Wednesday 28 April 2010

The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks

The Last Song – Nicholas Sparks

Pages: 390
Publisher: Sphere
Release Date: 10th September 2009

Other Titles by this Author: The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Rescue, A Bend in the Road, Nights in Rodanthe, The Guardian, Three Weeks with my Brother, The Wedding, True Believer, At First Sight, Dear John, The Choice, The Lucky One

Seventeen-year-old Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York to Wilmington, North Carolina. Since then she has remained angry and alienated from her parents, until her mother decides she should spend the summer with her father.

Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town. He is immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centrepiece of a local church.

What unfolds is an unforgettable story about love - first love and the love between parents and children - that demonstrates the many ways that relationships can break our hearts…and heal them.

The Last Song
may be Nicholas Sparks’ fourteenth novel, but, damn, he’s still got it!

I should start this review by saying that I’ve loved Nicholas Sparks’ books for years so I may be a little biased! Then why, I hear you ask, did you wait until seven months after The Last Song’s release to read it? I think I know why. Nicholas Sparks’ first couple of books blew me away, but then the new ones just seemed to be okay. I guess I was worried that it wasn’t going to be as good as I wanted it to be. I really shouldn’t have worried.

I was hesitant in the beginning of The Last Song, though; it felt very different to his previous books. There were multiple points of view, one of them an angry teenager and not nearly as much focus on Christianity as I’ve come to expect. And then Ronnie met Will and began to forgive her dad. The Last Song turned out to have one of the strongest religious threads of his books (that I can remember) and though this would usually irritate me to death, I know and accept that it’s part of Nicholas Sparks’ books so it didn’t bother me much at all. The Last Song has actually turned out to be one of my favourites of his.

Something else that I love and is quintessentially Nicholas Sparks is the setting of North Carolina. And over the last fourteen books, a love of NC has been instilled me. I haven’t even been there. That’s the kind of writer he is. The small (and often coastal) towns of his stories have captured my imagination and my heart. They seem quaint, beautiful and full of a kind of energising life that makes me want to go there RIGHT NOW! It’s ridiculous for a book to make me want to live somewhere I haven’t even been, in a country I’ve never been to! But, hey, what can you do?

As well as all of these things, it’s the tragedy and love in his novels that keep me coming back for more. The way that Ronnie and Will begin to fall in love, trust each other and teach each other things about themselves that they never could have guessed is beautiful. But so is Ronnie’s relationship with her dad. Steve is the kind of dad you’d be proud of; the kind of dad that would go to the ends of the earth for his children without a word. Add in Nicholas Sparks’ trademark dose of tragedy and you get tears. Floods of them. At points I even had to stop reading and compose myself. But regardless, the beautiful, bittersweet ending left me with a smile on my face.

From my rather fan-girly review, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve already pre-ordered Nicholas Sparks’ next two books. I really can’t recommend his books enough. Even if you only read YA, make an exception for Nicholas Sparks.

For my 2010 100+ Reading Challenge



  1. Can the last song be considered YA just because it has a teen protagonist? Oh, and does someone die in this one? I heard Sparks is notorious for killing off characters.

  2. By the way, Sherry, a writer friend of mine is looking for a teen beta reader for her YA novel. If anyone is interested, here's her blog link and the link to her ad:



  3. Kate - Of course someone dies! It's like his trademark! And I don't think it's actually considered YA, but I wanted to share my love anyway!

  4. Great review, I got ordered by my sister to read this earlier this year (my sister the almost non-reader!) I adore Nicholas Sparks as well for how his books make me cry at the end so I was really looking forward to it- of course it didn't disappoint! Sobbed my heart out at the end, what a brilliant book.
    Although what do you think about the movie coming out with Miley Cyrus as Ronnie? I'm sceptical as I've heard iffy reviews of it.

  5. I've got this, Dear John and A Walk to Remember to read. You've really made me want to read this now, but I'm wondering if I should wait until after the film?

    I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, and that Mr. Sparks is back on form. Yay!

  6. LadyViolet - I'm not a huge fan of Miley Cyrus and I'm struggling to see her as Ronnie, but the trailer looks pretty good.

    Jenny - I haven't seen the film (obviously), but in my experience his books are always miles better than the films.

  7. I loved The Last Song. It's like, the next best teen love story since A Walk To Remember.

  8. I've seen the films for 'The Notebook' and 'Dear John', buy I'm not sure if I'd like the novels. I might give this one a go though. Which one of his novels is your favourite?
    And you have a wonderful blog that I really enjoy reading. Thank you!

  9. Nicholas is an amazing author. I am glad that you enjoyed this novel.

  10. I loved this book! When I finished it I went to my Mom's room gave her a weepy hug and sobbed for 10 minutes straight before sayiing anything... then I cryed again!

  11. I loved this book so much. Most probably the favorite book i've read so far into the year. I've only read one of his other novels (dear john) but am excited to explore more of his writing!

    and I sobbed like a baby the whole time I was reading this book :P

  12. Fabulous review! I've never read Sparks before, but I recently got "The choice" so I'll start reading it soon! I think I'm going to watch this movie, but I'm sure that it won't make the book justice!

  13. I've read a few of Sparks books in the past and I love his writing. Its so universal and I think it appeals to everyone. So glad you enjoyed this and loved your gushy fan girl review very muchly

  14. Okay so I have not read a single Sparks book. But I went to see Dear John and I was blown away so I ordered The Lucky One from the library and I collected it yesterday. I will soon be initiated into the world of Mr Sparks. If you have any recommendations, please say. Although I am very much a happy ending girl and I have it on good authority that the Lucky One ticks that box. Great review Sophie!

  15. Becky - My favourites are The Notebook and A Walk to Remember. I can't promise any happy endings, though...

  16. It seems sad but I'm really interested in this book. Thanks for the review : )

  17. I'm reading this now. It's my first Nicholas Sparks book and I'm loving it! Great Review!

  18. Thank you for reviewing !! MY friend told me that it is great romantic movie. I Have seen some scenes of this movie and really impressed with it. I am very much curious about this film.


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