Monday, 19 December 2011

old people having sex is not what you want your readers to remember after the last page of your book (the notebook: a suckish book review)

So! It's Christmas break and I can finally read all the books I borrowed but never had the time for! The first on my list was The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

It's about the love story of Allie and Noah and some dude named Lon who fell in love with Allie. But of course, first love isn't supposed to die so Allie and Noah end up together. If you haven't read the book yet, this doesn't really count as a spoiler 'cause it's pretty predictable who ends up with who when you get between the beginning and the middle.

Basically, the book can be divided into 3 parts: 1) The intro. This is just one chapter, showing the current situation of Noah. This part ends when he's about to read The Notebook. 2) Their love story. This is what's written in The Notebook. It makes up, like, a little less than a half of the book. It has a lot of flashbacks and can be a bit confusing if you have a short attention span. It ends where Allie has to make a choice between Noah and Lon. 3) The actual story. Their love story is just a part of the actual story. The actual story is the really sad part of the book. And it ends with, um... I'll get to that later.

Part One

This is just one chapter so there's not really much to say.

Part Two

I'm not good at narrating stuff so I'll just pretend to be Noah and give you a summary of his feelings and stuff.

I'm Noah and I'm in love with this girl named Allie. I met her one summer fourteen years ago and we fell in love and I lost my virginity to her one August evening. Her parents didn't like me but we still met so I assume that's what true love is all about. But then they had to move back to some place she mentioned and I wrote her letters for two years even though she never returned a single one. After two years, I finally accepted that we were over. Except I never really accepted it 'cause I'm still hurting after FOURTEEN YEARS and everything in town hurt me 'cause they brought back memories from that summer FOURTEEN YEARS ago. Normal people would move on from this tragedy, but I choose to never let her go 'cause she was my first love and I'm a lead character in Nicholas Spark's book so that must mean we're meant to be together forever.

He was sitting on his porch when he was thinking about all this stuff. Everything he did reminded him of some joyful memory from years ago and it would hurt him. So ONE SIMPLE ACTION could lead to a ten-page flashback. Then he'll just snap back to reality, unfazed and totally aware of what he was currently doing, while you frantically go back several pages just to connect the events happening at the present time.

While he was thinking about Allie and that summer fourteen years ago, well, what do you know! Allie's doing the same thing miles away! And I'll pretend to be Allie since my narrating skill are crap.

I'm Allie and I'm engaged to a big-time lawyer named Lon. My wedding's just a couple of weeks away, but I'll go ahead and lie to my fiance and tell him I'm going away for a couple of days to go shopping when I'm really going to see my first love 'cause I'm clearly not over him yet after FOURTEEN FUCKING YEARS and I'm fully aware that my wedding to my future husband is just around the corner. Nothing is totally wrong with that. Yes, I could just call or write him, but visiting him and rekindling old flames is much more dramatic! And since we're lead roles in Sparks' book, this doesn't make me a cheating harlot.

They fall in love again--or rather--they realize that they've never stopped loving each other after FOURTEEN YEARS of separation and non-communication. That's logical, right?

They get caught by Allie's mom and it turns out she never really disliked Noah; she just thought he wasn't right for her daughter. (Way to go for making sense, Allie's mom!) And they found out that she hid all of Noah's letters out of concern for her daughter. She gives Allie a wonderful and totally not cliche piece of advice:


So Allie goes all "I love both Noah and Lon and I know they both love me too but I want to walk out of this situation without hurting anyone so I'm choosing Lon 'cause Lon would surely hurt if I choose Noah--not that it wouldn't hurt Noah if I choose Lon, but it sure adds to the drama!--so I'm totally disregarding Noah's feelings 'cause it's for the best though I know it doesn't make sense." And Noah begs her to stay and tells her that she shouldn't try to please others and she should think of herself once in a while and they were adults now, capable of making choices that they couldn't make fourteen years ago. But then she says sorry and drives away to the hotel where Lon was waiting. She considers covering up her puffy eyes with make up but decides there's no hope for that now. She tries to think of something to say to Lon, but it doesn't come to her 'til she sees Lon.

And this is where it ends. Part two, I mean.

Part Three

Oh, hey! They get married after that incident! Then after around 50 years, Allie is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and Noah with rheumatoid arthritis or something close to that. They're now both living in an elderly home thingy and Allie can't remember a thing about their love. So Noah makes this sweet effort to read their love story everyday to her, hoping that one day, she'll finally remember and recognize him.

This part is really sad and I was crying all the way 'til the last sentence.

I don't want to spoil the sad parts for you, so I'll skip ahead to the somewhat disturbing ending.

My reactions:
Last paragraph - Oh my God that's so sweet! *tears*
Second to the last sentence - They kiss. Erm... okay, I guess.
Last sentence - "And she slowly unbuttons my shirt." HOLY MOTHER FATHER.

I am scarred for life. the ending kinda ruined it for me. They were dying already! You can't have sex when both of you are living your last few days!


Those romantic people should probably read it, but if you like realistic books, you might end up mentally strangling Noah and Allie in the second part 'cause come on. FOURTEEN YEARS? You could've married a Bench model and given birth to 16 beautiful sons by then. (My math seems a bit off.)

Also, if you enjoy tear-jerkers (like me), this is the book for you. Or maybe I'm just really shallow and I easily cry.

Lesson for the day: Do not wear button-downs when living in a nursing home.

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