Ok so, this isn’t technically about music but…whatev.
I just finished reading Nicholas Spark’s ‘The Last Song’ and I must say, it’s AMAZING.
I’ve considered ‘A Walk to Remember’ to be one of my favourite films since I discovered it 4 years ago, which was actually based on the book by Sparks, and when I saw ‘The Last Song’ in the bookshop it just grabbed my attention. I’m not really sure why; god knows I really didn’t need another book at the moment. Maybe it was because I’d heard rave reviews about his work a few days before, or because I knew I loved A Walk to Remember…whatever it was, I felt I had to buy it.
I started it a few days ago just casually reading before bed, but I started on chapter 15 today and read to the end (and seeing as it has 37 chapters, that’s saying something!) It’s such a beautiful story and I’m not ashamed to say that at points it moved me to tears; I won’t give away the plot for anyone, but it does go to show how beautiful Sparks’s writing is.
I found ‘A Walk to Remember’ powerful but that was a movie, it’s easier to move people with the help of visuals and music, but I didn’t know that a book could be so…captivating. Yes I was fanatical when I read the Twilight saga; racing through them all, but that was more of a…want to know what happens next, whereas with ‘The Last Song’, I literally got sucked in. Everything I was reading I could picture in my head, like I was there watching the events happen, which is I think why it got to me the way it did. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it was like you were there experiencing it too.
The story jumps from perspective in each chapter using, Ronnie Miller, Steve (Ronnie’s farther), Will Blakelee, and Marcus’s respective voices to tell the story, yet despite the multiple perspectives, never leaving gaps or missing anything out. Thus showing how effortless it is for Sparks to get into the mindset of, and switch between, more than one narrator, all the while keeping the reader’s belief in the real-ness of the characters whilst they are reading – something I would believe to be difficult. A real testament to the quality of the writing.
Also, the phrasing of the words and just some of the things the characters say, to me, just radiated beauty. I mean I don’t know if that’s just me because I’ve always had a fascination with words and quotes and how they can make you feel, but the way the book is written is just beautiful…I know I keep using that word but that is the only true way to describe it.
There are so many memorable quotes tucked away in the pages, and things that are just phrased beautifully; it makes me want to write them down and stick them on my wall.
It’s quite philosophical in places, and as Wikipedia says: “He has 17 published novels, with themes that include : Christian faith, love, tragedy and fate.” Though this could make the seem as though it’d be weighed down, it’s in fact more heartwarming than heavy in its message. As well as these themes, this novel in particular – as the title suggests – resonates around music and that music can do many things: hurt, help, heal… I don’t want to give anything away, but if you read, or have read, the story you’ll understand why, but that is another key element to the story.
What also adds to the beauty is the real-ness of the story, it’s not impossible: this could actually be someone’s life or resemble someone’s life. I think that reality is also what is very moving about it.
I thought that it was a great book and one that I can definitely see myself reading again in the future, and despite the sad parts it is a very uplifting, heartwarming, and almost cathartic story. You witness discontentment, anger, fear, love, and by the end of the book you get the feeling of acceptance and of moving on. As I said, I felt like i was there experiencing it too, so those feelings transferred to me as a reader, which made it all the more heart wrenching.
I definitely recommend if:
- You’re a fan of Sparks’s books,
- If you’re a fan of the movies (as it is said that books are almost always better!) Six of his movies have been made into movies so far (I’ll list them below.*)
- If you’re a fan of that genre of book (all Sparks’s novels are love stories, but the ones I know of are not the typical conventional rom com movie formula, they have a bit more substance and deal with real issues, if you’ve seen any of the movies you’ll know what I mean.)
- Or if you are a ‘reader’; if you like to read and don’t mind quite thick and wordy books and can easily lose yourself in a story.
However, bear in mind that this is all my own opinion and I’m not saying you will definitely like the book, I’m just giving you my opinion on it and saying I’d recommend it. Also, if you disagree with me, that’s fine, everyone has their own opinion but please don’t judge me on how I feel about a book.
* Movies based on Nicholas Sparks’s novels:
- Message in a bottle (1999)
- A Walk to Remember (2002)
- The Notebook (2004)
- Nights in Rodanthe (2008)
- Dear John (2010)
- The Last Song (2010)