Book Review: The Last Song By Nicholas Sparks
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, 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 of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.
I'm a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks' books: the plots are interesting and well-thought out, the characters well-developed, the writing style so real yet poetic and there are always some powerful messages and life lessons in them. And the last song is no exception. It is also a tear-jerker so keep your handkerchief close, you'll need it. The Last Song is the story of Ronnie's coming of age, her first love and the difficult relationship between parents and children.
Ronnie is a seventeen year old girl going through her rebellious stage. Her parents divorced three years ago and her father Steve, who is an ex-pianist, moved from NYC to a small beach town in North Carolina, where he leads a very simple life. Ronnie has never forgiven him and has never spoken to him since. And when her mother suddenly drops her and her brother Jonah, who is a very funny little boy, on his doorstep because she thinks they need to spend more time together, Ronnie isn't happy and shows it. She tries to avoid her father as much as possible and makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him. I was really annoyed by such childish behaviour, yet Steve is very understanding, gives her the space she needs and trust her even when no one else does.
Despite this though, I like Ronnie. Her character is real, strong and believable. She makes some bad decisions like hanging out with the wrong crowd which lands her in trouble, but she learns from her mistakes and we see her growing from a rebellious teenager into a lovely young woman. During the summer, Ronnie also falls in love for the first time. Will is not only handsome and rich, but also lovely, kind and a true friend. The story is told through the points of views of Steve, Roni and Will, which could have been very confusing, but Sparks has written it in such a wonderful way that all these different perspectives just make you understand the story better instead than hinder it.
Although the book is quite slow at the start, it soon picks up speed as Roni lives the summer she will never forget and that will change her life forever. A summer in which she'll learn very important lessons. She will become an adult, learn not to jump to conclusions, learn that life isn't black and white but lots of shades of grey, learn to love and learn to forgive.. Sparks has a way with words that just pulls at your heart strings. This book will make you cry, laugh and think. Overall, a very emotional read that I highly recommend.
The Last Song By Nicholas Sparks is a very emotional book. It tells the story of Roni, a rebellious teenager who hates her father but is forced to spend the summer with him. It will be a summer full of tests, trials, pain and joy that will change her life forever. I also love the writing style, it's so real yet poetic. Overall, a wonderful and highly-recommended read.
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The Last Song Summary
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Published in 2009, The Last Song is Nicholas Sparks’s fourteenth published novel. A movie version of the romantic and tragic novel, starring Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear, was released in 2010. Interestingly, the screenplay was written before the novel.
The Last Song is a coming of age novel, a bildungsroman. It tells the story of protagonist Veronica “Ronnie” Miller and how she grows as a person over the course of a summer. The novel is told in flashback from Ronnie’s perspective and from the perspectives of different characters in each chapter.
Ronnie, a rebellious seventeen-year-old, lives with her divorced mother, Kim, in New York City. Her mother will soon be getting remarried to Brian. Her parents divorced three years earlier. Ronnie is angry with her parents for getting divorced and turning her world upside down. She has become alienated from them both.
Ronnie gets in trouble at school and disobeys her curfew. She is arrested for shoplifting. She has also abandoned her piano playing. She has lost her way and yet does not to accept help or guidance from others, especially her parents.
Estranged from her father, Ronnie has not spoken to him in three years or seen him when he visits New York. She and her father used to share a love of playing the piano, but Ronnie gave up the piano after he left. Her father, Steve, returned to his hometown, Wrightsville Beach, on the southern coast of North Carolina. He is a former concert pianist and teacher. After he divorced his wife, he toured the country as a professional musician. He abandoned his former lifestyle to live a quiet life in the beach town where he grew up. He is now living rent-free in a house owned by the church until the church sells it. He is working on a stained-glass window for the church to replace one destroyed in a fire.
Ronnie’s mother decides to send Ronnie and her brother to spend the summer reconnecting with their father in North Carolina. Jonah, Ronnie’s ten-year-old brother, loves the idea and cannot wait to go. For him, everything in life is awesome. Ronnie, on the other hand, thinks that this is a sign that her parents hate her.
Kim drives her children to North Carolina and drops them off at their father’s house. On Ronnie’s first day in town, she escapes from the house to go to the Beach Seafood Festival. A handsome beach volleyball player, Will Blakelee, knocks into her, spilling her soft drink down the front of her shirt. As she is cleaning her shirt soaked in soda, Ronnie meets Blaze after she accidentally bumps into her. Blaze, whose real name is Galadriel, is a beach girl whose parents are also divorced. She feels equally out of place in Wrightsville Beach. Blaze befriends Ronnie and helps her find a T-shirt stand.
Ronnie and Blaze go to watch a performance by Marcus, Blaze’s boyfriend. Marcus, a self-centered bad boy, throws a fireball toward Ronnie during his performance. A police officer threatens to arrest Marcus and his group if he ever catches them doing that again. After the show, they sit under the pier drinking beer. Ronnie leaves when Marcus tries to hit on her in Blaze’s brief absence.
Later in the novel, Steve and Jonah discover a nest of eggs buried in the sand behind their house. The eggs are from a loggerhead sea turtle, an endangered species and are in danger of being eaten by raccoons. Steve calls the local aquarium to get a cage to protect the eggs. Ronnie, who learns about the nest, camps out all night to protect them.
On her way home from the beach, she meets Will. A volunteer for the aquarium, Will is taping off the area around the nest. Will takes Ronnie to the aquarium to see an injured loggerhead turtle. He and Ronnie get to know each other over walks on the beach and eventually develop feelings for each other.
Later in the novel, Ronnie discovers that her father has cancer as he gets progressively sicker. Along with Jonah and Will, she finishes his stained glass window. She also finishes a song for her father. Her father’s friend, Pastor Harris, installs the window in the new church. At the end of the summer, Kim arrives to take Jonah home. Ronnie stays with her father until he dies.
Ronnie returns to New York. While dealing with the death of her father, she is grateful for the summer they spent together. She now gets along with her mother. She spends the majority of her time practicing piano or with her brother Jonah. She auditions to attend Julliard, where she practices every day. She pines for Will and cannot decide if she wants to hear from him or to move on with her life. Will, who was studying at Vanderbilt, surprises her in New York to tell her that he is going to transfer to Columbia to be close to her.
Nicholas Sparks’s novels have been New York Times bestsellers, have sold millions of copies worldwide, and have been made into films. One of his best-known novels, The Notebook, was published in 1996 and adapted into a film of the same name.