerability,and their humanity. Sparks writes them (the characters) directly from his heart, I think, and in doing so creates a picture of love that is pure and idealistic. There are some twists and turns to the plot that are unexpected to some, but in the end the real strenght of the book lies in the emotions it manages to evoke within us. It is easy to say that cliches and run of the mill situations make up the book, but underneath all of that is a deep message that says something important about love. While that message might be different for everyone, it is a message nonetheless and I think that's a significant acomplishment for any book. This book spoke to me. It had a deep meaning that caused me to question and to wonder about what love is, its strenght, its power, its significance. For anyone who has asked those questions this book might be surprinsgily enjoyable and deeply touching.
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on September 15, 2002
Nicholas Sparks has hit a homerun again! This book was recommended to me by a friend who is involved in similar life experiences. This book takes the reader on a journey that wanders through loneliness, young love, love lost, and a mature love found again. More importantly, for me, this book takes you through love that endures the pain and hope of an Alzheimer's caregiver. I read the book in two sittings... I just had to put it down to recover a bit and then picked it up again because I just had to know! When I was done, I gave the book to my husband so he could read it. The book is an emotional rollercoaster. Hubby finished the book in one sitting.
There is a message of love that endures in this book -- through better and worse. There is a message of hope that encourages an Alzheimer's caregiver to continue to seek and find the moments of clarity that comes with an enduring love for the patient.
If you want a super read -- this is the one! You will not be disappointed! Hollybmp @ Hubby
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on March 15, 2002
Nicholas Sparks has become famous for writing the sweet and tender love story that appeals to the romantic in all of us. He doesn't disappoint with "The Notebook" as he weaves the tale of two teenagers, Noah and Allie, who meet one fateful summer and fall in love. Since the course of true love is never smooth, it should come as no surprise that Allie's parents do not approve of her relationship with Noah. He does not have the education, money, or social prominence they wish for their daughter. Allie and her parents move away and Noah writes to her for years, but after never receiving an answer gives up. WWII comes, lives change, but one thing remains constant---neither Allie nor Noah can forget the other. As Noah's friend Gus tells him, first love changes your life forever and no matter what else happens in your life, the memory of it stays with you. And so it is that fourteen years later and three weeks before her wedding, Allie finds herself driving to New Bern to find Noah for reasons she herself does not fully understand. Their reunion proves once again that they are true soulmates, but it that enough? Can Allie forsake the "perfect mate" who has not only her love but also the approval of her parents? Can she walk out on Noah for a second time? Will Noah let her go? The story then skips to the nursing home where an 80-year old Noah resides and spends his time reading poetry to his fellow residents. But down the hall is a very special woman. The reader will be overcome with emotion as this relationship unfolds and the missing pieces of Noah and Allie's story are revealed in the notebook he carries with him. Intensely romantic and a tribute to the power of true love, "The Notebook" will leave you emotionally spent and thankful to be so.
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