The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

November 7, 2010
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The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks is more than just another ordinary book. Ordinary books never have you reading until 3:30 in the morning, your eyes red from crying. They never have an incredible main character such as Ronnie, a girl finding her way back into the world. No, this book is not ordinary at all. The Last Song tells of a seventeen year old girl who is forced to visit her father over the summer. Ronnie has not spoken to him in three years since he left her alone with her mom and little brother, Jonah. During this special visit, Ronnie meets Will, the boy who helps her through giving in to her need for music and reconnecting with her ever-loving father who passes away from stomach cancer in the end of the book. The Last Song follows three main themes throughout the story: music, trust, and transformation.

Music plays a huge role in the progression of this book. Ronnie, who played piano at Carnegie Hall as a child, has given up music as a sign of rebellion to her father. She does not want to hear it, see it, or go anywhere near it. Her father, the man who taught her everything she knows about the piano, is the exact opposite. Music is one of the things that keeps him alive over the summer despite his cancer. But, in the end of the story Ronnie realizes that even though some people have let her down, the music that she has always loved is still there. She finishes her father’s last song and plays it at his funeral, bringing everyone in attendance to tears. Music helped bring Ronnie and her father together until his very last breath. It is a big part of the story.

Trust is yet another theme of The Last Song. Ronnie comes from a dysfunctional family. Her father left; her mother lied to her. She feels alone and abandoned. Then Ronnie meets Will, the kind, funny, positive person that she needs. But it is hard for her to be happy with anyone because of what she has been through. Ronnie is not sure who to trust, so she simply shuts Will out. But he finally gets to her, and Ronnie opens up a little bit at a time. Will helps her to realize that the world isn’t just made up of good and bad people. There are just people and their mistakes or triumphs. Without Will, Ronnie would have never re-opened her heart to the world. He taught her to trust again.

Ronnie’s transformation in The Last Song is immense. Starting out as a frustrated and confused teenager, she has no idea what to do with her life. Ronnie is out past her curfew, yells at her dad, and shows not a single scrap of compassion towards her little brother. She feels forsaken. But with the help of the people who love her, Ronnie goes from a sulking teenager to a beautiful young woman. She learns to understand the true importance of love, not only for her family, but for the experiences that she is given and the special people she meets along the way. Ronnie was changed the summer she visited her dad, and every last person who reads The Last Song will be changed too.

The Last Song is an inspiring book that has a way of making Ronnie’s emotions feel real. Every chapter, page, sentence, and word is written so beautifully that it becomes almost mandatory to keep reading. The themes in this story teach life lessons that will stay in the readers’ hearts forever. This book shows that we can all change for the better as long as we have the right people helping us along. Ordinary? I think not. So thank you Nicholas Sparks for writing The Last Song which can be described in only one word: extraordinary.

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grace1258 said...
Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm
this was a great review it helprd me on my readimg log  
Marilyn said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Wonderful! If the book is as good as your review, it's a winner. Your writing is impeccable.
aunty curlie said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 11:50 am
Isabella, great review, I think I see a calling/future for you as a book critic! Great job, we are very proud of you!!
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