Monday, May 24, 2010

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

I just finished reading

This is from the back cover of the book:
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.

Lingering Thoughts:
This is a great book! I do not recall any usage of inappropriate language or content, so I believe it is completely safe for all age groups to read. As a Christian, I really appreciated Sparks' intertwining Christian principles within the story line, such as the importance of having a healthy relationship with God and an active prayer life. Although Christianity is mentioned, it isn't overpowering.

One characteristic that really stood out to me was Ronnie's relationship with her parents. I found it to be much like the relationship I shared with my parents at her age. I, too, was rebellious teenager eager to take on the world. Now, as a parent, I valued the attitude and parenting style of Ronnie's father. He tried to reach Ronnie on so many different levels, but he never force their relationship on her. He loved Ronnie enough to give her the space she needed to grow up as a young woman. This, in my opinion, had to be so unimaginably difficult for him. However, I feel he knew that was important in allowing Ronnie to see her need for family.

Another aspect of the novel's theme which resonated with me was the affects of associating with certain peer groups. For this reason alone, I recommend this novel to young adolescents. It easily illustrates how falling into the wrong peer groups can change one's life. In fact, it almost costs one character, Blaze, her life.

My only complaint of this novel was that I found it to be a bit predictable. Half way through the novel, I knew what the ultimate outcome was going to be, so I wasn't in a hurry to finish it--it didn't really leave me on the edge of my seat needing to know more NOW.

I am excited to see the movie when it comes out on DVD to compare/contrast the book and theatrical production. Here is the trailer if you want to check it out:

Click here to buy the book.

Click here to learn more about Nicholas Sparks.