English 12 Summer Reading Book Review The Last Song is a 2009 novel written by Nicholas Sparks to influence and inspire teenagers with similar life experiences. Sparks sparked teenagers’ interest by taking reality from everyday teenage life, society and class. The Last Song portrays the life of a teenage girl with a hard past and tougher future. It consists of an excellent plot; wonderful, unique characters; and a great life lesson. This story is about a seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Millers.
Ronnie has not talked to her father since her parents divorced. The result of her parents’ separation put her into a deep hole of despair to the extent that she refused to play piano again. For the summer Ronnie and her brother, Jonah are sent to live with their father who lives in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina where she changes who she is completely because she finds herself in life or death, love or hate situations. Ronnie Millers had to survive different types of emotions with Will, her new found love, and her father Steve who she finds has stomach cancer and only so long to live.
After realizing there was nothing more she could do to change her father’s fate, she finds the piano, her once love and passion; gets over her hate and makes her father happy and proud. She learned to forgive and built a relationship with her father while helping him to hang on to life a little longer. The novel is written from Ronnie’s pint of view which makes it powerful. We feel what Ronnie feels as well as experience her struggles. The tone of the story goes from being rebellious and hateful to loving and caring. Ronnie begins to change from being angry to happy and appreciative.
Ronnie’s little brother serves as an example of acceptance and forgiveness. Jonah is open to spending time with his father and rebuilding the lost relationship which shows that he holds no rancor against his father. On the other hand, Ronnie is not open to rebuilding the relationship and looks toward Jonah as a form of comfort. The story is very sad because Ronnie’s father is dying of cancer. Ronnie and Jonah do not know that he is dying, and that this is the last summer that they will get to spend with him, and to mend their relationships.
Sparks connects life and death with sea turtle hatchlings and their father’s situation. He uses the hatchlings as a symbol of new life and as a way for Ronnie to appreciate life and the importance of relationships. Throughout the story, Ronnie’s father is writing a song on his piano, entitled “The Last Song”. He really wants this song to be shared between him and Ronnie. This song not only symbolizes the relationship between Ronnie and her father but also Ronnie’s final transformation as she finishes the song right after her father’s death.
Her love for her father grows to a point where she realizes she has to finish the song for her father because he cannot. At the end of the story, she plays the song at his funeral. The story is very emotional that makes even the strongest to cry. I cried when I read the book. Sparks captures the readers by getting them emotionally attached to the characters, the setting, and the plot of the story, and then destroys their world when Ronnie’s father dies. Sparks wrote such an amazing tale those readers of all ages could easily understand and relate to.
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