Books are way better than its movies.
This is my greatest realization after reading Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song. I made a big mistake of watching the movie before reading the book. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is not bad and the actors, including Miley Cyrus, have done a really good job. But it did not move me.
Because the movie has not kept me haunted, I lost interest in reading the written novel of The Last Song. I just decided to read this just so I can say that I have read all Nicholas Sparks’ novels. I did this because after finishing all Sparks and Albom’s book I’ll be trying a lot of new authors that I have heard good reviews about.
Thankfully, because of my desire, I have read a novel that I can compare to a gem that I never thought I have.
The Last Song is the story of unconditional and forgiving love between Ronnie and her dad Steve, with her love interest on the sidelight, Will. This novel talks about young summer romance, but it is not the main topic of the whole story. The main premise of the novel is about how a rough father-and-daughter relationship and how it gradually improves because of a father’s love.
I never expected too much of this book because of the movie. In the end I was really stunned by how moving this book is. Sparks is really a master of his craft.
The story is beautifully written with combination of funny lines from the ever intelligent Jonah, Ronnie’s little bro, and emotional and sincere dialogues between Steve and his children. I love the dialogues between Ronnie and Will during their getting-to-know stage. The funny and not cheesy lines really worked and have given me giggles that are hard to suppress.
Sparks has also balanced the concept of family and young love in this novel. He has given the right amount of scenes and dialogues for Ronnie and Will without making the entire novel a summer-young-love theme read.
More importantly, I love Steve. I love how he admits that he made mistakes as a person and as a father, but despite his mistakes, he is proud of having Ronnie and Jonah and he says it always. I love how we trust her daughter even if the situation speaks against her. I love his self-control even when Ronnie shouts at him. I love the way Steve loves his children ‘more than life itself’ as he always says.
Because of this book, I have realized how blessed I am to have my own Steve-dad.
THE HEART-TUGGING LINES:
“No I did that because I love you.”– Steve to Ronnie
“In a lifetime of mistakes, you two are the greatest things that have ever happened to me.” – Steve to Ronnie
THE TEARJERKER MOMENT:
I was put close to tears when I was reading Steve and Jonah’s conversation while guarding sea turtles’ nest. Jonah expressed how much he wanted to be with his father. But Steve carefully turned down Jonah. It is really heartbreaking because as a father, Steve doesn’t want to break his son’s heart but he has no choice.
I almost cry while reading Ronnie’s thoughts on how she will move on without his dad. I can relate to her fears of not being able to dance with her dad during her wedding day, on her fears that her dad will not be able to see her children, on her fear of how her youngest sibling will live without their dad and on her fear that her dad will soon be forgotten.
As the eldest, I share the same fears. My dad isn’t too old yet, but his body is failing him sometimes. There were a lot of chances that I almost lost him and yes, imagining it happening is hard and having your fears written in a novel is both painful and comforting. It is always nice to know that you share the same fears even with just a character from a novel.
My tears have finally welled in my eyes when Jonah said goodbye to Steve when the latter was already in the hospital. It was really a painful scene and the dialogues are equally heartbreaking.
PICKED UP WISE WORDS:
“People should be judged by their actions, since in the end, it was the actions that defined everyone.”
“Never forget that God is your friend. And like all friends, He longs to hear what’s been happening in your life.”
“You have to love something before you can hate it.”
“For nothing is more fulfilling than love itself.”
“Sometimes it takes a while to be able to recognize what God wants you to do.”
“God’s voice is usually nothing more than a whisper and you have to listen very carefully to hear it. But other times, in those rarest moments, the answer is obvious and rings as loud as a church bell.
“Life I’ve learned is like a song. In the beginning there is mystery, in the end there is confirmation, but it is in the middle where all the emotion resides to make the whole thing worthwhile.”
It ended just like how the movie ended but knowing how it will end does not make the book’s last pages predictable. There are some differences as well but all in all, the book has the better ending.
This is the novel that made me realized that written words are in indeed more vivid than shown actions. So this is a MUST read. (Period!)