From Amazon --
"Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She'd believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen."In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew -- about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear -- was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?
The Best of Me is about a couple who were young loves. Her parents didn't approve, because they were from different sides of town. Everyone in the town of Oriental knew the Cole family; they knew not to mess with them and to stay out of their way if they saw them near. Amanda didn't care, she had fallen in love with Dawson and it didn't matter to her what his last name was. They spent all of their free time together even though it caused a lot of fights between Amanda and her parents. They made each other feel special and they loved with all of their hearts. After a year or so together and after they had graduated from high school, Dawson knew he would have to let her go. She deserved a better life than what he could provide for her. She went on to college, graduated with a teaching degree, met and married a man and they had a family. Dawson moved away to separate himself from his awful family and from all of the memories of Amanda and of growing up in Oriental. He discovered that no matter how many miles he put between himself and Amanda, he would always be in love with her. The kind of love they shared was a once in a lifetime kind of love. Twenty years later their paths are reunited due to the loss of a close friend named Tuck. Tuck had a particular way he wanted his remains to be taken care of and he only trusted Amanda and Dawson with something so precious. The attraction from all those years ago came back in an instant. They fell into step, caught up on their lives, and just enjoyed being in the company of one another. The weekend they spend together carrying out the final wishes of their friend Tuck goes way too fast and soon they find the time is over.
In order to not ruin the ending, you'll have to read the book for yourself. Anything else I say will give too much away!
I'm giving this book 5/5 stars - I find myself still thinking about it and how amazing it is. I miss Amanda and Dawson and wish there was more to read. I love everything Nicholas Sparks writes! Enjoy!