A Walk To Remember School & Library Binding – Sep 1 2000
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In the prologue to his latest novel, Nicholas Sparks makes the rather presumptuous pledge "first you will smile, and then you will cry," but sure enough, he delivers the goods. With his calculated ability to throw your heart around like a yo-yo (try out his earlier Message in the Bottle or The Notebook if you really want to stick it to yourself), Sparks pulls us back to the perfect innocence of a first love.
In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.
Like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, Sparks maintains a delicate and rarely seen balance of humor and sentiment. While the plot may not be the most original, this boy-makes-good tearjerker will certainly reel in the fans. Look for a movie starring beautiful people or, better yet, snuggle under the covers with your tissues nearby and let your inner sap run wild. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Sure to wring yet more tears from willing readers' eyes, the latest novel by the bestselling Sparks is a forced coming-of-age story concerning a pair of unlikely young lovers. In a corny flashback device that mimics The Notebook, 57-year-old Landon Carter spirits himself back to his fateful senior year in high school in Beaufort, N.C., when he was an archetypal troublemaking teenager of the 1950s, changed forever by an unexpected first love. Jamie Sullivan, the Bible-toting minister's daughter, with her drab brown sweaters, spinster hairstyle and sincere, beatific advice, is the obvious target of high school ridicule. Despite conspiring in Jamie's derision, class president Landon, desperate for a date for the homecoming dance, finds himself asking Jamie. Afterwards, Jamie asks him to participate with her in the metaphor-laden school Christmas play (Jamie plays the angel). Landon endures the taunting of his friends and forms an uneasy friendship with Jamie, which is carefully supervised by her father. The teens visit needy orphans, give Oscar-worthy performances in the school play and share dreams watching the sunset. Landon realizes he's in love with Jamie, but, of course, she is hiding a devastating secret that could wring her from Landon's arms forever. Now tortured by his knowledge of what will be her terrible fate, he must make the ultimate decision that catapults him into adulthood. Readers may be frustrated with the invariable formula that Sparks seems to regurgitate with regularity. Although the narrator declares, "My story can't be summed up in two or three sentences; it can't be packaged into something neat and simple that people would immediately understand," this is the author's most simple, formulaic, and blatantly melodramatic package to date. Agent, Theresa Park, Sanford Greenburger Associates. Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild main selections; 20-city author tour; movie rights optioned by Denise DiNovi at Warner Bros.. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A Walk to Remember is a great one to start with if you're in the same boat as me. While this is a light romance with very much a Christian/coming of age theme, it's a real page turner. It's a reminiscence. The narrator is almost 60 and about to enter the new millennium, and he's looking back tenderly to the best year of his life, a time when he's entering his senior year and trying to figure out where he's going and what he's got to offer. His father, a wealthy congressman, would like him to go to Harvard but Landon Carter, 17 years old, isn't even certain he has the grades and resumé to get him into University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNCCH).
As Landon tells his story, he is that teenager again, a bit smartass, a bit scared, and a bit confused. His father thinks he should be student body president and once Landon sees the competition, he thinks he might be able to do it. When his buddy gets the athletic side of the students and their girlfriends to vote for him, he's a shoe-in. A typical teenager, Landon thinks he'll take drama — no tests, a real "blow-off" class. His enthusiasm increases dramatically when he realizes the class is 90% female.
Landon tells us right up front that no-one could be more surprised than he himself that he would fall in love with Jamie Sullivan. Jamie was a sweet girl — helped everyone, rescued animals, visited the orphans — but she just wasn't with it.Read more ›
In the prologue it is said that the story makes you both smile and cry - there is no doubt about that. But in the end it is not joy - it is sadness that overwhelms the reader.
Sadness that the story is over.
Some of Mr Spark''s novels are a disaster: this one is not and it should be recommended to everyone. Certainly one may consider it being lowbrow literature, pulp fiction, fiction for the masses - who the hell cares? It is just a good read! And maybe even more than that.
Jamie Sullivan was a minister's daughter, who wore boring brown sweaters every day, always tied her hair up in a bun, and always had her Bible with her. She is the girl that you would think of when you would imagine the person who gets made fun of in high school. She had never been on a date in her life, and Landon was one of the more popular boys in his high school.
Landon didn't have a date for homecoming, so he decided that he would ask Jamie because she was too sweet to say no and wouldn't have a date yet. When he asked, she said "promise me that you won't fall in love with me."
After a horrible night at homecoming, Jamie asked Landon to play the male lead in an upcoming Christmas play that was performed every year, and was a very big deal in the town. Landon didn't really want to, but Jamie talked him into it because she was playing the lead female and her father had written the play -- and Jamie wanted the play to be very special. After about two months of constant rehearsals, the play was performed and the town knew that this had been the best year ever. And Landon had to admit that it went well, and that he was falling in love with dorky Jamie. But there is a secret that Jamie was hiding from Landon. What could it possibly be? And why did she tell Landon not to fall in love with her?
This is another powerful love story from an author that makes you believe in love. Read this amazing novel to find out the secrets of Landon and Jamie.
Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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Paid $50.00 for a new book. Book was used and had a price tag from good will for $2.99Published 19 months ago by Chris Layden