Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life — boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all:
How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?
It’s no secret that I quite like Nicholas Sparks novels, they work the same way each time and I find that comforting. The Choice is now the 11th book by him in my possession, but unfortunately it is by far the one I like the least.
The Choice plays in the same town as A Walk to Remember and is structured like The Notebook, which should indicate something brilliant, but unfortunately fell a little flat for me. One the one hand, you have the falling-in-love part of the story. Although a little fast, I think it was done nicely. You could feel the attraction between the Gabby and Travis and their relationship was only slightly tainted by the fact that Gabby had a boyfriend all along. Nonetheless, they were such likable characters, you couldn’t help but root for them. But on the other hand, there was this sudden time-jump and the story turned out to be about something entirely different – even though it was made clear from the beginning that it would come.
While I was reading, I kept wondering why 2/3’s of the book were devoted to us finding out about how they fell in love if that wasn’t the main focus in the end. Was it really necessary to show their connection this way? Did we really have to rush through the rest of their life?
Maybe it’s just me, but somehow The Choice left me a very unsatisfied reader. The starting question was, how far would go in the name of love? Well, I can’t help but wonder if Travis went too far. He didn’t cherish his wife’s wishes and I do realise that it was for the better in the end, but maybe if we had spent more time with him struggling, I would have understood his decisions better.
Fazit: 2.8/5 stars! A little disappointing and not nearly as emotional as I had hoped.
I do realise that this entire review was very vague, but I didn’t want to spoil anyone. In the end, I think I’ll stick with my favourites like Dear John, The Lucky One or Safe Haven. However, none of that would ever stop me from going to see the movie, especially because it looks very different from the book. Some events, like the dog-story, are the the same, but other than that they’ve apparently changed a lot. The characters look different and Gabby’s boyfriend is definitely a whole other person. In general it looks like it plays in a way shorter time frame and I could see myself enjoying that. Also, I am glad that they didn’t really show the “twist” in the trailer, even though you have the feeling it chronicles the entire movie.
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Tom Welling, Tom Wilkinson, Alexandra Daddario and Maggie Grace.
I am not exactly slaying my December TBR, but I am slowly getting ahead so I am celebrating that! Have you read The Choice? Did you enjoy it? Are you going to watch the movie?