Allison: The Longest Ride | Nicholas Sparks | Book Review

When I was younger, Nicholas Sparks was my go-to author. Whenever I found out he had a new book coming out, it was on my shelf or in my hands within a couple days of the release. Now that I’m a little bit older and maybe a little bit wiser this is not necessarily still the case. Do I still get excited when I hear that a new Nicholas Sparks book is coming out? Yes, I do but it’s a different type of excited. I’m no longer necessarily dying to have a copy. I’ve found that I can wait until I am able to find the time to obtain a copy, and that I have to be in the right mindset to read his books. All of this being said, I could not help my excitement when I randomly stumbled upon an ARC giveaway by Grand Central Publishing of his newest book The Longest Ride.

the longest ride arc

the longest ride cover

For me, The Longest Ride was a bit different than a normal Nicholas Sparks book for me. Granted, it had relatively the same formula but, the whole feel of the novel was different for me. I still can’t really put my finger on it. It was enjoyable, and I liked it but I do have to admit that I spent some of the novel simply trying to figure it out. Luckily, it did all eventually come together, and the things that happened earlier in the book began to make more sense later on.

The Longest Ride switches between two different stories so it is told in three different points of view: Ira, Luke, and Sophie. Ira is an old man who is in a bit of trouble, and is reflecting on his life with his wife Ruth. In contrast, Luke is a young man who has lived his entire life as a cowboy and is struggling with some personal demons. Sophie is a college student in her final semester trying to figure out exactly what her next step in life should be after a bad breakup. On the surface, Sophie and Luke have little in common but after a chance meeting one night they find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. Just like a many years prior, Ira was drawn to his wife Ruth, and together they began the ultimate journey of the longest ride.

The build up of the growing relationship between Luke and Sophia provided a nice contrast to the one Ira was painting of remembering his life with his wife. Personally, I found Ira’s story to be more beautiful and more heartfelt but, I think that was the way that it was supposed to be. There were lessons in the importance of not taking things for granted, and of remembering the things that you always have held close. I also loved how his love for his wife was unwavering even though all the different things they experienced as a couple. Also, the way the two stories eventually became connected as one was perfect. Like I said before, all the questions I may have had through out the book were eventually answered which for me made the book even more enjoyable.

Admittedly I did get teary-eyed a couple of times while reading The Longest Ride. I’m not sure how he does it but Nicholas Sparks never fails to make me teary eyed at least once. I think it might be all the raw emotion that he tends to include in his books. Truthfully, the love story between Ira and Ruth is absolutely beautiful, and it’s not your typical “they lived happily ever after” type of romances either. Instead it’s more one of those grand love stories that you imagine would be passed down from generation to generation in a family as a model of true devotion and happiness. I think from my experience of working with the elderly population, I found myself really being able to connect with Ira, and what he was experiencing as he reflected on his life.

Overall, I enjoyed The Longest Ride. I liked the parallel connections of the two stories, and was completely captivated when their paths finally crossed. Trust me, it was at that point I had a hard time putting the book down until I found out exactly what had happened (and it was one in the morning). I would recommend this book to any Nicholas Sparks fan or to anyone looking for a bit of great romance and emotion that will definitely pull at your heart strings. Just … make sure you have a tissue before you start reading!

Disclosure: Received ARC from publisher

Other reviews of The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks:

KellyVision: “This is not your typical Nicholas Sparks novel…

Lou Graham’s Blog: “Without question this is a really enjoyable book…

Victoria Writes: “The story is heart-felt and easy-to-read, it kept me turning the page and moved me even to tears at one part.

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Allison is 27 years old. She is always looking for new books, good music, quality/epic adventures, and a normal sleep schedule. She currently works with the elderly.


  1. I’ll admit to being EXTREMELY curious about this Nicholas Sparks book. While I’m not as caught up on his stuff as I used to be, I still like to indulge in it every now and then. Glad you ended up enjoying this one!

  2. Spark has made some comments about the romance genre that is just really…prideful, I guess would be a good word for it. I’ve basically refused to read any of his books or see any more of his movies after that. It’s obvious the reason he has probably seeing his books as “romance” books is because women write romances and therefore it’s a lesser genre. And like he’s always said some things about YA. Here’s one of the articles where he said some pretty disappointing things:

    Definitely not saying you shouldn’t read his stuff either, but as a fellow feminist, I just wanted to pass on the info.

  3. I haven’t read Nicholas Sparks since I read The Notebook when if first came out, but I definitely want to read The Longest Ride! Great review!

  4. I used to always buy N Sparks’ books right away too, but all his books start to seem like the same story over and over again. So I’m like you and I don’t rush out to get them anymore. I’ll probably still read this one eventually. Glad to hear you liked it.

  5. Nicholas Sparks’ work makes me irrationally angry, mainly because I’ve always found his novels emotionally manipulative and painfully predictable and formulaic. I also read primarily for pleasure, and derive none from reading a story where there’s at least a 75% certainty that a character will die or contract some debilitating illness along the way.

    All that said, The Longest Ride really does sound like a special, enjoyable story. As you pointed out, I like the idea that Luke and Sophia’s journey runs parallel to that of Ira and Ruth. As a self-professed Sparks ‘hater’, your review was so passionate and well-articulated that you might have actually made a convert out of me and convinced me to read this novel should I ever stumble upon it in the library. While I’m not so interested as to purchase it myself, I certainly wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it, and that in and of itself is a major concession for me! 🙂