I'll admit that every time I pick up a work of Sparks' work, there's a little fangirl inside me squealing. It has happened whenever I've read his work, all from The Notebook to The Best of Me and everything in between. So, just imagine said fangirl jumping up and down when I got my hands on The Longest Ride.
Similar to the rest of his work, Sparks uses his close to impeccable writing to draw me into the story of Ira, but also Luke and Sophia. Even when it's in Ira's first POV and present tense, which I strongly loathe, the story is engaging. Ira tells the story of his life, of his love which was what had him engaged in life. At the same time, we have Sophia and Luke who, in all Sparks' style, falls in love. Young as they are, they jump into their newly established friendship and, yes, love. Despite coming from different upbringings and separated experience in life, their bond grows strong.
It's adorable to follow Ira's life through most part of the 1900's, but equally adorable to watch Sophia and Luke come to terms with what they want and what they feel for more than each other in the present. Here's also the catch that got me hooked. Because Ira has no obvious ties to Sophia or Luke, the whole book is leading up to how these two different stories are tied together in the end. Although just how they will be connected is rather easy to figure out, it's still as interesting to go on this long ride with them.
One thing that constantly amazes me is how Sparks can take a noticeably simple concept and make it beautiful. This story might have been told before, but Sparks puts his own personal impact on it. To compare it to most NA books I have read lately, I don't dare count all the times I've said the story have told before. This story might have been told before, but as I said, Sparks puts his own mark on it, somehow making it new again. Then again, Sparks repeatedly manages to create authentic characters and settings, that comes together in a great story.