The Notebook Book Review: Love Story Or Tragedy?

One of the most fascinating things about books is how the same story comes across unique to each reader.

I finished Book number 3 over the weekend and it is The Notebook. I don’t think I have to say whose it is because it is quite popular and even made into a movie (watched it for two hours, stopped to collect my patience every 30 minutes; movie is another story from the book, a good movie anyway, I mean Ryan Gosling? C’mon! :mrgreen:). I even took the book to the gym, read it as I was cooling down, with a couple of guys boxing near me, imagine that.

You’ve probably seen tons of book reviews for The Notebook so I’d try my best here. First thing I noticed was how The Notebook was similar to Dear John, the only other work of Nicholas Sparks I’ve read. The elements are the same: the not happily ever after ending, the beautiful North Carolina setting, the longing, the letters, the military, and how the guy in the story tends to flaunt his softer side so easily.

The Notebook starts by sifting its readers: “the romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy.” The story is simple, honest, and straightforward. It is about finding the perfect love, the kind you never want to let go until hell freezes over, and the kind that makes you willing to endure, and suffer, and sacrifice… and be happy about it.

A lot of importance is also given to passion, nature, arts, poetry, and doing the right thing. But I must admit, I was not drawn to these, but more on the Alzheimer side of the story, how it is a “thief of hearts and souls and memories.

I liked how The Notebook dealt of things that matter, and for some, I know they look at this as one of the greatest love stories ever told but on the other side of the room, there are those who would find this too sappy, almost like a soap opera, harboring on overkill. 😳

Me? I felt neutral about it. I appreciate where The Notebook placed its eggs, but I was not caught lightheaded either, even with surprise stormy canoe rides, migratory swans (symbols of eternal love), Β five continuous pages of sex by a fire, and later, by two old people holding hands while walking and all.

What I found brilliant about it though is how the characters were built – tangible, and believable. Allie, the girl in the story, reminds me of someone I know very well, “fiery, spontaneous, passionate.” As for Noah, the guy in the story, he just earned a seat beside Dumbledore on my fictional character Half of Fame. I loved the way Sparks vividly described him, pocketbook like almost. Noah was agile but sensitive, smart but tender, looking forward but rooted. Even if he recited poetry, he felt real. The short memories of his Daddy were also painted real well and I thought his Daddy might as well be Dumbledore himself. πŸ˜€

The Notebook was an entertaining, grow-old-with-you kind of read, perfect for those dreaming of finding their soul mate, of finding “a love that rode on shooting stars and roared like crashing waves,” of finding another whose hands they’d hold even when they are old and it hurt because of advance arthritis.

…But would I read it again? No, I won’t.

On the photo: The copy of The Notebook I have was the original hardbound version, it belonged to my Aunt once. The book is old, battered, the jacket missing, the pages tearing, and there are even doodles on them. I love it (right, scud? :))!

Read my other book reviews: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

35 thoughts on “The Notebook Book Review: Love Story Or Tragedy?

  1. Pingback: Walking Through The Cemetery Of My Not So Forgotten Books | Prinsesa's Anatomy

  2. Pingback: Wuthering Heights Book Review: Love Is Poison, More Than Sweet Nectar « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  3. Pingback: Fictional Characters: Meet And Greet The Most Memorable Bunch « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  4. Pingback: Fifty Shades Darker: Trilogy Sequel Is Definitely Damn Brighter « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  5. Pingback: The Savannah Effect: How Far Will You Go? « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  6. Pingback: The Tiger’s Wife Book Review: Life, Death, And Some In Between « Prinsesa's Anatomy

    • i like the way you put it. πŸ™‚ but the movie is good too. i think the key to appreciate the movie is to not think it is a movie version of the book because it is not. it stands on its own and it is also cool, long though.

  7. Pingback: Love The One You’re With Book Review: Yeah, Right « Prinsesa's Anatomy

  8. fantastic book review! I havent read the book but I’ve already seen the movie and i really enjoyed. Watched it with my brother, you konw big guys, sports buffs, gaming idiots and watching a cry-cry movie.. just imagine that kind of scene. The point is we dont care, we simply love the story and the romance. one of life’s rare moments. hehe.
    the film showed us even then that Ryan Gosling is a talented yet underrated actor, thanks God he finally proved himself with this year’s Drive. Rachel McAdams comes of age too in that movie, I great find she was there.!

    The books nah, I dont know the movie was so good i cant read all those again, c’mon. Spare the man. hehe

    • it’s cool to hear of big boys go for this kind of thing, you don’t see that everyday. this is actually the first movie of ryan gosling i’ve seen. i’m not big with movies, and certainly not big for rachel mcadams. it was hard to watch the movie thinking she was in it but it turned out okay, surprisingly.

  9. You’ll never caught me reading or watching a story by Nicholas Sparks. Because I will never read or watch a story by Nicholas Sparks.

    But this:

    “It is about finding the perfect love, the kind you never want to let go until hell freezes over, and the kind that makes you willing to endure, and suffer, and sacrifice… and be happy about it.”

    Someone I know are doing these things, especially the enduring, the sacrificing, and still happy about it part.

    • tell that someone you know that i hope something good comes out of his thing. i don’t know how to call that really, so let us just stay with thing. i’m not sure whether i’d pick up another book of sparks. many encourages me to try the last song but… it’s just miley cyrus’ face, you know?

  10. I’ve read the book but I don’t remember liking or hating it. Pare-pareho lang naman kasi ang plots ng mga novels ni Nicholas Sparks. Ika nga.. may formula siyang nalalaman.

    I’ve watched the movie and I didn’t like it either. Surprise. Surpise. Haha.

    You should read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy or Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. πŸ˜€

    • i felt neutral about the book, partially biased with the movie because of ryan gosling… i will scud, i will! as i said before, i like your taste in things so these books will be on my desk soon enough, and thank you for the suggestions. πŸ™‚

    • sa romantic side ka din? salamat. sa totoo lang hindi ko alam kung binabasa ba talaga tong mga review ko eh, mahaba kasi, pero i’m trying to make it shorter. i’m sure i’d find a way eventually, o kaya pag tinamad na ako, :D.

        • haha πŸ™‚ i will try. it is just that there are so many elements in a book it is hard to cover them in only so much characters. but really i am trying, for sure it will get better with practice. i thank you for your patience though, if you read the entire thing. πŸ™‚

  11. I have difficulty finishing a book. Wala ako gaanong pasensya to sit and read. But I have seen the movie of both the Notebook and Dear John. Feeling ko nga typical na Pinoy love story eh. The only difference is hindi sya happy ending. (di ko na maaalala the exact ending of both films).

    …But would I watch it again? No, I won’t. hehehe

    • we are the opposite. it’s hard to watch a movie on my end. they’re long. now that you’ve pointed it out, i’m fascinated as to how you can sit through a whole movie and not with a book, in the same way that i am fascinated with myself, that i do the opposite. i would watch dear john again, maybe if i’m in the mood. the notebook, i don’t know, maybe in parts to see ryan gosling πŸ˜†

    • the movie is different from the novel. it’s like an inspired by kind of thing only. i liked the movie though. ang pogi ni ryan gosling. :mrgreen: i watched the movie with my man, yesterday, and he was patient with me. i treated the movie like a play. i needed breaks every 30 minutes because it was so long. in the end i enjoyed it, i guess my man did too. πŸ˜€

    • naalala ko tuloy yung nabasa ko, sabi niya, his fans would appreciate a happily ever after, even for once. hindi naman daw nakakamatay yun eh πŸ˜†

  12. PM, all of nicholas sparks’ books are like that. ive read almost all, and i can say, laging may tragedy. wendy quoted me once as saying that laging may namamatay sa books nya. hehe! but i do love his books. favorite ko “the last song.” it is a love story…but not one that you would expect. [no spoilers. baka may magalit. hehe!]

    PS, are you aiming for 1 book a week? πŸ™‚

    • i am curious to see the trends in his book, not just about the tragedy, but also about other elements which i found recurring between dear john and the notebook. my sister has a copy of the last song, but it seems i cannot bring myself to pick it up because it has miley cyrus’ face on the cover πŸ˜† don;t worry, i know the plot of the book, have heard the movie too so you can talk freely about it. my goal is to read one book a month, like i said on my 2012 list, but i guess i just want to keep going and not lose the momentum so the litter box may be filled with book reviews for a while. any suggestions on what i should pick up next?

  13. I was never a fan of novels like these but when I read The Notebook, I cried bucket of tears. It’s one of the best books I’ve read. πŸ™‚

  14. I haven’t read a Nicholas Sparks book. But I am really curious whether The Notebook is really good because it seems that almost every one I know are so into it. I can’t believe that this book even have a twitter account. haha. πŸ˜€

    But I think I will read first the book about being a wallflower.

    • it’s popular because of the movie, that much i am guessing. i don’t have a twitter account so i would not know. it’s cool though, it makes you feel lovey-dovey :mrgreen: …and ryan gosling [insert droll here] πŸ˜†

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s