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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks {Audio}

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
My Rating:  5 of 5 Butterflies

Title:  The Longest Ride
Author:  Nicholas Sparks
Narrator:  Ron McLarty & January LaVoy
Series:  Stand Alone
Length:  Unabridged; 13 hours & 12 minutes
Publisher:  Hachette Audio
Published:  September 17, 2013
Source:  Library
Format:  Audiobook
Genres:  Fiction; Love Stories
Subjects:  Unmarried Couples; Man-Woman Relationships; Life Changing Events

                             Audie Award Finalist, Romance, 2013                                           Ira Levinson is in trouble. At 91 years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
      A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward - even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans - a future that Luke has the power to rewrite... if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.
      Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
                       ©2013 Nicholas Sparks (P)2013 Hachette Audio
My Review:
Nicholas Sparks has always been one of my favorite author's.  He was actually one of if not THE first author that I ever discovered.  At one time, I couldn't get enough of his writing, and soaked up every single one of his books.  Then I started dabbling with other author's and honestly haven't came back to him until now.  Oh my, although I hadn't realized it until the first few minutes into the book, how did I miss him and his writing!

Sparks has an extraordinary talent for delivering heart-felt, heart string tugging stories that leave you feeling like weeping and laughing, all at the same time.  I have always felt an amazing spark and connection when reading his books, and The Longest Ride was no different.  I always get so lost in his writing, and I found myself soaring through all of the different emotions while listening to The Longest Ride.  I felt a great connection to the story!

In the past, I have only listened to mystery/suspense novels on audio, so I was quite leery about listening to a non-mystery book on audio, so much so, that I actually put off listening to this book for several months.  With this book, I learned that most genres should be okay on audio, that it's not reserved for just mystery books (and be good, at least!)  I thought that the narrators, Ron McLarty and January LaVoy, fit their perspective characters perfectly.  I really felt like I was listening to Ira when McLarty read!  My only quirk would be that LaVoy also read the part of Dylan, so it was a little irking to hear a female try to sound like a manly cowboy!    Other than that, I think that the narration of The Longest Ride was great, and if I had to rate it, would rate it at least 4-1/2 stars!

I feel like you can never go wrong with Nicholas Sparks, and this book left me feeling no different.  It really made me feel like I've been missing a lot in the few years that it's been since I've read a Sparks book.  He has a way with words and really delivers some of the best love stories ever written!  His stories are impeccable and mesmerizing!   And I thoroughly enjoyed reading about both sets of couples, Ira and Ruth, and their life-long love story, which was truly touching, and Sophie and Dylan, who were just beginning their adventure of their love life, where they seem destined to be together!  I thought that Sparks expertly intersected the lives of these four people, and brought it altogether at the end.

Overall, of all the Nicholas Sparks books that I've read, that this one definitely stands out as one of the most touching stories that he's written.  Most retailers compare it to The Notebook, however, I feel like The Longest Ride may even surpass the greatness of The Notebook, which I would have thought was impossible to do!  I can't wait to catch up with the Sparks novels that I've missed and see what else he can pull out of his sleeve, because he truly is a remarkable author with astonishing writing abilities!

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All blogs and reviews posted here are the sole property of the blogger and represent my very own opinions. In some cases, books reviewed are supplied to me in exchange for an honest review. Such cases will be noted on the blog post.

All other books reviewed have been purchased or borrowed through the normal channels.

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