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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Book Review: The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

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BOOK review
Started on: 7 October 2021
Finished on: 19 October 2021
 
 
Title: The Wish
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 400 pages / 384 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rp 292,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 4/5
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"It dawned on me then that Bryce—just like my aunt—had come into my life at the time when I'd needed him the most."
In the year 1996, Maggie Dawes was sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke—a fishing village with less than eight hundred people who lived there year-round. At the beginning, she could only think of the friends and family she left behind; until she met Bryce Trickett—one of the few teenagers living on the island. As they spent a lot of time together, Bryce began to show her how much there is to love about Ocracoke and even introduced her to photography—a passion that will define the rest of her life. In 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer who runs a successful gallery in New York and travel to remote places around the world. However, this Christmas she struggled to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis and became increasingly dependent on a young assistant named Mark Price—who she's becoming gradually close with. As they count down the last days of the season together, Maggie begins to tell him the story of another Christmas that happened decades earlier—and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.
"And in the end, isn't that the most important thing in life? To be truly known and loved by someone you've chosen?"
"It's important to remember that none of us is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. All we can do is try to be the best version of ourselves as we move forward."
I used to read so many books by Nicholas Sparks in the past and he's one of my favorite romance authors. I didn't read a few of his newer books because I wasn't in the mood for it at the time—and the reviews for it weren't that great either. When he announced the release of this book, I thought I might give it a try for the sake of old times. I think this is his 20th book that I've read so far and his writing definitely did not disappoint. I was completely immersed in the story and was constantly eager to find out what's going to happen next. Every time I read a book by Nicholas Sparks, I always make a guess at the beginning whether this story is going to have a happy or sad ending. With this one though, I know for sure that it's going to be a sad one right from the start. So, if you're not a fan of sad endings, you might want to just skip this one.

This story is written with two different timelines: the present and the past. In the present day, Maggie Dawes is spending her time towards Christmas day with her young assistant, Mark Price. During that time, Maggie then recounted the story of her teenage years when she was sent away to an island called Ocracoke. The present day timeline uses third-person point of view, and when the chapter transitioned into the past, it switches into a first-person point of view because Maggie is telling her own story—which makes it all seems very personal. I'm always amazed by the way Nicholas Sparks writes a very descriptive story yet and doesn't bore me with all the details. Instead, the details successfully built the atmosphere and developed the characters, which made me completely engrossed by this book. And since the story is going back and forth from past to present, I'm constantly curious to see how things actually ended in the past which led Maggie to her current life. Towards the end of this book, I kind of predicted what the big revelation was going to be so it didn't really came as a surprise. But I have to admit that the plot twist wrapped up the story on a heartwarming note and gives a proper closure to the whole story.
"Can you see yourself being with the person in the future, for all the reasons you love them now, through all the inevitable challenges that will come to pass?"
"Starting up at the kite, I thought about who I'd been when I'd first arrived in Ocracoke and marveled at the new person I'd become."
As for the characters, I think everyone is charming and lovable in their own way. Our main character, Maggie, had the most development throughout the story. She definitely matured a lot after what she'd been through and her character transformed from being childish to being a rather thoughtful person. Her relationship with her parents and older sister also played a huge role in her character development as well because she's constantly compared and doesn't feel much love to begin with. On the other hand, Bryce Trickett, is just like the author described—he seemed to be good at everything, smart and athletic, handsome, empathetic, and also a perfect member of his family. Nicholas Sparks is always great at building chemistry between the main characters, and this one is no exception. As Maggie slowly developed feelings for Bryce, I also find myself mesmerized by his charm. Their affection grows as they spent a lot of time together—which makes their relationship feels natural and real. My heart breaks when Bryce expressed how much he loves Maggie and wants to be with her—he's even willing to give up what's important to him. It almost feels like a crime to hurt someone as sweet and loving as Bryce. 🥺

Another character that I love is Aunt Linda, who Maggie had to live with while she's staying in Ocracoke. As a former nun, Aunt Linda is a character who is full of wisdom, kind, and understanding. Her relationship with Maggie was off to a rough start' but as time goes by, Maggie begins to feel her aunt's love and sincerity—which Maggie was longing to receive from her parents. I love how Aunt Linda encouraged Maggie to think and made decisions on her own instead of telling her what should be done. In a way, Aunt Linda gave Maggie respect as if she's an adult and not just a 16-year-old teenager—and I really liked that.
"We can pretend it was a beautiful dream, one that we remember forever. Because we both loved each other enough to allow the other to grow."
"But never forget that love is always stronger than fear. Love saved me, and I know it will save you, too."
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the bittersweet teenage love story between Maggie and Bryce. Knowing that it was going to have a bad ending right from the start kind of ruined the tension for me, because I feel like there's absolutely no hope for a happy ending for them. However, the beautiful writing that flowed really nicely made it bearable to read. Even after all these years, Nicholas Sparks still managed to captivate me through the story that he's written and made me feel emotionally invested in the characters. Maybe I'll consider reading his next book if it has hope for a happy ending; if not, I might have to pass 😆
 
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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