The Last Song - Review

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The Last Song
Nicholas Sparks
405 pages (including prologue and epilogue)

Grande Central Publishing
September 2009

The Last Song revolves around a seventeen-year-old Ronnie Miller, who is sent by her mother to spend the summer after graduation with her ten-year-old brother, Jonah, visiting her father, Steve. Steve, a former Juilliard professor, had divorced Ronnie's mother, Kim, three years earlier and left New York City for his childhood home, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Ever since, Ronnie has refused to talk to him or to play their shared passion, the piano, and becomes a rebel. Upon arrival, Jonah immediately bonds with Steve over a stained glass window that Steve has been recreating for the local church after the original burned down in a mysterious arson. Ronnie, however, is hostile. At her request, Steve boards up his beloved piano. He also begins writing a piano composition using a piano owned by the church, but struggles with its ending. At the town's annual carnival, Ronnie collides with beach volleyball player Will Blakelee as he dives for a ball. Ronnie storms off and meets gothic Blaze, who instantly befriends Ronnie. When Ronnie is accused of shoplifting, Steve surprises Ronnie by believing her when she tells him she was framed, and she begins to soften towards him. Steve shows Ronnie, a vegetarian and animal lover, a Sea Turtle nest Jonah found near their home. Ronnie vows to protect the endangered creatures, bringing her back in contact with Will, an aquarium volunteer. They soon fall in love and spend several blissful weeks together, though their romance is troubled; Will's mother and his ex-girlfriend attempt to drive them apart. Jonah and Ronnie notice Steve is becoming progressively weaker. They are shocked when he begins to cough up blood the same night the Sea Turtle nest hatches. Steve reveals the reason he asked them to visit: he is dying of stomach cancer, with only a few months left to...
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