Friday, 21 August 2015

Page to Screen - The Longest Ride

Hands up, who likes Nicholas Sparks novels? I do! Well, I love them really, he’s one of my favourite authors. I’m currently working on collecting all his novels, and whenever a new film adaptation comes out I know that I’ll have to see it at some point.
As you can see, I love Nicholas Sparks
As you can see, I love Nicholas Sparks
This year, it was the turn of The Longest Ride. Originally published in 2013, I didn’t buy this book until this year because I knew the film was being released. I saved The Longest Ride until my holiday at the end of June, knowing that I always fall in love with Sparks’ writing style and stories. And I wasn’t disappointed – I gave it five stars on Goodreads, and fell in love with Luke Collins.
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Nicholas Sparks has a knack, in my opinion, for creating the perfect book boyfriends. His male characters tend to be gentlemanly, romantic, and yes – attractive. Besides his dreamy male characters, it is his female protagonists that I associate with the most. They tend to be quite quiet and shy, which I definitely am. This is particularly true of The Longest Ride. Our female lead Sophia is coming to the end of her degree, something I’ve just experienced, and is more focused on her academic pursuits than partying – which we all know describes me!
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
My favourite part of The Longest Ride was the dual narrative – the story of Sophia and Luke running alongside the story of Ira and Ruth. This is one of my favourite techniques used in fiction, so I was so pleased to see Sparks use it. This was one thing I was worried about when I thought about watching a film adaptation as I wasn’t sure how it would translate. I was pleasantly surprised. Understandably the film takes a slightly different path to the novel, with Sophia and Luke meeting Ira at the beginning of the film rather than towards the end of the novel. Although some people might criticise this because it strays from the novel, but I think it was essential to making the film work and tell the story.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
Sophia reading Ira’s letters to him was also really well done, in my opinion. The film blended really nicely from Sophia reading to the visual representation of the letters, where you saw young Ira and Ruth’s lives. Ira and Ruth’s story was set in the 1940s (around the Second World War), and I do love a bit of a historical drama so I loved this aspect too – to both the novel and the film.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
I think the casting was brilliant for this too – Scott Eastwood as Luke Collins was the perfect cowboy, and Britt Robertson epitomised the sweet Sophia Danko. I did read the movie cover edition of The Longest Ride which might have helped me associate the actors with the characters, but I still think both Scott and Britt match the character descriptions from Nicholas Sparks.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
Overall, I think this was a really good book to movie adaptation. I only read The Longest Ride a few months ago as I said, but the film has got me wanting to reread the novel as soon as possible. I will definitely be picking up the DVD when it comes out to add to my Nicholas Sparks collection. It’s definitely one of my favourites! I could not pick a favourite between the book or the film; they similar but the film differs enough from the novel for you to be able to differentiate between the two.
Photo credit http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-longest-ride
Photo credit Fox Movies
Have you seen The Longest Ride? Or have you read it? Which do you prefer?
Until next time,
Lexie
xo

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