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. (http://www.nicholassparks.com/LearnMore.asp?BookID=15)
Character Development: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10
Total Score: 63/ 70
Age Appropriate? PG-13
Language: Occasional cussing
Drugs, Alcohol, etc.: Teen drinking
Sexual Content: Discussed, but no actual scene
Disturbing Images/ Violence: Terminal Illness, fire injury, nothing too bad really
This was my first experience with Nicholas Sparks, and I was completely swept away. The narrative is engrossing, the setting is lovely, and the story kept me hooked from the first page to the last.
There is one single detail that makes Sparks' stories so powerful: the characters. They are so unbelievably real. They make mistakes, they have flaws, they deal with life on a day to day basis... they are humans. Just like us. Relatable. And the relationships between the characters, not just Will and Ronnie, but each friendship, each family dynamic, each spiritual relationship, and each enmity was perfectly not perfect. What I mean to say is that the relationships have depth. There are ups and downs. The relationships change as do the characters. Change is such an essential part of life, and one that authors sometimes miss in their quest to have an exciting plot. Or often in stories only the main character goes through a change, as the other characters stay the same. But truly, in life everyone is constantly changing, and book characters should be no different. Getting to know Sparks' characters and understanding them isn't completely possible. Mysteries mask the surface of what we know, much like they do in our day to day relationships. The characters were the gem of this novel.
If you have not yet picked up a Nicholas Sparks book, you should probably give it a try, but know that you are in for much more than a sweet little romance. You should also know that The Last Song brought me to tears, which only a rare and special book can accomplish. Of course... it was the characters' fault. I loved them too much.
How to Write a Nicholas Sparks Movie This last link I had two post for two reasons. 1) It's kind of funny. 2) It's kind of true. But despite similarities between his novels, Nicholas Sparks still has a talent for story telling.