The Longest Ride
By Nicholas Sparks
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Source: Barnes & NobleSummary: Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one 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.
On a dark, snowy night, 91-year-old Ira finds himself crashed in a snowy ditch. Too injured to move for help, Ira finds himself seeing his deceased wife Ruth and reliving their entire relationship together. Ruth pushes Ira to hang on and continue to live a life he's deemed worthless without his best friend and love by his side. Jump to four months earlier and a couple of miles away, and you'll find college senior Sophia about to start a once in a lifetime romance of her own. After a hurtful breakup with a cheating boyfriend, Sophia's friends take her on a girls' night out to a rodeo. The last thing Sophia expected to find there was Luke, a cowboy and bull rider who's smile could make any girl's heart race. Can two people with two completely different tracks in life but true feelings for each other really make it work?
Oh my goodness, where do I even start? Let's start off with the characters. I absolutely fell in love with Luke and his cowboy hat and boots. Who doesn't want a hard working guy who would do anything to help out his family? He's so mature and so different from the annoying frat guys Sophia is always around, that's it's entirely impossible to not fall for him. I also really liked Sophia as well. While I was super jealous she got the hunky cowboy all to herself, I really liked how she viewed college life because it was so relatable to me. Sometimes, she feels like college is so disconnected from the world and wants people to be serious grownups every once in awhile. Enter extremely hot cowboy who knows exactly how many responsibilities life really throws your way. Why can't we all have a Luke of our own?
I wasn't sure how Ira and Ruth's story was going to fit in with Sophia and Luke's, but I really liked how they entwined throughout the book and in the end. Ruth and Ira were reliving their own romance while Sophia and Luke's was just beginning. And boy were those romances sweet. It's no secret that Nicholas Sparks knows how to write a romance, but they're just so gosh darn perfect and heart wrenching. I think Ira's story added even more to this book and I'm so happy both romances were mixed together in this book.
I absolutely loved watching Luke and Sophia grow to love each other, and how realistic their relationship was. They was no insta-love or anything; their relationship grew from a friendship into something much more. They spent time together before taking any big steps, which I appreciated as I read the novel. You really get to see a relationship grow and form, and you couldn't ask for anything better. Seriously, can I take Luke home for myself? Because he's just too amazing to pass up.
If you can't tell, I loved this book. Loved. It. There's a lot of depth and dynamic to the relationships, and the romance is exactly what I love. Not to mention it's going to be released as a movie in early 2015. I can't wait for that! If you're a Nicholas Sparks fan, you definitely have to pick up this book right now. Even if you're just a romance fan in general, the The Longest Ride is the perfect book to give you a sweet story with romance, relationships, and simply real life.