Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Book Synopsis:
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 yeas later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, particularly her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest i 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.

An unforgettable story of love in all its myriad forms⎯first love, love between parents and children⎯THE LAST SONG demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

My thoughts:

When Miriam Parker, Hachette Book Group USA, offered me the chance to receive an ARC of The Last Song, I immediately accepted. I've only read A Walk to Remember and The Notebook by this author, however I've heard and read glowing reviews about his books. After reading the last page (and wiping away my tears), I knew I had to add his remaining books to my TBR List.

My first thought when I started reading The Last Song, was this is the perfect book to read to finish out the summer. I thought it would be light, but an enjoyable read. To my delight, it became so much more as I read more of Ronnie's story.

Ronnie and her brother Jonah are sent to North Carolina to spend the summer with their estranged father. Their father left his prestigious position at Julliard to pursue his dream of being a concert pianist. His time away put a strain on his family and eventually ended his marriage. He now calls Wrightville Beach, NC home.

Ronnie never forgave her father for ruining their family. In fact, she hasn't spoken to him in three years. She's livid that her mother is forcing her to do this. As soon as she sets foot in her father's house, she's determined to plan her return back to New York. As soon as she enters her father's house, she puts distance between them by spending her first night away from his home. It's on this night that she first meets Will followed by Blaze. It's this night that will change her summer.

The Last Song is told in four differing points of view: Ronnie, Steve, Will and Marcus. Through each perspective, Mr. Sparks reveals more of the story and at times flashing back to the past to provide more history. Each character has something to add to the events of that summer and reading it in his or her own voice adds to the realness of the story.

Early on I had a hint of how the novel would end. As I realized my assumption was right, it didn't prepare me for the emotions I felt as I continued to read. The Last Song isn't only about love. It's also about learning how to forgive yourself for your past mistakes so you can move forward. This is evident as Ronnie struggles to forgive herself for allowing her anger and hurt to prevent her from having a relationship with her father. During this summer, Ronnie realizes despite her behavior, her father's love remained unconditional.

Steve, Ronnie's and Jonah's father, spends time quietly reading his Bible. It's during these devotionals, that Steve has forgiven himself and draws closer to God. Mr. Sparks did a fantastic job of using Steve's devotions to illustrate that through God, new beginnings are possible, despite your past, if you have faith, believe and put your trust in God. He continues to illustrate new beginnings by restoring broken relationships between a parent and child, the destroying and reconstruction of a church and learning to love and respect yourself.

The Last Song is an emotionally charged novel, one that I highly recommend. I suggest you read with tissues nearby. It will grabbed the reader and won't let go until the very last page. I want to thank Miriam for the opportunity to review this book.

Book details:
ISBN-13: 978-0-446-54756-7
Pages: 390
Year Published: 2009
Genre: Fiction
Date Finished: September 6
Rating: A+


  1. I always find Nicholas Sparks' books heartwarming and moving. I'm glad you enjoyed this book!

  2. I'm not the biggest Nicholas Sparks fan, but I was curious about this book since it's been getting a lot of hype. Thanks for the review!

  3. I loved the movie adaption of The Notebook and always say I'm going to read one of his someday, despite the naysayers.