Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Real Life "Walk to Remember"

I'm a sucker for contemporary fiction especially if there's a love story so it should come as no surprise that I've read my fair share of Nicholas Sparks. One book that really stood out to me was A Walk to Remember.

At the time it was Sparks' first foray into "YA." I don't believe it was formally catalogued as young adult but in my opinion it could have been and it certainly was his first novel with such a young main character.

First book cover:

Book cover after movie premiere:

If you're unfamiliar with it, here's a brief summary:

Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he'd fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town's Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter's life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood...

I appreciated this book because it broached the subject of peer pressure--something young adults know too well. And it coupled it with illness and transformation, something that's very difficult to discuss/accept/believe when you're young. That's because young people aren't supposed to get sick, but they do. In fact, this book was inspired by Sparks' late sister, a very religious girl who died young. Books that let young readers know they're not alone in their loss are, in my opinion, very necessary reading.

And yesterday, when I was catching up on the news I came across a real life Walk to Remember. It won't let me embed the video so you'll have to copy the link below. It's quite a testament to love and friendship. While I will warn that the video may make you cry (or at least choke up), it's also a beautiful example of the resilience young people have even at times of crises.


What books or movies have you seen that broached these topics?

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