So, after finishing the surprisingly good book this morning, I turned directly to the video depiction of this story. I know. You shouldn’t do that. The movie is never as good as the book, right? Well, I can’t say the movie was better – it was just different. They were both good in different ways. I just wish they could have combined them together into a great story – at least, that’s what plays in my head.

First, I’m a big Shane West fan. I like him in just about everything he does. The last thing I watched him in was Nitika – dynamite – even though the writing is often a little forced and cardboardish. I think in this movie he does a great job. And what can you say about a young Mandy Moore? I seriously doubt someone who looked like her would be unpopular. So, it’s a little difficult to relate. But the movie does a good job if you suspend reality a little.

I like the ending they tacked onto this story. It’s much better than the book, which left me hanging with absolutely no closure at all. Unfortunately, they really watered down the faith angle, which I think was central to the book. They also make Jamie a little more  – feisty – and if I hadn’t read the book first I would have been at a loss for why Landon went after her in the first place. The movie kind of just drops that whole section of the story. Another part that was left out was the orphanage, but I guess that was the after school tutoring program, now that I think of it.

All in all, Sparks should be proud. It’s a great story. I really enjoyed reading the book and also enjoyed the movie, despite all of its obvious problems. I would, of course, recommend the book over the movie if you could only get your hands on one. Both is better.

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