Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Last Song

There are a few authors that I run out and buy their books when they come out - or hope they release close enough to November (my birthday) or December (Christmas) so that someone will buy them for me.

Did you catch that FTC? I bought this book that I'm talking about on my blog. Oh, wait. Technically, my mom bought it when we made a stop at Barnes and Noble in September, and Paige, Peyton and I all got a book that day. I had planned to buy it myself, but Mom paid for it. The point is, someone PAID for this book. (I just have to be sort of snarky about this because some people do buy the books they talk about.)

The story description:

#1 bestselling author Nicholas Sparks' new novel is at once a compelling family drama and a heartrending tale of young love.

Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

Audra talking again:

Nicholas Sparks rarely writes a stinker. Actually, Message in a Bottle might be the only one. At least I didn't like that one. I didn't read that one for a long time having heard that it wasn't his best.

The Last Song definitely wasn't a stinker. I think that more so in this book than most any of his others, Sparks included characters you loved, characters that were hard to like at times though they grew on you, and characters you hated. While some parts were predictable (you know relationships will work themselves out - and of course someone has to die - you know that 90% of the time either a character or a beloved dog dies) there's some things that work out differently than you would expect them to.

It's a great lesson in forgiveness and things not always being what they seem.

Though every Sparks book is clean, this one had more of a spiritual aspect than any of his previous books. It's more in the lines of Christian fiction than his other releases.

I will reveal one thing that I am so thankful that I did not know before I read this book because it really might have ruined it for me. Tonight as I was getting ready to post, I looked at the author's website to copy and post the book description and get the book cover. The website included some background about how the story developed.

WARNING: If you cannot stand Hannah Montana, stop reading right now.

From the bio section of http://www.nicholassparks.com/:

"In August 2008, I learned that Miley Cyrus was interested in the possibility of working with me, and after meeting with executives at Disney, I agreed to write a screenplay entitled The Last Song. Between those three tours, I worked on the screenplay throughout the fall, completing the first draft in December 2008, and the final polish in January 2009. After that, I immediately began writing the novel of the same name. It's odd, I know. Usually, screenplays are adapted from novels (not the other way around) but since I was responsible for both and scheduling necessitated that the film begin shooting in the summer of 2009, I had no other choice. The Last Song, which is both a love story and a coming of age novel, was completed in June 2009, right around the time that filming began."

And the FAQ section: What was your inspiration for The Last Song?

I hadn’t written a younger love story since A Walk to Remember and, as I was kicking around ideas for my next book, I received a phone call from Jennifer Gipgot, a producer associated with Disney (and the sister of Adam Shankman, who’d directed A Walk to Remember). She said that Miley Cyrus loved A Walk to Remember, and that she wanted to do something in the same vein. After meeting with Jennifer, Adam, and the Cyrus family a few weeks later, I had some ideas about writing a coming of age story where the two lead characters would be forced to spend time together, but I also wanted to include a story that adults could relate to. And somehow, I came up with the idea of sea turtles, so I agreed to write both the screenplay and the book for The Last Song.

Audra again:

I really liked the book, but I don't know that I could have gotten through 390 pages of picturing Miley Cyrus as Ronnie with that goofy slouch and those utterly ridiculous facial expressions. I'm telling you right now, I would have gone nuts.

"The Best of Both Worlds" song is going through my head with the mere mention of Miley Cyrus. A couple of weeks ago I was trying to pick out songs for the girls to listen to from my i-Pod. What I picked for Paige and Peyton were easy for their own reasons. Madison asked me if I had any Miley Cyrus on my i-Pod. I informed her that there would never be any Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana on my i-Pod. She informed me it was the same person. DUH!

I have got to get some other song into my head or I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

OH, I know what I will do. Speaking of Adam Shankman, I'll go back and watch So You Think You Can Dance from last night. When he did his falling out of his chair thing, I had to go back and watch it over and over again. Now that they have him as a permanent judge, can we please, please, please get rid of Mary Murphy? She and Miley Cyrus out to do a show together so that I can never watch it ever. Her voice gets on my nerves more by the season. I think I'll stick to Tivo when it comes to SYTYCD so that skip right through her critiques.

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