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The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks

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Author: Nicholas Sparks / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 01 April 2010 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group / Title: The Last Song / ISBN 13: 9780751543261 / ISBN 10: 0751543261

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    8 Reviews
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      15.10.2013 10:42
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      A book which I really enjoyed. It made me laugh,cry and think. Worth a read!

      I do love books written by Nicholas Sparks. Whilst I have only read a few I do have many more on my wish list that I hope someone will buy me for Christmas! The most recent book that I read by the author is called The Last Song and it is this book that I shall review today.

      The Last Song is a novel which has actually been made in to a film like so many other Nicholas Sparks books but in this particular case I haven't actually seen the film because I was slightly put off by the fact that Miley Cyrus plays one of the lead roles although I must add it seems this was before she went off the rails a bit! What was nice though was that because I hadn't seen the film I was able to go in to the book with a totally open mind not really knowing what to expect.

      The Last Song tells the story of Ronnie and those close to her. Ronnie is so angry and hurt when her parents split up that she doesn't speak to her Father for three years. She and her younger brother Jonah stay in New York with her mother whilst their Father moves many miles away back to the coast in a humble home surrounded by newer, more modern and much more expensive builds on the beach. Ronnie is a particularly rebellious seventeen year old but only in terms of staying out late and disobeying her mother really. She is sensible in that she stays away from drink and drugs though her mother isn't aware of this. One summer Ronnie and her brother must go to stay with her Father for the entire summer a move which Ronnie can't understand. She wants to stay in New York with her friends not go play happy families with her Father who is basically a stranger to her now. What follows though is a story about learning about life, love, loss, friendship and second chances.

      The way that this book is written is that each chapter comes from a certain characters perspective. When I first started reading the book I noted that this felt different from the other Sparks books I had read before and I wondered if I would get in to the book but I absolutely did. In fact I loved the way that it took time to just talk about characters and the way they were feeling or things that had gone on in the past that perhaps nobody else knew about as it felt very personal and as though you were being given a real insight in to their lives. What is also brilliant is the book flows so nicely just like other Sparks books I have read. I adore the way he writes and the way he can capture your attention and have you feeling all kinds of emotions and this is also true within this book.

      I found it quite easy to relate to Ronnie as the book went on. Initially as I read she was full of attitude and I wanted to give her a slap and say wake up and appreciate the things in your life but as you go on it becomes clear that Ronnie is a lot more than just angry. Beneath the surface she is probably not like other rebellious teenagers and she cares about things such as the enviroment which she proves when she sleeps outside on the beach so to protect a nest of turtles eggs from prowling raccoons. I could sort of see where Ronnie was coming from being angry with her Father for leaving too. Once they were very close and he taught her to play piano which she had a real talent for but she resented the piano seeing this as the reason her Father left and so she refuses to play anymore. Despite this fact as the story goes on you start to see Ronnie and her Father, Steve, start to become close again and she develops the respect and love she had for him all over again. I actually loved the relationship between Steve and Ronnie towards the middle and end of the book because it was such a beautiful thing. He was so tolerant of all of her nasty words and always made sure he said he loved her and was there for her. With time she really came to appreciate her Dad and she would turn to him when she needed him which had a real feel good factor about it.

      There are some real elements of tradgedy and loss within this book that quite literally had me sobbing my eyes out as I read which I personally think is the sign of excellent story telling as you can almost feel the loss the characters feel too. I liked how it was very much a real life, every day kind of loss that people have to cope with and go through as well because I think that made it feel all the more real. Throughout these sections of the book I felt for Ronnie, Steve and Jonah in particular. I think the main thing that it gave me to think about was how sometimes we take things for granted and you have to wonder if you are putting all that you can in to your relationships because one day someone may not be there anymore and you will perhaps feel you should have behaved in a different way.

      Whilst there is loss and upset within this book there is also romance which you do come to expect from a Nicholas Sparks novel I think because he is so good at telling these kind of stories. I liked how at first Ronnie thought Will was just one of these show off jock types but when she got to know him he showed how he was anything but that. I loved the spark between the couple but I also loved the way that their relationship was slow to develop and how they enjoyed walks on the beach, dates fishing or just generally hanging out without it having to be about sex and what not. I was really rooting for the couple throughout the book because quite often Ronnie would chuck a strop and regret it later on and I suppose I can be a bit like that too! I really wanted for them to make it work because it felt as though they were meant to be.

      In this book there are some other characters who have some serious issues and this makes the book that little bit darker. Marcus in particular is a really creepy person who has quite sadistic and scary tendencies and it is a real credit to the author that I felt as though I would not like to bump in to Marcus on a dark night.

      I would absolutely recommend that you read this book. I felt as though I was there with the characters when I was reading this book but it also gave me so much to think about in terms of that you have no time for regrets and you should forgive people, consider their side of the story and know that things aren't always as black and white as you may expect. It is a really emotional story and there are many things going on within it which give you reason to stop and think that things may look ok on the surface but underneath that could be some really difficult pasts. It challenges peoples views of faith and leads you to wonder what is out there. Whenever I picked this book up to start reading I would become lost in the story and that for me is what makes a good book. I do want to see the film version of this book now just to see how it compares...my sister has seen it and is convinced I will cry and after reading the book I suspect that she is right.

      You can buy this book from amazon for just £3.85 which is a bargain price! It has 400 pages.

      Thank you for reading my review!

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        08.03.2011 12:15

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        This was one really good book, and will be readiing it agian more than once.

        I am not a very big fan of these kind of books but this one i could not put down.It only took me a few days to read,and ended up making me cry.The reason i decided to read this book,was because they were bringing the film out,and i always like to read the book before i see the film,then i end up pointing all the changes they have made out to my mum.This book is about a brother and sister going to see there dad for the summer,but not knowing that he is critically ill.It shows how the daughter blames here dad for leaving them,and not wanting to be there.In the end she starts bonding with her dad again, and looks after him till the end.On this long journey through the summer she also make a friend, falls in love ,and finds out the truth why her dad really left.All i can say is what a heart warming story.

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        27.01.2011 20:14

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        Buy it!

        This book is the perfect teen chick lit! and even if you're older than a teen I have no doubt you will love it anyway! Nicholas sparks is a brilliant writer and this book does nothing more but prove this, his usual tale of a love story is developed with a larger plot of trouble and social issues.

        This book has the right amount of teenage angst, summer romance, heart clenching and tear jerking trauma which lets you leave your seat and enter the world of Ronnie Miller. I literally laughed and cried all the way through it and although some parts could be seen as corny by that point the characters are developed to a standard that the words just fit.

        So many story lines make this what it is; the troublesome group Ronnie becomes friends with, the mysterious and angst ridden male, the upper class meeting with the lesser class, and a fantastic storyline of a helpless animal bringing the community and better yet Ronnie's family together.

        Characters: Ronnie Miller (main character)

        Steve Miller (Ronnie's Father)

        Jonah Miller (Ronnies younger Brother)

        Will Blakelee (The summer romance)

        Scott ( Will's friend)

        Galadriel (Ronnie's first friend that she meets)

        Paster Harris (The local Paster)

        The baby turtles

        Setting: Wilmington, North Carolina

        Steve Miller's house, the beach, the Pier.

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        02.08.2010 12:57
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        A must read!!

        This is one of those books that I was so close to not purchasing. I had had enough of reading romance novels, and this looked like it was going to be just that. I was wrong. The front cover (the version with Miley Cyrus) is totally misleading and is bound to put off a lot of readers from buying it. I also saw the trailer for the film which implied that it was just a typical teen romance.

        After having finally purchasing this book, I could not put it down. I loved reading all the different perspectives even though it still remained in 3rd person.

        This is so much more than just a romance. The romance only plays a small section in this novel. The majority of it is focused on the relationship between Ronnie and her dad.

        I love the way that Nicholas Sparks has weaved so many plots into one. Normally this would not work and it would just get confusing. But he has crafted this so well that I would often read sections and suddenly everything would piece together.

        I can not wait to read another novel by Nicholas Sparks.

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          22.07.2010 22:01
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          A fantastic book!:)

          == Introduction ==

          I have read Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook before and loved it, but wasn't really aware of any of his other books until a few months ago when I saw a trailer on TV for a new film "The Last Song" which stated it was written by the author of The Notebook. The film looked great starring Miley Cyrus, and looking like a generally girly film, and so dragged my husband along to the local Cineworld to watch with me. When I got home, I had enjoyed the film so much, that I got onto Amazon and ordered the book.

          == Plot ==

          The story revolves around an 18 year old girl, Ronnie (Veronica). Her parents broke up 3 years ago, and her dad moved away to live by the beach- since then Ronnie has refused to speak to him, feeling he has ruined her life by splitting up her family. This summer she and her younger brother are shipped off to their dads, and Ronnie is dreading it.

          Although she doesn't want to be there, the old "her" begins to come out with the sea air, watching turtles lay their eggs in the sand and meeting Will...the local good boy. He works at the Aquarium and fixes cars, as well as playing Volleyball to please his friend. But Ronnie is reluctant to believe his swagger when she hears his ex girlfriend talking about their dates.

          As Summer progresses Ronnie soon gets into life in the sun, and is soon seeing it as her home and seeing New York as a distant memory, and her dad is coming into a whole new light.

          But when her life is turned upside down, who will she turn to for support?

          == Opinion ==

          The book is amazing! I read this after I had watched the film, so I think it was ruined a little bit by that as I found myself "waiting" for things to happen in a certain way, which they of course didn't as the film was changed slightly from the book, I think that ruined the book a little bit for me, though not much! And it wasn't the fault of the book, but my own mind, maybe I should have left a few months between watching film and reading the book...but of course I didn't!!!

          The characters I find are excellent, many reviews I hgave read of this book say the character of Ronnie it too "wet" in the film, she is a "bad girl" but she doesn't smoke, drink or swear...but I think this is the way she IS. The bad girl act is just that, an act she puts on in front of her family as a reaction to her dad leaving her mum. Not as many say a "Disney'fied" version of a bad girl. You really can see the real Ronnie come out in the book as it progresses and the bag girl act slip away very quickly.

          The story is very sad, and has a lot of twists and turns which a lot of people won#'t see coming...if I hadn't watched the film and known basically how the story ended, I would never have seen most of the things coming which happened! And I loved that one BIG twist in the book is not in the film, it made the book a little more "exciting" for me as someone who had only watched the film which took away the main twists and turns excitement.

          The book maybe isn't something for an older person, and is quite "teeny" in it's storyline, all the characters are kids who have just left school and are getting ready to go to college, so it is written mainly for that sort of age group (16-30 may be a good age range to pop on this book).

          The story is written in chapters which each are set about one character: Ronnie, Steve (Ronnie's dad), Will and Marcus (a bad boy in the book). This is done very well! :)

          I think this book is amazing, and I would recommend it to any The Notebook lover!!! And the film too! :)

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            10.07.2010 14:15
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            A story of relationships, both friendship, family and true love.

            - - PLOT - -

            Seventeen year old Ronnie and her younger brother Jonah are spending the summer with their dad, at his home in Wilmington, North Carolina. This is much to Ronnie's disappointment, she loves her life in New York with her friends, and what makes the thought of this summer even worse, is that until now she hadn't seen or spoken with her father for three years since he walked out on them and her mother, and his job as a teacher at prestigious music school Julliard.

            Ronnie meets Blaze on her first trip to the pier and thinks that she may have found someone who she can spend some time with and maybe call her a friend, Blaze seems equally annoyed at life and the two bond over their strained relationships with their parents and the fact that they don't feel they fit in. That is until Blaze introduces Ronnie to her boyfriend Marcus, something about him bothers Ronnie and no matter what she does she can't shake the feeling that something is very wrong.

            Whilst trying to avoid Marcus, Ronnie ends up spending more time on the beach and at home, which results in her beginning to get to know her father again, and against her better judgement they actually get along. Her dad doesn't nag about where she is all the time, but is happy to know she is safe, and when she moans about his constant playing of the piano he boards up the alcove where the piano is kept and no longer plays, it seems things are changing with their relationship.

            One day whilst out on the beach by the house Ronnie spots a nest of eggs, which her father tells her are loggerhead turtles and that they need to be reported to the local aquarium as they are endangered and if they alone they can be eaten by raccoons. A volunteer from the aquarium comes to visit the eggs and upon meeting him Ronnie notices that not only is he gorgeous but he is the guy who accidentally threw her soda over her the first day she arrived in Wilmington.

            Ronnie and the aquarium volunteer Will seem like polar opposites, but you know what they say opposites attract! And the two are soon inseparable, after bonding over their love of turtles they soon realise that being together is just as much fun as it is comfortable, and while very different they love each others company.

            So will the Loggerhead turtles survive the summer? Will Ronnie and Will be just a summer romance or will the heat survive once they go their separate ways? And most importantly of all what will happen to Ronnie's relationship with her father?

            - - OPINION - -

            I have to admit to being a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks work, and I think that for a man writing romance novels he really has an amazing talent to show the feelings and emotions between a couple as well as those around them.

            I liked the character of Ronnie from the beginning. I found the portrayal of her broken relationship with her father very believable and as the story went on the story really pulled at the heart strings. She was shown as a very headstrong teenager with very real opinions and I thought that was very true of a majority of teens these days, although I did like how she was very clean living although did get into a bit of trouble over stupid mistakes.

            The character of Pastor Harris was another that I enjoyed, I liked that he was there for the family during the good times and the bad, he was a constant source of support even though he too was going through a tough time. As a person who is not religious I would like to think that is what minister, pastors, reverends whatever people might call them in their chosen religious were like, that they were there for others in their times of need instead of only preaching on a Sunday in a church.

            The story is separated into chapters, which are told by different characters, but these are mainly Ronnie and Steve (her father), although there are a few others who take their turn. I haven't always been a fan of this type of writing as I think it can make the story very disjointed but I found that in the last song it was very well written, and as well as flowing very well together the different perspectives helped me to understand the background of the story a lot more.

            As a warning for anyone who is like me a little emotional, have a tissue to hand for the last few chapters of this one as it does get a little weepy.

            The book has now joined a realm of Spark's other novels and been made into a film, this one staring Miley Cyrus.

            PUBLISHERS : Hachette book group
            ISBN - 9780751543261
            PAGES - 390
            PRICE - £3.50 from amazon and this book is alsocurrently in the 3 for 2 offer at waterstones.

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              11.04.2010 14:39
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              A nice heartwarming story

              First I should say I have never seen a film based on a Nicholas Sparks book, nor have I ever read a Sparks book before. I bought this on the way back from America, knowing I was to endure a very long flight. I had seen the trailer for the upcoming movie and assumed it was going to be mushy and slushy romantic and that really is not my kind of story, but thought I'd give it ago.

              I was mistaken. While it is clearly a love story, it is not just one of girl meets boy, but the rekindled love of a girl and her estranged father, a sister and her brother and the sacrifice within friendships. It is an easy book to read and each chapter is from a different characters viewpoint which is refreshing to read.

              I do not want to ruin and of the story lines, but there are a few good twists within it and I was hooked from the very first page (mostly because it was set in North Carolina and I had just got back from visiting South Carolina and Orlando, FL, so felt I could 'relate' or something silly like that!!)

              A great book to read if you just want a pick me up, with quite a few funny quotes in it too.

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                31.03.2010 21:22
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                I just loved it very much and will definitely read it again.

                I have always enjoyed Nicolas Sparks' books. They have all the elements that i enjoy- love, romance and bittersweet ending.
                The last song has to be one of the best Nicolas Sparks' book, in fact one of the best book that I have read. The book is about a 17 year old girl named Ronnie who hates her father after he left her, her mom and her little brother to become a concert pianist and then went to live in a quiet beach in North Carolina.
                With her father's wish and her mother's request, she and her brother are sent to their father to spend the summer with him. Her brother is tremendously happy whereas she is very angry. So she tries to stay away from her dad as much as possible by wandering around and coming home late at night to show her anger to her dad.
                The book shows how this summer change her life completely. I beautifully shows how her relationship with her dad changes and how she fall in love for the first time.
                Overall the book is about parent-children love and first love. As with Nicolas Sparks' novel, it has a very sad but sweet ending, leaving you wanting more.
                For me its 11/10. I loved it so much.

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