The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks or White Oleander by Janet Fitch?

I'm looking to purchase a gift for a dear friend. She's about 20 years old and not really in to reading. She loved the movie The Notebook, and that's why I'm thinking Nicholas Sparks. But lately I've been hearing thoughts that I should purchase White Oleander by Janet Fitch for her. I want her to get into reading, and be able to cuddle up with a book she's going to lose herself in. I'm a 21 year old male buying this book for someone very special in my life. The other book can always come at a later date, but since this is my first purchase for her in this category I want it to be special and something she will remember. Which book do you think is best suited for the occasion, and why? Thank you

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago

    I have not read the Nicholas Sparks book however I have heard rave reviews from numerous friends of mine (including some who arent what you would call avid readers). This book might be better for someone who doesnt read all the time as I hear it is an easier read (easier story to get into, good romantic book, etc)

    I personally would recommend White Oleander though. I read the book and loved it. I think it tells a very interesting story and what i like most about the book is the writing seemed almost poetic to me. The way certain settings, characters and emotions were described was really beautiful to me and captured things that i think a lot of narratives just don't. (also i don't know if youre aware but this book was turned into a movie also not too long ago)

    It is also a very unique story about a difficult relationship between a mother and daughter and a young woman trying to find herself desptie difficult and sometimes abusive situations. If that is the kind of story the person you are shopping for can relate may abe a better and more inspiring choice.

    Another thing to consider is if you are trying to encourage her to take up reading which book will open more doors for future reading. Nicholas Sparks has a ton of books most of which (from what I undenderstand) have similar writing stylye, theme and plots. Also there is a sequal to the Notebook that your friend might really like especailly if she liked the movie then the book.

    As for the other author I know she just came out with another book that has recieved some critical praise but I havent read it or know anyone who has yet so I don't know enough to recommend it.

    Good luck getting your friend into can be a difficult task but once they do its great fun to have another person you can share reading lists with and talk the books over with. Hope this was helpful

  • 1 decade ago

    Okay, I'll be totally honest here....Nicholas Sparks is a little too cheesy for my reading tastes(although many love his stuff). I did read and enjoy White Oleander. Very good, but depressing, book. If this is a present for someone you're interested in romantically, I'd probably go with the mushier Sparks.

  • 1 decade ago

    white oleander, for me, was one of those healing books. have you read it???

    i read it when i had jsut broken up with a "love of my life" boyfriend. i was devastated and a bit broken.

    that book made me realize that i was still a whole person whether i was with someone or not. it helped me find ME again and i embraced it.

    i recommend it to anyone that asks me for a good book.

    as for nicholas sparks...well, i haven't been able to get into his books. i loved the notebok, the movie, however, i tried reading the notebook and the wedding and i just couldn't finish them.

    white oleander is a phenomenal book, however, it's not romantic and flowery. if you want a book that is romantic and flowery and something that will still knock her socks off, then get her "memiors of a geisha". the movie could never do it justice and i am still dumbfounded that it was written by a man. of course, it was based on what was told to him by an aged geisha, however, he really portrayed a woman's spirit.

    based on what you stated in your question and details i would get her "memoirs of a geisha". it picks up quickly from page one (if i remember correctly), and it is romantic yet exciting and powerful.

    take care!

  • 1 decade ago

    You could go with White Oleander because it is a well-liked book and she will certainly enjoy it. However, keep in mind that it is somewhat of an easy read. May I suggest Stardust by Neil Gaiman, it is an incredible book and he is an amazing writer that has the capability of making her love to read. Here is a short summary:

    Stardust is the story of a young lad, Tristan, who falls in love and promises his object of affection (Victoria) that he will find her that falling star which they both saw fall nearby, and believing that he will actually win her heart when he brings her back that star. In order to do this, Tristan goes to the guarded gate through to the 'Faerie Land', on the other side of the wall of the town.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would go with White Oleander too. As mentioned above it's a somewhat easy read, which would make it good for someone who doesn't read much. It's got a magical quality to it, for me anyway. It's one of those that you can just lose yourself in.

    Sparks I've tried a few times and could never get into.

    But the other nods to Memoirs of a Geisha and Neil Gaiman are good too. I also adore Virgin Suicides and Slammerkin.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    White Oleander. Hands down.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    By the time she gets over "White Oleander",

    it will be coming onto her next birthday..

    and she'll implore you to gift her with another book!

    What I mean by this is that this book

    will deeply engage your young friend

    even if she is not into reading,

    and she will reach her 21st birthday

    having learned to love to read...

    Quite a gift.

  • 1 decade ago


    I wouldn't give a book about dysfunction to somebody as my first gift book.


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