Book: The Last Song
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Age: Young Adult/Adult
Release date: September 8, 2009
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 Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, particularly her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she and her younger brother spent the summer with him in North Carolina.
Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will be the centerpiece of a local church. Resentful and rebellious, Ronnie rejects all of his attempts to reach out to her and threatens to return to New York before the summer's end. But soon Ronnie meets Will, the town's local heartthrob, and the last person she thought she'd ever be attracted to. As Ronnie slowly lets her guard down, she finds herself falling deeply in love, opening herself up to the greatest happiness--and pain--that she has ever known.
Review: This is my first time reading a Nicholas Sparks novel, and I definitely was not disappointed.
The novel is told in third person, with four different narration changes. Ronnie, Steve (Ronnie's father), Will (the love interest), and Marcus (the creeper, to put it bluntly).
Ronnie first comes across as a sullen teenager, itching to have some freedom now that's she done with school. Instead, she's stuck with her little brother Jonah and her father Steve for the summer. Barely even a few minutes after she arrives, she wanders off to the festival in town. It's there that she meets Will, Blaze, and Marcus.
From there, the summer really begins. Drama, betrayal, friendship and heartbreak all follow. This is one of those novels that tugs softly at your heartstrings.
Highlights: The change in narration helped keep the story moving, and helped to really give me a feel for everything that was happening. Also, and more importantly, the message of honesty. So many relationships in this story had been hindered because the characters hadn't been honest, and I was especially upset with one in particular. The characters were also very realistic, which I enjoyed.
Lowlights: At times, it all felt like a bit too much was happening. Also, I really seemed to grow bored of Steve's narration, and actually would have preferred more of Marcus. I was also very upset with Ronnie's mother, for reasons known later in the story, and the consequences of her actions.
Movie comments: Great movie, Miley Cyrus did better as Ronnie than I expected. A few characters weren't portrayed well, though (like Marcus-who always looked wasted, Scott was horrible, and same with Blaze). Liam Hemsworth did well, and I was pleasantly surprised because I thought he really captured Will perfectly. But Bobby Coleman (Jonah) and Greg Kinnear (Steve) stole the show. Some bits here and there are different, but the movie is still, overall, enjoyable.