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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Last Song

Nicholas Sparks
316 Pages (eBook)
Grand Central Publishing, 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 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.

As I wrote before here, the next Nicholas Sparks’ book that I eyed is The Last Song. First of all, I watched the film adaptation. The film was kind of disappointing. That is why I needed more time to finish it and even before I did it, I already started reading the book. From the articles about this book, I knew that Sparks wrote the screenplay first, and then transformed it into a book. So I thought, the differences of the story between both of them would not be so significant, wouldn’t they? Let’s see now :)

Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Miller and her little brother, Jonah sent by their mother to spend a summer with their dad, Steve in Wilmington. Jonah is so excited. He helps Steve creates a restoring stained glass for the local church that recently caught in arson. Meanwhile, Ronnie hates it. She still cannot accept that her dad abandoned her after his divorce. She doesn’t communicate with him, even not read his letters. She also hates the fact that Steve playing a piano while she is around. Because music was always their thing before he was moving out and leaved her in New York.

Ronnie ignores her brother and dad by going out as many as possible. In a local carnival, she meets Will Blakelee, who spills a drink on her. He is a mechanic that pro on volleyball and volunteers at a local aquarium. Their path crosses again when Ronnie call an aquarium and asks a help to protect a turtle nest near her dad’s beach house. They begin a romantic relationship later. Ronnie has no choice than turns to her dad and asks for a love advice. Ronnie also befriend with Blaze. She introduces Ronnie to her boyfriend, Marcus, who does a fireball performance for living. Marcus quickly interested in Ronnie. When she rejects him, he makes it other way. Knowing that, a jealous Blaze makes Ronnie looks like a shoplifter. She has to go to court to prove she is innocent. Will supports her by appears there. But Ronnie’s braveness makes Will thinks about the truth that he has been hiding for a long time.

The Last Song was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It is written so beautiful yet simple and without flowery quotes. By the way, I got my answer about why the story focused on Ronnie’s relationship with Will, than with her dad and it made me cry. But it felt so good and I was happy I read it. The beginning was quite slow and boring, though. Some of the chapters were so similar with the movie, made me a little bit déjà vu. It just had more information and detail about the weather, clothes, characters’ thoughts and else.

The story is being told by four characters’ POV, Ronnie, Steve, Will and Marcus. Why so many and why Marcus? At first I wanted to skip Steve’s story about his parents and his childhood moments and Marcus’s crazy obsession with fire. But at the end it was actually making sense and more acceptable than what the movie showed. Some detail twisted, like Steve is the one who concern to a turtle nest. He pointed it out to Ronnie and she took everything else from there. The twisted detail that he written in the book showed that he knew what’s best for the story. It made me think, Sparks wrote of them so why he changed it? Was it the producers’ request? Market demands? I felt so bad.

My favorite character is obviously Ronnie. She has a unique personality. She is a rebel, but does not drink or takes drug or even enjoys loud music at the club. She learns her lesson fast and grows with it. She even made others around them experienced the same. Look what she done to Will. Wow.

Although the movie of The Last Song was disappointing, the book turned out to be so good and I looooove it. I wish Sparks writes more teenager story in the future. I also wish many teenagers read this and be mature as Ronnie. Recommended! :D

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