After reading so many books with Hercule Poirot my brain demanded a change. It requested something completely different, meaning anything but a detective book.
So, after much deliberation I picked “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks.
I knew I was picking a romance but I was hoping that it will be a romance with an uplifting ending that would cheer me up and make my day.
Boy, was I wrong!
This book was anything but cheerful. It was slow paced, nostalgic (for the good ol’ days of childhood), captivating and heartbreaking.
The funny part is that when I was reading this book I was actually thinking of those summer days of my childhood when I was always out with my best friends, doing stupid things.
It might seem weird, but those were probably the only times that I actually believed in true love. Maybe I believed in it because when I was young, we didn’t had that idea of self worth, we didn’t care much of how we looked and how people saw us. So, daydreaming about prince charming didn’t seem that far fetched, even to a tomboy like myself.
Fast forward to high school and the bubble burst. See, real life is a bitch, especially for awkward teenagers.
In “A Walk to Remember“, Jamie (the female protagonist) is shown as a plain girl, that always brings her Bible with her and only thinks about how she can help others. She is shown as someone with a beautiful heart and mind, but with a plain exterior. She is seen as a weird girl by her peers and only the adults actually appreciate her and her hard work.
By the second half of the book she goes from the plain religious girl to the beautiful misunderstood girl who is hit by a horrible fate, she has leukemia and she will die by the end of her senior year.
Landon Carter (the male protagonist) is the cool, rich kid that hangs around all the cool crowds. He goes from disliking being in Jamie’s presence to being infatuated by her, by her beauty. He notices her when her breasts start growing, he is relieved when Jamie starts wearing her hair down rather than in an uptight bun.
This was something that annoyed me. Couldn’t Landon just love the plain Jamie? Why did she have to transform from the ugly duckling to the beautiful swan? I’m not saying that Landon is a bad guy, he actually did a lot of good things to help Jamie, even before she told him about her condition. But still, why? Can’t ugly ducklings have their true love?
The way I see things in life is that people don’t actually grow out of their skin, nor do they transform over night (even with plastic surgery). Usually ugly ducklings stay as ugly ducklings.
If someone likes/loves you, they don’t see you differently. They don’t see you as the most beautiful, fairest of them all. No. They see you as you are, with defects and all, but they like/love/care for that person that you are, ugly duckling or not. And that’s why I think real life beats fiction.
I liked the book, I did. It was beautiful! But it didn’t fit with my idea of a good love story.