#1 bestselling author Nicholas Sparks's 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.
Oh man, I've never been much of a Nicholas Sparks fan so to be perfectly honest, I didn't really have high hopes for this one. My daughter's friend, Jessica, sent it home with her for me to read so I gave it a shot. And guess what???
I liked it.
I know, I know!
I liked it because it did what it was supposed to do. I ended up actually liking these characters (as opposed to Savannah in Dear John whom I could not STAND)and I was rooting for them and their happiness. I wanted a happy ending for these kids.
I liked it because I cared enough to cry at the end.
I liked it because sometimes a sweet and simple story of first love doesn't have to be anything other than just that.
I do have to admit I knew pretty much what was going to happen by the time I was a couple of chapters into the book. But then again, it's a Nicholas Sparks book. You kind of know what's going to happen before you even crack it open =)
And I HAVE to mention a couple of things that bothered me while reading...
1. The "bad" group of kids are described as being somewhat in the goth clique, however two of the guys breakdance. I suppose it is possible, but I have never seen goth kids breakin'.
2. Sparks refers a couple of times to Ronnie's use of "dark mascara" in his passages where he is trying to convey her rebellious appearance. I sincerely think he meant eyeliner. Because EVERYONE wears dark mascara. Lush lashes are not a sign of rebellion.
3. Ronnie is a vegetarian. Will takes her to see some endangered loggerhead turtles at the aquarium where he VOLUNTEERS on their first "date" and then...he takes her FISHING. This made absolutely no sense to me for two people who supposedly care about animals. "Let's go look at endangered sealife and then afterwards let's go stick some barbed hooks in some other sealife." Didn't sit well with me.
4. I got a little creeped out by one of the teen character's constant references to Ronnie's "tight little body." No teen boy I know uses phrases like that (I have a teen daughter so I am around teen boys!)It sounded more like what a creepy older guy would say when talking about a teen girl. Which made me feel a little creeped out about Mr. Sparks. I know, I'm sorry!!!! It just bugged me!!!
That being said, I WOULD recommend the book to anyone who wants a simple story of love that is pretty much guaranteed to pull your heartstrings. And not just in the ways you might expect from a love story. There's more than one kind of love...there's also the love between friends and the love between family and this books explores love in all those ways and more.
Thanks Jessica, I'm glad I read this one.
Those of you who have read the book will get the significance of this amazing video I found of loggerhead turtles hatching....enjoy!!