Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Review: THE LAST SONG by Nicholas Sparks

The Last Song
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publication Date: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre/Category: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Family, Religious/Inspirational

Summary on Goodreads:

Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.

Did You Know?---

The Last Song debuted as #1 on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists?

Life, he realized, was much like a song.
In the beginning, there is mystery, in the end there is confirmation, but it’s in the middle where all emotions resides to make the whole thing worthwhile. –Steve

My Thoughts:

This book isn't a light read, that was what I expected when I first began reading it. I know because all the books I've read written by Nicholas Sparks never failed to make me cry.

I began reading the book (from the start, even though I've read it for the nth times now), and pictured Miley and Liam as Ronnie and Will. I'd say that this time, I finally been able to dwell myself on the story. I find myself turning the pages with so much anticipation and eagerness... waiting for the next turn of events. I used to love reading inspiring stories like this, and it has been a while now since I last read Dear John (by the same author). I think Nicholas Sparks is so fond of writing stories that has a happy-not-so-happy ending. Don't get me wrong, I love all his works. It's just that, I always end up questioning "what could have been" in all his books that I've read. All of it--emotional, sad, sometimes depressing... but they are inspiring at the same time, it makes you think of forgiveness, loyalty, love, and hope. Maybe that's the thing I love about these stories, that life is not always a happy ending, but there are a lot more reasons to move forward, to live life.

I have the copy of this book about months ago, and I tried so many times to read it, but I guess I wasn't in the mood those days so I wasn't able to finish it. But since I want to watch the movie of The Last Song (because I'm a fan of Miley :), and I preferred reading the book first before seeing the film, I decided to give it another try. So here it goes...

What I love in this book are the characters the author created. They're so real to me. And the way Nicholas Sparks wrote the novel helps me understand the characters better. Sometimes it was Steve's point of view, sometimes it was Ronnie's, Will's and also Marcus'.

Ronnie, she's sweet, she's kind, she's beautiful. That's how her father describes her. She hated her father so much for leaving them that's why she gave up playing the piano--because it makes her feel closer to his father, her teacher. I love her character even though sometimes I hated her for the cold treatment she gave to her father. But that's because she love her father so much that's why she hated him more.

Will describes Ronnie as someone who is different from any other girls. She’s smart and funny at the same time. I like how the author clearly stated Will’s feelings and I like how he was drawn to Ronnie.
In Will’s point of view:
But the girl with the purple streak in her hair…
He knew instinctively that she wasn’t that way. He couldn’t be absolutely sure, of course, but he’d bet on it. She didn’t put others into neat little boxes because she didn’t put herself in one, and that struck him as refreshing and different, especially when compared with the girls he’d known at Laney.

Unlike any other girls she knew, she said what she meant and didn't play stupid games. She had a quirky sense of humor that he liked, even when it was directed at him. In fact, he liked everything about her.

She was an oddball, a freethinker, and stubbornly independent, too. On the surface, she was unlike anyone he could ever imagine finding attractive, but…her dad was great, her brother was a hoot, and she was just about as smart and caring as anyone he’d ever met. Who else would camp out all night to protect a turtle nest? Who else would stop a fight to help a little kid? Who else read Tolstoy in her spare time? And who else, at least in this town, would fall for Will before knowing anything about his family?

Will on the ther hand, was described by Ronnie as someone who is smarter than any other guy she’d dated. Someone who seemed to be doing something with his life. He worked, he volunteered. He was a pretty good athlete, he even got along with his family, and wasn’t a pushover. And she liked it.
You'll love Jonah, Ronnie's 10-year old brother. He's like an angel to me. I have soft spots for younger brothers cos I actually have one. He's a happy boy, full of energy, and loves his father so much. It gives a sort of balance to the story, Ronnie hating his father, and Jonah loving and enjoying every minute he spends with his dad. If the case is they both hate their father, I think the story would be so hard to endure.

I like Steve's character. He's the kind of father you'll want to have. And if you're a guy, he's someone you want to be if you grow up. He's understanding, kind, gentle person. He never gets angry to his children, he never even rises his voice to them. He's willing to give up anything and give everything for his children. He loves them both more than his life.

This story is not just about family drama, this has romance too. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Ronnie and Will's relationship is something you'll look forward to. Something you'll want not just for the entire summer, but for the rest of your life. They're so good together.

Another thing I like about this book is the way the author emphasized the importance of God's presence in our lives. This is something you don't usually find in many books today. It's about faith, love, hope and forgiveness--forgiving others and forgiving yourself.

My Rating:

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