I picked up “The Choice” by Nicholas Sparks because I knew the movie was coming out soon and I must read the book before I see the movie. And really, if there is one thing that Nicholas Sparks is good at, it’s making you really upset with love. And so I dug into the story of Travis and Gabby in order to find out what choice needs to be made and by whom. But that is not something I am going to give away, you’ll have to learn that on your own.
Gabby was a pretty funny character and I found myself relating to her a lot. Her determination when she thinks she is right, her strong beliefs, her parents – there were quite a few similarities. “But she couldn’t deny that family was important to her. That’s the thing about being the product of happily married parents. You grow up thinking the fairy tale is real, and more than that, you think you’re entitled to live it. So far, though, it wasn’t working out as planned.” (The Choice, pg 35). This quote really spoke to me; I’ve definitely been there. I was a little ruined as a kid having grown up with my parents that are super in love, and having watched as much Disney as I do – I really did believe that the fairy tale was a given. I certainly had to kiss my fair share of frogs before finding my own prince. I liked that Gabby had that uncertainty in her life and although she wasn’t unhappy with her life, she knew there was something missing.
Gabby’s solid attitude is part of what throws her off so much when she meets Travis. She very quickly learns that he is carefree almost to a fault, which is so different from her own demeanor. Having lived her life so safely, Gabby was captivated when learning about all the places that Travis has traveled. “But I’m different now than I was then. Just like I was different at the end of the trip than I’d been at the beginning. And I’ll be different tomorrow than I am today. And what that means is that I can never replicate the trip. Even if I went to the same places and met the same people, it wouldn’t be the same. My experience wouldn’t be the same. To me, that’s what traveling should be about. Meeting people, learning to not only appreciate a different culture, but really enjoy it like a local, following whatever impulse strikes you.” (The Choice, pg 102). I liked this quote because I think it gives some insight into Travis as a character. The way that he explains traveling around is so similar to how he behaves day to day. He spends his time really living as much as he can. He travels, he does extreme activities, and really, he does whatever he wants to. That is the carefree attitude that he has, which is part of what Gabby finds so frustrating and refreshing at the same time. It isn’t as simple as falling in love for them, which is part of what made this a good read.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, but not to everyone. It certainly was not Nicholas Spark’s best work. There were plenty of sappy moments as only Nicholas Sparks can write. It was captivating enough that I continually felt drawn to the book until it was over. And yes, I cried. Nicholas Sparks is a jerk and I should know better.