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The Longest Ride

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Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

398 pages, Hardcover

First published April 23, 2012

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About the author

Nicholas Sparks

299 books226k followers
Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 75 million copies in the United States alone.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and he followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), The Longest Ride (2013), See Me (2015), Two by Two (2016), Every Breath (2018), The Return (2020), and The Wish (2021) as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His twenty-third novel, Dreamland, was published on September 20, 2022.

Film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven (on all of which he served as a producer), The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, have had a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars. The Notebook has also been adapted into a musical, featuring music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson.

Sparks lives in North Carolina. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. He co-founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina in 2006. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4×400 meters, as well as US High School National Records in the 800 Medley and 1600 Medley. Click to watch the Runner’s World video with Nicholas.

The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded in 2011, to provide scholarships and fund educational programs for underprivileged and disadvantaged youth. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of the Sparks family, more than $15 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because the Sparks family covers all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

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5 stars
59,182 (43%)
4 stars
48,361 (35%)
3 stars
23,049 (16%)
2 stars
4,919 (3%)
1 star
1,448 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,816 reviews
Profile Image for Lynda.
204 reviews97 followers
October 19, 2013
Dear Mr Sparks

As I settle into my seat and begin to write
On my long haul Emirates international flight
I try to avoid all the sideway stares
Of passengers curious about my tears

I just can't seem to ebb the flow
And as my embarrassment starts to grow
I curse you and 'The Longest Ride'
For placing me on this emotional slide

Such wonderful characters you bring to life
First Ira then Ruth, his adored deceased wife
Then Sophia and Luke, a most unlikely pair
And a convergence of lives shockingly laid bare

You deliver your characters with hearts that are pure
Forming deep attachments that forever endure
Where honesty and integrity are an absolute must
For the foundation of character that one can then trust

With an allegiance of fans, you've touched many a heart
While remaining insightful with wise words you impart
Where human decency above all always ultimately prevails
It's no wonder Mr Sparks you're making millions of sales!

So as we each move through this thing we call life
May you defy those critics who may strike with a knife
They're not worth a thought, so sling them the hook
And continue to be you with each wonderful book.

Warm wishes

A fan
Profile Image for Christy.
3,915 reviews33k followers
July 9, 2020
3.5 stars

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The Longest Ride made me remember why I was always such a big Nicholas Sparks fan growing up. I used to read every single one of his books as soon as they were released. Honestly, I picked this book up because the film is due to be released in a week or two and I’m dying to see it (Scott Eastwood as a bull rider… no brainer). I’m glad I did. I very much enjoyed both of these parallel love stories.

Ira and Ruth’s story starts in the 30’s/40’s. It’s a time of war. Ira is a 91 year old man who is stranded in a car accident waiting for help. He’s struggling to stay alive for he isn’t in the best of health. Through his parts of the story, you hear of his epic love with his wife, his reason for living, Ruth.

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Then we have Sophia Danko. Sophia is a college senior who is out with some girlfriends after a break up. There, she meets a cowboy named Luke. Luke is different from any man she’s ever met and she is drawn to him. They develop a relationship and Sophia starts spending all her free time with Luke at his family’s ranch. Luke is holding on to a secret. With his bull riding, comes risk. But for him, even more than the normal.

My heart hurt for these two. Sophia, Luke and his situation. The odds seemed stacked against these two at times, but I really rooted for this couple.

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As Ira’s story went on, weaving in with the present story of Luke and Sophia’s, I wondered how in the world Sparks was going to connect these three characters. How their stories would intertwine. I loved the way they did finally cross. It made the end that much more special and beautiful. There were tears flowing when I finished this one.

I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought the narration was wonderful. The male narrator captured Ira perfectly and the female did a great job with the present/ Luke and Sophia’s story.

The Longest Ride was one of the better Spark’s books I’ve read, especially recently. It was a beautiful and emotional love story of past and present. It’s one of those books that will stick with you after reading. I’m sure it’s one I won’t be forgetting any time soon. And I’m very much looking forward to the film after reading. I hope they do this story justice.

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Profile Image for Nur Ain Z..
268 reviews36 followers
August 5, 2016
2.5 stars

I can see why some people favour this book while the others don’t. I, for that matter, happen to fall into the third category – enjoyed the story but wasn’t entirely impressed by it. It was just an okay kind of story for me; sweet enough to leave you aching but doesn’t make you sugar-rushed, which is a tad disappointing to be honest. But then again, I don’t really know what to expect from Sparks’s books anymore. The last book of his I read was Safe Haven and that was only because I got it for cheap. Even then, I didn’t really enjoy it. It seems my days of enjoying Sparks's stories are finally over.

So anyways, there are two separate-but-not-entirely-different love stories being spun in The Longest Ride (I hate the title by the way, I don’t know why but I just do). The couples, Ruth and Ira and Sophia and Luke come from different generations – the old and the young. Both couples don’t have any relation whatsoever that would tie them together – they are complete strangers – but their paths are bound to cross when they’ve found their significant others.

I may have made it sound interesting but in honesty The Longest Ride is just another typical, Nicholas Sparks's type of love story. A bland one at that. If you’re a Sparks’s fan, rest assured you’ll find everything that you like about him in this book. His writing doesn’t change much. The plot, however, is a lot weaker as compared to his other works like The Notebook, The Choice and The Lucky One to name a few. I feel there aren’t enough conflicts in this book to leave a hollow in you. The couples are given life-altering news to face, they have misunderstandings and they fight but nothing that will really leave an impact to the readers. It wasn't a satiable reading.

Also, I found that I couldn’t care less about Sophia and Luke. There was nothing substantial about them that would make them stand out from the other couples in other Sparks's books. A bull rider in recovery and an art & history student – it could have been interesting but the thing is, it wasn’t. Both characters were kind of one-dimensional to me. Nothing exceptional about these two characters that will invoke strong feelings in you. Because they were so uninteresting, I don’t have anything else to say about them except that they were forgettable. I’m already forgetting about them as we speak.

Ruth and Ira’s story, on the other hand, is a completely different case. I found their story heartwarming and most certainly intriguing than the aforementioned couple. Ruth had been dead for nine years. Since then, Ira was adrift between his past and present because that one beacon that had held him afloat was no longer there. For most part of their story, it was about recounting the love they had shared between one another. Definitely eye-tearing material. If Ruth and Ira were the lead characters of this book, I think I wouldn't have minded the book so much. It might even gain another star from me.

I will not recommend The Longest Ride if you're looking for an epic love story to read; you'll be tremendously disappointed if you do. However, if you're looking for a quick read, then I guess this can't hurt.
December 2, 2018
I just finished this not too long ago and of course, like all of Nicholas Sparks' books - I loved it. I really enjoyed both love stories and the way in which each were told, how one showed a lifetime of love and the other the beginning of love. It did feel like two completely different stories and I had no idea how their stories would intertwine although I had my predictions but loved how they eventually came together. It's such a beautiful story <3

(First read in September 2013)
(Second read in May 2015)
Profile Image for Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~.
797 reviews750 followers
Want to read
March 15, 2016
Update: 7/11/13
Holy SHIT! Kindle Preorder price is $11.04?

Nicholas Sparks I love you but dang....You are already rich....I mean really....It's a digital book.....Unless it reads the book to me I do not like this price...
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New Nicholas Sparks Book in September!!! I am so excited!!
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,431 reviews24.8k followers
November 12, 2015
The Longest Ride is one of the most beautiful books I have read in a very long time and has earned every one if not more of the five stars I awarded it. It is the love story of two very different couples in North Carolina whose lives seemingly have nothing in common with one another.

First, we have Ira and Ruth. The book starts right out with Ira who is 91 years old and has been in a car accident. He lost control of his car on a curve and has gone down a steep embankment and hit a tree and the weather forecast is for a very cold night with snow. His injuries are severe enough that he cannot move and he fears that no one will be able to find him. Ira’s wife passed away 9 years ago but as Ira sits in the car injured, his wife Ruth appears in the seat next to him, encouraging him, trying to keep him alive. They begin to relive their more than three quarters of a century together. Their love story was so beautiful. It was not all perfect. They had their share of obstacles to overcome. But I was so moved by them, what they endured over the years. The love Ira has for Ruth was just so beautiful. From their honeymoon on, they amassed a huge art collection. But, Ira tries to get across that it isn’t about the art or what it is now worth. It is the story behind each piece and what it meant to Ruth when it was purchased. I still am not sure whether Ruth being there with Ira in that car was his imagination or whether it was her spirit actually there with him but it doesn’t really matter. I had tears in my eyes more than once at the depth of their devotion.

“I wish I had the talent to paint the way I feel about you, for my words always feel inadequate. I imagine using red for your passion and pale blue for your kindness; forest green to reflect the depth of your empathy and bright yellow for your unflagging optimism. And still I wonder: can even an artist’s palette capture the full range of what you mean to me?”

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Sofia and Luke are the other couple. Sofia is a senior in college and Luke is a professional rodeo bull rider. Sofia has just come off a bad break up and certainly had not planned to meet someone new. Her roommate drags her along to a good old fashioned barn dance where she meets Luke. Their conversation is easy, they instantly connect. And, their romance begins. They fall in love. But they also have obstacles in their path. Luke doesn’t tell Sofia why he hasn’t been riding the last eighteen months and has just now returned to the arena. And how does a professional bull rider that lives on a ranch fit into the life of an art history major?

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In true Nicholas Sparks fashion he brings these two couples together in a truly surprising way. Both of their stories is so beautiful and will stay with me for a long time. Last night as I turned the final page of this book, I turned out the light and lay down next to my sleeping husband of 30 years. I placed my hand gently on his back so we would be connected as I fall asleep just like I do every night and as I closed my eyes, I thought to myself, I have my own Ira right here and yes, Ira, I too understand.
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
May 1, 2015

The truth is that when I saw the trailer of The Wildest Ride I was super excited to read it!! And now that I finally read it, I'm even more excited to see the movie!!I really enjoyed this amazing story!! Nicholas Sparks is a very famous author!I have seen many of his books that have become movies but never before I have read a book of him!
Two different stories
two couples who are separated by years..


The one story is for Ira an old man, who had an accident,and he is recalling and retelling us about his life and his one love Ruth and the second story is about Luke, a bull rider who met Sophia, a New Jersey college girl. We follow them through the stages of their relationship as they try not to think too hard about what the future holds.
Ira's and Ruth's love story was intense! Ira love his wife so much!Sophia's and Luke's romance is slow and sweet and I really like how it developed!
Both stories were very interesting and they were so realistic!I didn't know how the two stories of Ira and Ruth and Sophia and Luke would link together! But when they did I was really surprised!!
I don't read often books from men but this was a brilliant story that touched me in so many ways and made me wonder for the joys of love!I'm looking forward for the movie!!

Profile Image for Olga Shvets.
12 reviews4 followers
September 14, 2014
Mr. Sparks, I love to cosy up at home and read your romantic and inspiring novels from time to time, but this book was indeed an incredibly LONG and BORING ride. A complete disappointment.

The two story lines were trivial and uncoordinated. I do acknowledge that Ira's eternal love for Ruth was indeed worth admiration, however it seemed too similar to the Pearl Harbor movie or any other of the WWII love stories. It was nevertheless a million times more interesting than the whole story line of Luke and Sophia. Luke seemed as a super complicated overthinking fellow with an immense sense of dignity with no notable identity whatsoever. Sophia didn't have a tiny bit of character at all. Their love story was so commonplace that I doubt it was worth even writing about.

The two stories were so different and individual that it was strange connecting and making any parallels between them. These are just two separate plots which were somehow connected in one book. The ending was obvious and too "fairy-tale".

Not a joke in the whole book. Not a spark of excitement, big revelations, hard decisions or impressive moments. This book, which I only read till the end out of respect for the author, was a complete waste of time.
Profile Image for Peiman E iran.
1,430 reviews693 followers
July 3, 2022
دوستانِ گرانقدر، داستان «طولانی ترین سفر» به صورتِ موازی داستانِ عشقی از دو نسلِ متفاوت را روایت میکند.. داستانِ «لوک» و «سوفیا» و داستانِ «آیرا» و «روث»....... و اما در مورد شخصیتها و کلیت داستان، چکیده ای را در زیر برایتان مینویسم
لوک کالینز جوانی با تیپ و رفتارِ یک کابوی از حومۀ کارولینای شمالی، که شاید به جوانهایِ امروزی شباهتی نداشته باشد.. لوک گاوسوار است و آرزویش قهرمانی در مسابقاتِ گاوسواریِ وگاس است.. البته غیر از ورزشِ گاو سواری ( اگر نام این حرکتِ غیرانسانی را ورزش بگذاریم) او یک کشاورز است که در مزرعۀ پدری کار میکند..... در سوی دیگر، سوفیا دختری اهلِ نیوجرسی که با بورسیه واردِ دانشگاه در کارولینای شمالی شده و قرار است به عنوانِ کارآموز به نیویورک سفر کند و در آنجا در گالری منهتن مشغول به کار شود.. لوک و سوفیا در یکی از مسابقاتِ گاوسواری، با یکدیگر آشنا میشوند
اما داستانِ اصلی از جایی آغاز میشود که لوک و سوفیا پس از نخستین قرارِ شامِ عاشقانه، در مسیرِ برگشت به خوابگاهِ سوفیا، خودرویی را که تصادف کرده است را اتفاقی پیدا میکنند.. سرنشینِ خودرو، پیرمردی با نام «آیرا لونسون» است که با خود جعبه ای دارد.... لوک و سوفیا، جانِ پیرمرد را نجات داده و به موقع او را به بیمارستان میرسانند.. و از اینجا داستان درگیرِ نامه ها و خاطراتِ آیرا یعنی همان پیرمردِ داستانِ ما میشود.. داستانِ عشق و دلدادگی آیرا و دختری به نام روث ... روث و خانوده اش از وینِ اتریش به کارولینای شمالی مهاجرت کرده اند و آیرا در نخستینِ نگاه، دیوانه وار عاشقِ روث میشود و پس از چندین ماه نامزد میکنند.. روث عاشقِ هنر و آموزگاریست.. او از همان جوانی مشتاقِ جمع آوریِ نقاشی هایِ مشهور و آثارِ هنریست (همین جمع آوری تابلوهای مشهور، در سرنوشتِ دو شخصیتِ دیگرِ داستان تأثیر دارد) .. همه چیز به خوبی پیش میرود تا آنکه آیرا به عنوانِ سربازِ میهن به جنگ میرود و همه چیز تغییر میکند.. و از اینجا زندگیِ عاشقانه و فداکارانۀ دو شخصیتِ جذاب داستان، یعنی «آیرا» و «روث» خواننده را به دنبال خودش میکشاند تا از سرنوشتِ آنها با خبر شود.... عزیزانم، بهتر است خودتان این داستان را بخوانید و از سرانجامِ داستانِ دلدادگیِ شخصیتهایِ اصلی داستان، آگاه شوید... شاید بارز ترین پیامِ داستان این بود که: عشق و دلدادگی همیشه به فداکاری نیاز دارد و شاید در مسیرِ عاشقی و طولانی ترین سفر یعنی همان زندگی، به جایِ اندوه خوردن برای نداشته ها باید به رویِ داشته هایمان تمرکز داشته باشیم
در این داستان، تنها نکته ای که ذهنم را مشغول کرده بود این بود که: داستان شباهت هایِ عشق و هنر را در دو نسلِ مختلف بازگو میکند.. ولی آنچه آزار دهنده است این بود که در میانِ این عشق و تمدن، آزارِ حیوان و جانداری همچون گاو، برای ورزش و تفریح، نه شباهت به عشق دارد، نه شباهت به انسانیت دارد و نه شباهت به هنردوستی... تنها همین نکته در داستان مرا آزار میداد
امیدوارم این ریویو در جهتِ آشنایی با این کتاب، مفید بوده باشه
«پیروز باشید و ایرانی»
Profile Image for Jamie-leigh Haughn.
168 reviews840 followers
April 7, 2015
This book wasn't quite what I had expected, it started out feeling very much like The Notebook but it didn't live up to that standard. Overall I enjoyed this book, not my favourite Nicholas Sparks book, but then again, not the worst!

I found it a bit slow at times and I didn't find that Luke and Sophia had great chemistry in comparison to other Sparks couples. I really like all of the characters as individuals, Luke was a dreamy cowboy who was a bit rough around the edges and Sophia was a very relatable character. Ira was sweet and so full of love, I just wish his section of the story wasn't all memories. I enjoyed Luke and and Sophia's sections far more than Ira's, I found my attention slipping during his parts. I did however really enjoy how the two stories came together in the end, it was done very well.

I have to say I was expecting something more tragic to happen in the book and was almost disappointed when it didn't happen. There was some buildup with not much climax. That being said, its still a good book and if you enjoy reading Spark's novels I think you should give this one a try. I'm very excited for the movie!
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,164 reviews639 followers
September 19, 2015
I’ve had a long reading relationship with Nicholas Sparks, and the best way I can describe it is unpredictable. Going into his each of his books, I never doubt he has a good story to tell. However, that story is not always for me. It unusually ends in one of two ways… I either hate it or love it. My most recent experiences have fallen a bit short, so going into The Longest Ride it’s no surprise that I was skeptical. With the movie being right around the corner, and the trailers seeming to be appealing, as I’ve said before, I can’t in good-book faith see the movie without reading the book first.

Thankfully, The Longest Ride was absolutely perfect! Probably my first, hopefully not my last, 5 star rating for Sparks. This novel is definitely my favorite by Sparks and I canNOT wait to see the movie.

The Longest Ride shares two parallel stories that I’ll only touch upon briefly because I don’t want to give anything away.

The first story is of Ira Levinson, who is a ninety-one year old widower that has careened off a snowy embankment and is stranded waiting for help. As the hours and cold set in, the outlook is bleak and daunting. However, it’s during Ira’s most desperate moments that his wife Ruth that passed away nine years ago appears to him and together they reminisce about the life they shared together prior to her passing.

The second story occurs miles away between a cowboy, bull-rider named Luke and a college student named Sophia. They meet at a rodeo and soon strike up an unbreakable bond and heartfelt romance that’s not without its fair share of struggles and hardships.

As these storylines progress, we get to know these two couples and all the while ponder how Sparks will merge their lives. Well, let me end by saying this, the crossroads for their stories was an amazing moment, and the twist at the end had me smiling, guffawing and pining to see the movie.

The Longest Ride is one of Sparks rare moments where I didn’t have the urge to fling the book out the window. Loved it!
Profile Image for Shan.
96 reviews
April 16, 2014
I'm sorry but this has to be one of the stupidest books I've read. Yes, I've already mentioned in past reviews that I'm not really a fan of Sparks' work.

So why do I continue to read them, you ask? Well, it's simple: I'm cheap. My town's library is tiny and has a miniscule selection of audiobooks--except for Nicholas Sparks' books, apparently. Checking out audiobooks from the library=$0. Well, why would I even listen to an audiobook if I can read a book from a much larger selection? That, too, is simple: I work 8-10 hour days doing data entry and I have the privilege of being able to listen to whatever I want. Some days, I can get through a book, or two, and then I feel like I've accomplished something. Upon arriving home after a 11-13 hour day (including commute time), my eyes are tired and I cannot stay awake long enough to read a page or two. They can, however, function long enough to watch two hour long shows. Funny how that works, huh? Therefore, I stick to the teeny tiny selection of audiobooks.

Since I cleared that up, I'll now write why I found this book to be so dumb:


I believe I've mentioned this in past reviews of Sparks, but it is, oh, so true. You can't tell me you couldn't see it coming from a mile away that oh, no! Someone's going to die! And, oh, wait, what does Ira's life and Sophia's and Luke's life have anything to do with each other? C'mon. You can't tell me that you couldn't foretell the fact that after Ira died his massive (and quite expensive) art collection would have to find a new home. And you can't tell me that you thought he would give it away to charity, because how would that tie together a Sparks book? It wouldn't. Somehow, someway these people's lives had to intersect, and I saw it coming. Blatantly.


Do you think it's probable that someone who's sitting on potentially millions (billions?) of dollars would give away the paintings of such worth to the person who bought a POS--albeit heartfelt--painting by a child, at an auction? It may be probably...as in, a 1 in 500 trillion chance. But guess what! That's exactly what happens in this book. Luke and Sophia's lives become richer because they inherit tons of paintings that are worth a ton, at the EXACT same time that Luke's family is losing the family ranch.

Give me a break.
No, really, give me a break. Break me off a piece of that KitKat bar.
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,836 reviews1,482 followers
June 9, 2015
4.5 A Journey Full of Life Stars

I’ve never rated a Nicholas Sparks book low, but I don’t really pick up his books unless it’s going to be a movie. So, yes, I am one of those, I have to read the book prior to the movie.

The Lonest Ride has all the elements I’m looking for in a cowboy theme book. I’m from Texas, so I take my cowboys seriously.

I’m listening to the audio version and I will be honest. If you have to do it any way, listen to the audio version, it’s fabulous. The voice actors were PERFECT. I couldn’t have image any other voices.

The book starts with Ira’s story. He’s an old man talking about his life. I’m thinking to myself, is the whole book going to be narrated by this old man? The answer is no, just Ira’s parts. At first I was kind of put off by Ira’s story. I didn’t care about his struggles and how he fell in love with his wife. Who cares he went to war or that he is poor? BUT as I listened more I started to fall in love with it.

The book flips back and forth between Ira’s story and then the two main character’s Luke and Sophia’s. Luke and Sophia’s story is what you see in the commercials for the movie promos. Luke is a bull rider and he is coming out of retirement to back to bull riding. His mom’s ranch is in debt and he needs to ride and win contests to pay off the debts. Sophia is a typical nerdy college student. She’s studious, serious and doesn’t want any distractions.

Sophia and Luke meet when Sophia visits over the weekend. They have a cute and very realistic relationship. Nicholas Sparks books are not steamy at all, there’s zero sex, but there’s pure romance. I think that is why people love these books so much. As much as I enjoyed Luke and Sophia’s story, I was really interested in Ira’s. There is no correlation between the two and it’s kind of confusing, but it completely worked in the book.

Sophia and Luke’s story is a bit frustrating because there’s plenty of tension between the two towards the end. Luke starts to focus on paying off the bills and Sophia doesn’t know how to deal with the situation. Overall, the last part of the book is the best part. The pace picks up and you wonder how everything will conclude. I increased my rating because of how I felt when I finished the book.

This is my first narration by January LaVoy and she is fabulous. She has a sweet and very pleasant voice and I loved her male transition. Sometimes I felt like it was a male narrator speaking to me. I will definitely stalk her and listen to more of her books. This is my first narration by Ron and he sounded like his character, I really old man. I’m not sure if I will listen to his voice again, unless I’m listening to a book that has an old man, but he did a great job. I loved his reactions and I felt his emotions. You can tell the production of the book was really high quality. I simply loved it.

The Lonest Ride is a sweet and grip-at-you-heart romance novel. If you want your heart to ache and your face to smile, then this one is for you.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks The Longest Ride AMAZON
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books317 followers
November 22, 2015
It’s no secret I am a fan of the novels of Nicholas Sparks. His characters and the way he writes suck me into the story every time. I like that he writes about true and lasting love. I wondered how different it might be this time, as this was the first time I had seen the movie before reading the book. Would that spoil it a little for me? No, I enjoyed the movie. But I adored the book.
The story concerns two sets of characters, the Jewish couple Ira Levinson and his wife Ruth, who had a passion for art. Though Ruth died nine years before the start of the novel, she is as vivid and present a character as the 91 year old Ira. Through memories we see their love and life together unfold along with the sorrows that permeate some of it. The other couple is Luke a professional bull rider and Sophia an Arts history student at college. Their worlds and life experiences couldn’t be further apart it seems.
Bull riding is not a sport I am interested in but that didn’t matter, because the character of Luke drew me into his experiences. I really liked all four of the main characters. I experienced every emotion with them and also those of Luke’s mother, Linda.
It was only the day after I finished the book that I started to remember some ways where the movie was a little different to the book. At the time of reading I was far too absorbed to even think about that. It was a case of ‘don’t bother me, I’m reading.’ Not quite true I wasn’t just reading, I lived each moment with these characters. At times was reading through teary eyes. My darling husband is used to this reaction when I’m reading a Nicholas Sparks’ novel.
Some people may perhaps think the ending comes across as a little bit pat, but I was happy with the way it ended. A thoroughly engaging read and now looking forward to the newest book by this author which I have already flagged to my darling one that I would like for Christmas.
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews430 followers
January 8, 2016
I don't readily admit to the fact that I have read all of Nicholas Sparks books. I don't know what I would answer if someone ask me "why". It's just a path I got started on and now it seems a shame to stop it. They are entertaining and well wriitten for the most part, although I have been frustrated at times for his habit of "killing off" his key characters.

But that doesn't happen here, at least not unexpectedly, and things end well, albeit a little far fetched. Two stories are told concurrently; one of Ira and Ruth, and the other of Sophia and Luke. They are so far apart by comparison that it is hard to see how they will be brought together in the end, but Sparks pulls it off, even though it seems, as I said earlier, a little improbable.

They made a movie of this book, which I have seen, and it ties the stories together better than the book (my opinion). All in all it was very good, probably in my top five Nicholas Sparks books.
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
269 reviews162 followers
March 14, 2017
Dos historias de amor que se cruzan de la manera mas sorprendente.

Este libro esta narrado en dos líneas de tiempo, una por un hombre de noventa años que se encuentra accidentado en una carretera nevada aislada y otra por una estudiante de arte y un cowboy.

La lectura de este libro fue muy pesada. A pesar de que las historias me parecían aburridas, la de Ira es bonita. No conecté con la historia de amor de Luke y Sophia.
Profile Image for Amy.
825 reviews20 followers
September 28, 2013
At one point I would have given this book 5 stars based on the love story and the depth of the relationships. However, the resolution is a story that has been circulating the internet for years, and I felt cheated! I felt like this wonderful love story was no longer "original". Yes, it was a nice way to neatly tie the two storylines together and have a "tear inducing" ending (if you didn't already know the ending!), but Sparks basically lifted this ending from an email short story! Why would a talented author need to do this? I admit, I became very let down that there was no originality here. Even without the copied ending from a email that circulates the internet (of all things! and I know that I have received this email SEVERAL times!), it is a very, very predictable story!! That said, Sparks is truly the only one who can write well enough that the romance is believable and enjoyable. You truly begin to care for your characters. I did think however, that he could somehow tie the ART MAJOR Sophia in with the collection of Ira's. Um..how about a real job working with Ira's collection or any other museum....a job that she earns as opposed to alluding to one that will be bought for her through a donation to a museum.
Profile Image for Coco.
1,037 reviews430 followers
May 5, 2016
Este hombre siempre me destroza el corazón.

Pero juro que nunca nadie hará historias de amor como las suyas.
La de Ira y Ruth es única.
Profile Image for Medini.
381 reviews58 followers
March 29, 2016

‘After all, if there is a heaven, we will find each other again, for there is no heaven without you.’

I feel terrible for giving this book a low rating, especially since Nicholas Sparks has been one of my favorite authors since several years; I mean I binge read A Bend in the Road, The Guardian and The Lucky One in a span of a few days in my study holidays in 2011! But this book… was a really long, tedious ride.

The first two-third of this was mind-numbingly dull. The two couples in question, especially Sophia and Luke were possibly some of the most boring characters I’ve ever had the displeasure of coming across. The older couple, Ira and Ruth, was a little more interesting, but not great. And forgive me, but are Nicholas Sparks’ books seriously considered ROMANCE?? Coz the chemistry here can scarcely fill a teaspoon. Non-existent passion, clichéd, annoying dialogues and excessive, unnecessary descriptions.

For me, the only redeeming thing in this book was Ira’s character, his musings as he awaited his fate and the dramatic ending.

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve outgrown Nicholas Sparks’ books.
Profile Image for Buggy.
501 reviews682 followers
May 22, 2014
Opening Line: “I sometimes think to myself that I’m the last of my kind.”

Well I’ve gotta give this 5 stars because Nicholas Sparks did it to me again with another unforgettable romance. I just can’t help myself when it comes to his stuff. By now I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be guaranteed a HEA, which may actually be part of the attraction, it sure adds to the suspense factor as I never know who he’s going to kill off and I’ve thrown more than one of his books across the room in disgust but, yeah I keep coming back for more.

The Longest Ride was different than the last couple in that there’s no mystery or unscrupulous bad guys here. No big suspense factor or real tragedy. It is still a fantastic story though, the romance is just beautiful –soft and slow burning between our modern couple and sweet and sad via the Notebook-esque flashbacks from our older couple, who manage to give us a complete picture of their long life together –I just loved them. I also enjoyed the bull riding aspect, with its descriptions of the PBR and Luke’s battle with his nemesis “Big Ugly Critter”. The accounts of a hard working ranch life are also well done. Sophia was a little harder for me to relate to; a New Jersey college girl and her sorority sister issues. A great pairing of opposites.

Despite the lack of an antagonist the ending still managed to be pretty exciting, keeping me up late to see the outcome and wondering once again if Sparks was going to kill off another hero. I will say that this one is a little twisty, a little sneaky and

Alternating with 3 different POV’s we begin with 91 year old Ira Levinson crashing his car over an embankment during a snow storm. Ira is alone in the world and no one is going to be looking for him for a very long time. In poor health to begin with he is now suffering from multiple injuries, unable to move and barely conscious, somehow his beloved wife Ruth appears in the passenger seat beside him. She’s been gone for 9 years now so couldn’t possibly be here yet she forces him to hang on, her clothes and appearance changing with the times as she urges him to recount the stories of their life together. Their early courtship, the dark days of WWll when he served as a pilot, their eventual marriage and their discovery of art which begins a lifelong hobby of collecting paintings from as then unknown artists. It is a life well lived.

We also meet Sophia Danko, a college senior in the midst of being pressured to join her roommate for a weekend at the local rodeo. Sophia is recovering from a recent breakup after her boyfriend of 2 years cheated on her and realizes her friend might be right, she needs a night out. She meets former PBR champion Luke Collins at the bull riding event, when he comes to her rescue in all his yummy cowboy goodness. Luke bears no resemblance to the silly college boys she’s used to and despite their differences the two start dating and fall in love. We follow them through the early stages of their budding relationship as they try not to think too hard about what the future holds as their worlds are so far removed. Luke is trying to keep the bank from taking his flailing ranch all while attempting a comeback after a horrific bullriding injury sidelined his dreams. His days are long and filled with guilt and fear.

Alternating characters throughout we see Ira and Ruth’s life lived while waiting and hoping for Ira to be rescued, growing weaker as the days pass. We witness young love and difficult decisions as Luke keeps a weighty secret and pushes himself to the limits. In the end Sophia and Luke’s lives are changed forever by an old man and the last letter he wrote to his wife on their anniversary. Cheers. Sigh.

**I just read that Scott Eastwood (yeah Clint's hunkalicious son) has been cast for the movie http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainme...

Profile Image for Dilushani Jayalath.
995 reviews162 followers
October 20, 2015
This would definitely go in my favourites of nicholas sparks. I'm not a big fan of Sparks at all. Like now it just have become way too cliché. Dying, saving a kid or an ex, it's always the usual. For some reason I liked this one though. Maybe I watched the movie before hand and then read it. For me personally this was my favourite Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation. I think I like it more than A Walk to Remember even.
This is basically the story about Luke Collins and Sophia who falls in love. While they are on their first date they see a car that had run off course and hit a rail-guard and it turns out an old man had been in there. They save the old man and while luke takes the old man to a safer place, the old man tells Sophia to get a box. When she checks it at the hospital after Luke leaves her there, it turns out to be a bunch of letters. She reads them without permission (of course) and see that they are love letters written by the old man to a woman. So thus starts the story of two different times. I know it looks like a story line that occurs often but still it was beautiful for me.
Like I mentioned before I'm quiet sure that I'm giving this 4 star cuz of the movie. The stars were chosen so well I think this is one where movie stars totally match the characters in my head. So I would like to recommend to everyone to watch The Longest Ride movie along side the book :)
Some pics of this lovely couple.

He looks a bit like Chris Hemsworth there :O

These two are definitely joining my cutest on-screen couple list.

even back stage these two are so cute. I know Britt Robertson is dating Dylan O'brien but these two are so damn cute :( Can I please ship them?

They are way too cute for me :(

Profile Image for romance enthusiast.
340 reviews2 followers
September 27, 2013
3.5 stars.

I cant say that this book became my new favorite Nicholas Sparks novel because it was not. I must say, it was a nice story, and I think Sparks tried a different way of providing us of a good story.

For me it was a good book, I will not say it was great because I have to be honest it was not. There were more books from this author that was better than this one. Am a disappointed? Maybe a little. I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks, that whenever a new book was coming out, I get so excited about it. I even watched every film adaptations of his book. Maybe I'm just expecting more from him this time, more beautiful and touching stories that we all love.

I'm so intrigued about this book, I've read the blurb before reading the whole book, I've read that this book will consist of two stories of life and love. When I finally started it, I get three POV's. One was Ira, an old man, stocked in an accident, who kept on recalling and retelling us about his life and his one love Ruth. The second POV was from Luke, a bull rider, who met Sophia which was our third POV.

If I am being honest, there where moments when I wish the story would just centered on Luke and Sophia. Yeah, I like their story more that Ira and Ruth. Although I have to say there were some point that I am deeply and utterly touched by their undying love for each other. Maybe it having two stories unfold in one book was just a little confusing. There were times when I have to recall where I left of of Ira's POV or Luke or Sophia before continuing reading.

I kept on asking this question, "How will Ira story connect to Luke and Sophia?" Fortunately, that was answered by the end of the book. It was a great little twist, although I think I kind of expected it BUT still reading that ANNOUNCEMENT gave me goosebumbs.

The ending? mmm... not superb just an okay.

Overall, it was a good book. It was a touching story.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,989 reviews688 followers
December 18, 2022
The Longest Ride is certainly long. It is not just about the romance. It has more element into it. There are 2 stories here. Divided by time line.

Do I like it? Not really. My problem os the the length of the book. Too long. It got boring, to be honest.

Overall, an OK book.

3 stars
Profile Image for Megan Readinginthesunshine.
468 reviews187 followers
September 24, 2013
I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks and his novels, I’ve read every single book of his and truly treasured them, and so I was very excited about his latest release The Longest Ride.

91 year old Ira is trying to stay conscious after his car crashes, and whilst struggling to remain conscious he sees an image of his beloved late wife Ruth, who urges him to hang on and recounts their story and life together. Meanwhile, college student Sophia meets cowboy Luke she is thrown into a world far removed from her privileged school life. But whilst Sophia sees a new future for herself, Luke is keeping a secret that could destroy it….

I really LOVED The Longest Ride – I sat down first thing in the morning to read it and I spent a wonderful day being swept up in this truly fascinating and enchanting story.

Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed the story of Ira and Ruth. The love and the strength of the feelings between them was truly magical to read about. Ira has so much love in his heart for his wife and it genuinely made me very emotional, bringing tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. I loved reading about their back-story and so I really looked forward to Ira’s parts.

I liked Sophia and Luke, their story was interesting and I was compelled to read on because I wanted to know what Luke was holding back, and I wanted to see how things would turn out for them. I also liked that there are obstacles, it made the story more realistic that it wasn’t always plain sailing, and it gave me something to root for and I was gripped as I didn’t know which way the story would go next.

I wasn’t sure how the two stories of Ira and Ruth and Sophia and Luke would link so when it was all revealed it was a great surprise for me. I enjoyed how Nicholas Sparks wrote about a love story that was just beginning with Sophia and Luke, and a love story that had only strengthened and grew with time in the case of Ira and Ruth, and how these two story flowed effortlessly together.

The Longest Ride is a very heartfelt story that touched me and it did leave me thinking about the wonder and the joys of love. I’d go as far to say that it is one of my favourite novels that Nicholas Sparks has written, each word had been carefully selected and chosen and it showed because from the first page I was drawn into a truly spectacular story.
Profile Image for Gabriela.
138 reviews110 followers
October 28, 2016
I have read books by Nicholas Sparks before, I have even loved books by Nicholas Sparks before but this one ... IT WAS THE LONGEST RIDE INDEED. . To me this just felt like Nicholas Sparks had this two not-yet-great ideas about two completely different love stories and he was like "You know what, Im just going to put this two together in a book and then find a way to make them connect, yup, that will work." But, gosh to me, it didn't work.

This one didn't even make me feel anything, it was boring, I couldn't connect with any of the characters (even having Scott Eastwood as a GREAT mental image couldn't work). I found the main romance quite unreal, Sophia and Luke are way too different, there is NO WAY that would last longer than a fling with a hot cowboy in real life. And even here, is there even something important going on? Honestly this book is full of nothings happening: pages about bulls and rodeos, pages about them doing boring stuff like walking or eating sushi, like cmon! Way too boring.

Then we have this other story, Ira and Ruth. This one had so much more potential! But overrall... meh. Their story was definitely better than the main one but at the same time I found the chapters about Ira inside the car way too annoying, like, I wanted to move on with the book and to me they kind of felt slow and even pointless.

Also, the way this two stories collide... you see it coming from the very beginning. Predictable. And the ending, it was too convenient. What is left for me to say about this one is: MEH.
Profile Image for إيمان .
265 reviews185 followers
November 17, 2018

لا أعتبر نفسي من محبي الروايات الرومانسية و إن كنت أستمتع عادة بقراءة جنس أدبي قريب منها ألا و هو روايات الإثارة الرومانسية ( romantic suspense ). و رغم أن تجاربي مع كل ما سبق ليست بالكثيرة، و إذا ما أخذنا بعين الإعتبار التحولات التي تطرأ على إختيارات القاريء و ميولاته مع مرور الوقت، تبقى كتابات نيكولاس سباركس واحدة من الثوابت القليلة في إختيارات عبثت بها فوضويتي، تعدد توجهاتي، ميزاجيتي و الأهم من كل ذلك التغيرات التي طرأت على شخصي.

هذه الرواية على غرار غيرها مما اطلعت عليه (سواء على الورق أو الشاشة) تأخذنا بعيدا عن المدن، حيث الريف، الحياة البسيطة و البيئة المحافظة. و هناك تحديدا تبدأ قصة حب بنكهة بعيدة عن تمظهرات القرن الحالي (كما جرت العادة) و بطابع شبه سريالي.

راقت لي بحق (كما راقت لي سابقاتها) و لكن عذرا أستاذ نيكولاس لا أستطيع منحها نجمة خامسة، كيف تريد مني أنا الشاهدة على الجشع كل يوم تقبل حبكة كتلك بكل تفاصيلها؟ 😢… هذا القرن الذي تحاول تجاهل وجوده في أعمالك، من خلال الغياب شبه التام للتكنولوجيا قد شوّهنا، و هذه العشرية لم تزد الطين سوى بلّة.

Profile Image for Zoey .
250 reviews17 followers
December 9, 2015
Loved it..
The Longest Ride gives us 2 different storylines that eventually intersect.
One showing us the beautiful everlasting lifetime love with Ira & Ruth & the other the exciting beginnings of a new & young love with Luke & Sophia. Both beautiful stories that will make you smile & also make you cry. A lot of readers seem to have a favourite couple, they preferred one story over the other but I really enjoyed both, nothing can compare to the beauty & excitement of new love, but also what more can a person ask for than to be spend a lifetime with their one true love.

I listened to the audio version which was narrated by 2 different narrators; Ron McLarty for Ira & January LaVoy for Luke & Sophia which worked really well at keeping the 2 different stories separate in your mind.
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