Her parents' divorce left 17-year-old Veronica Miller embittered and confused. Three years later, "Ronnie" still seethes with anger toward her father, a musician and teacher who has abandoned hectic New York City for the quiet beach town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Nevertheless, she reluctantly agrees to her mother's altruistic plan that for the good of all concerned, she should visit her estranged father in his new home. As the story of The Last Song unfolds, novelist Nicholas Sparks weaves his magic, threading together the intricate story of three very different people tied inextricably together. (from GoodReads)
I was a little wary about reading this book. I haven't seen the movie (which is a good thing) but I knew that Nicholas Sparks wrote this book with Miley Cyrus in mind for the lead character (why in the world, I have no idea). Once I read the author's notes in the back, I realized that a producer called Nicholas Sparks saying that Miley was interesting in doing one of his movies, and did he have anything laying around? Sparks didn't, but of course he set out to write the screenplay first and then the book. Which is the oddest thing I've ever heard of. Anyway, I didn't know all this in the beginning, but I set out reading The Last Song not sure what to expect.
The good thing is that I enjoyed The Last Song more than Dear John. Since this book is newer maybe Sparks has improved his writing style, but I'm not really sure. I liked the story better, the ending better, and the characters better than I did in Dear John. In the beginning of reading The Last Song I was trying really hard to not imagine Miley Cyrus as Ronnie. And it actually wasn't too difficult; although, if I had seen the movie it probably would have been impossible.
As for the plot, Ronnie is supposed to be the bad kid, the rebellious teenager who sneaks out, talks back, and has an all-around rude attitude. But, Ronnie was the parent's dream rebellious child (or maybe Spark's imagining of what he thinks a rebellious child is). Besides stealing a bracelet once and hanging around some sketchy people, she doesn't sleep around, do drugs or drink. I thought it was a tad unrealistic that she didn't do anything bad, but I didn't mind so much because I don't condone those things at all.
So Ronnie and her brother Jonah visit their father for the summer and she falls in love with a rich kid named Will. I liked Will and I liked their relationship, although Sparks doesn't go that in-depth in their feelings and emotions. I didn't really feel anything when they said they loved each other, so I think Sparks needs to work on not distancing his characters.
This wouldn't be a Nicholas Sparks novel if there wasn't some TRAGIC EVENT that is supposed to illicit some emotion. I was spoiled beforehand so I knew what happened, and while I was sad for all the characters, I wasn't actually sad. I didn't cry and I didn't really feel anything deeper than some sympathy for everyone in the book.
That being said, The Last Song wasn't a bad novel at all and I would recommend it to fans of Nicholas Sparks. It had a cute romance and a sad ending if you like to cry over books/movies, but it wasn't an amazing novel.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from a friend.
2009/Grand Central Publishing/390 pages.