Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The First Liked

The Last Song

Written by: Nicholas Sparks

Released: September 8, 2009 by Grand Central Publishing

Summary: 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.

Ok, I have to admit that I don’t really like Nicholas Sparks or his writing. The Notebook made me gag and A Walk to Remember was disgustingly predictable. I also didn’t want to read this book at all at first since there was the movie cover (unfortunately the copy that I bought) with Miley Cyrus on the cover. Not only do I really detest movie covers but I’m not a big fan of hers either. That being said, I did really enjoy reading this book. Yes, it was predictable at parts… ok a whole lot of parts… but there were some good moments thrown in that took you a little by surprise.

I think that one reason that I maybe enjoyed this book was because the screenplay was written first and then the novel? I don’t know. Anyways, I liked it. It made me laugh, cry, and all those other good responses that you want from a novel. In fact, I was so engrossed in it that I just had to finish reading it last night… or rather early, early this morning. Probably not the best idea since I worked today, but whatever; I really just wanted to find out how it ended.

The characters in this novel are what you would expect from Sparks; jaded but good, and always doing the right thing in the end. Except, of course, the main antagonist, but every book needs one of them anyways and even he made you feel sort of sorry for him. Maybe pity is the better word, but either way there was more there.
I have to say that I was really able to relate and bond with the main character Ronnie Miller, whose part was scripted specifically with Miley Cyrus in mind, which was something that made reading the book all the more pleasurable since I was able to imagine myself in the same position for a lot of it. Also, by the end of the book I was wishing that I was able to find a guy like Will Blakelee, the main squeeze in the book, since he was portrayed as the epitome of perfection. Alas, I don’t think that people like him are real.

As I said above, the plot was expected but it was still nice to read. It was a real bildungsroman with a nice romance that was something that made you warm inside when you were reading it. At times you were mentally shouting at the characters for some reason or another; it seemed as though they were clueless half the time when the answer seemed to be so apparent. Still, movie cover aside, I’m glad that I bought it to read.

Overall I’m going to give it a 6/10. It was nice but the predictable nature of the plot lowered the score from what could have maybe been an 8/10.

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