Book: The Choice

"The Choice"

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town Norht carolina. In full pursuit of the good life–boating, swimming, and barbecues with his close buddies–he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship would only cramp his style. That is until Gabby Holland moves in next door.

Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the attractive red-head seems to have a grudge against him. Still, 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 heart-wrenching question of all: How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Can I just say–

Nicholas Sparks has everything an author could want: a good career, loyal fans–even a loving family, I bet. Not really privvy to his personal life. But the point is this: what made Sparks write something as pointlessly sappy as The Choice?

I’ve stopped reading Nicholas Sparks for more than five years now. The last book of his I read was True Believer, I think. I picked it up soon as it came out–and totally disliked it. I tend to hold grudges, so I never read another Nicholas Sparks novel–until now.

Why did I pick up The Choice? Because I was curious why Nicholas Sparks was still beloved as a romance writer. What makes his novels work? The only thing I did get from this novel is that Nicholas Sparks seems to be losing inspiration. And this observation stems from a book that was published five years ago.

Seventy percent of The Choice deals with how main characters Travis and Gabby fall in love with each other–a very gradual thing. But the meat of the story, supposedly, rests on the choice Travis has to make in the present time. Which takes up around twenty-five percent of the book. Funny thing how the book is called The Choice, but it’s not actually the main story thread.

Admittedly, Nicholas Sparks is a good story teller. He knows how to keep a reader’s attention. So long as said reader doesn’t notice the fact that he (or she) is more than halfway done with the book, and nothing significant has yet to happen. Which is the case with The Choice.

In fact, if I’m to give this book a different title, I’d call it Lack of Consequences.

There were a lot of choices made in this book–but we never see any of the consequences stemming from the choices made. Gabby has a boyfriend who is conveniently always busy and away. When Gabby falls in love with Travis, the story trails off on the day her boyfriend returns. It returns some years later, with Gabby and Travis already married (not a spoiler, the prologue already reveals this fact), separated, and with Travis about to make a decision on something we have no idea about.

Author Sparks tries to be coy about the whole thing. And, for the sake of not spoiling anything, I shall not say what exactly the author is trying to be coy about. But, honestly, it was frustrating and infuriating how Nicholas Sparks twists and turns the story to make his readers second-guessing.

At one point, I wanted to just throw the book against a wall.

But I stuck with it. Even with a meager number of pages left, I was hoping there would be more to The Choice than the drivel already shoved down my throat. Alas, there was nothing else.

If I had the choice to go back in time, I would warn my past self against buying this book.

Now that I have that out of my system, I am very much curious as to what other people wrote about this book. Let’s see what they have to say:
Book Reviews
It’s Time to Read!
Teen Ink
YouTube Review: beautyequalshate

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