Nicholas Sparks is definitely one author that comes to mind when I think of books being made into movies. So when I had to choose a book to do a book to movie review I instantly thought of him. The Longest Ride is one of my favorite movies made from one of his books and I hadn’t read the book itself, so I thought I’d give it a go. Spoilers may lay ahead, so do not continue if you haven’t read or watched this story.
Having seen the movie first I want to talk about it. The story follows Sophia, college student recovering from a bad relationship, as she meets bull rider Luke after being dragged out of the house by friends to a rodeo. They quickly become a thing and we meet Ira, an adorable old man who gets in a car accident, which Sophia and Luke happen upon. After this, Sophia becomes friends with Ira after saving his letters from his late wife Ruth. She reads the letters to him and he tells her stories about Ruth in exchange. They become very close and he helps her wade through her relationship with Luke. In the end when he passes away, she helps arrange the auction of his artwork, which he collected with Ruth throughout their relationship. The story wraps up with Luke bidding on a painting of Ruth, which no one wanted, and he then is gifted the rest of the art collection.
The book was quite different from the movie and I was not expecting it. The story between Luke and Sophia was basically the same. However, Ira’s story was significantly different. Instead of Luke and Sophia finding Ira near the beginning and Sophia building a relationship with him to learn of Ruth, Ira did crash his car, but he then was stuck in the car and started hallucinating Ruth and they shared their stories. I love the flashbacks to his previous life and it was also my favorite part of the movie, but how they came about was different. In the end he never recovered from the accident and the ending was significantly different as well with all the artwork and what happen to it.
All together I think I prefer the movie version better, which is hard for me. I am a book lover and firmly believe the book is usually better. In this case, I don’t think so. I loved how they tied these two stories together, while in the book it was like reading two separate stories until the end when they kind of intertwined. I liked it being one more cohesive story. I understand why they made the changes for the movie because it’s more appealing visually the way the movie was laid out. I loved the characters and their personalities. I really liked Luke’s mom in the film. Overall both stories were good, but I do lean towards the movie version more.