American Author Nicholas Sparks English Literature Essay

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The American author Nicholas Sparks has published his fourteenth novel; The Last Song in 2009. It was written as the basis for the film adaptation by the same title. It contains 390 numbers of pages and its first international trade edition was published on September 8, 2009 by Jamie Raab, the editor at Grand Central Publishing which is a division of Hachette Book Group. Sparks partook in writing the screenplay for the film version of The Last Song with Jeff Van Wie's helps; which is his college roommate, to co-write the script. The movie was released on March in the US. He began writing the novel after he finished the screenplay with the help of his roommate.

About the Author

Nicholas Sparks, the second child out of 3, was born in 1965 in Omaha, Nebraska. He excelled in school, graduating as valedictorian of his class and earning notice as a middle-distance runner. He was hampered by an injury during summer after his freshman year and that caused the declining of full athletic scholarship to Notre Dame. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Notre Dame in 1988 with a degree in business finance. A year after, Sparks settled down with his wife, Cathy. He has five children named Miles, Ryan, Landon and twins Lexie and Savannah. The Passing was the first novel Sparks had written but was never published. There are 17 books six of his novel was made into movies which is is Message in a Bottle (1999), A Walk to Remember (2002), The Notebook (2004), Nights in Rodanthe (2008), Dear John and The Last Song (2010), and Safe Haven is expected to start production in 2011 for a 2012 release.

Opinions

Frankly, I am not a 'novelholic' but I must say my first time reading Nicholas Sparks' book has given me a huge impact. At first, when my mother gave me this book, I bet it has something to do with love and family issues. Even though the cover was not eye-catching but once you read, it will burst your heart. Like people say, never judge a book by its cover. I just loved how everything developed. It was simply blown me away like I was in those particular situations. I admire the way that Sparks takes me from the beginning until the end of it. The writer manages to ride my emotions from time to time. Everything was connected right at the end. Besides, I am a kind of sentimental reader, so I like to read something that will touches my heart and definitely real. Anyhow, what I love the most was when Pastor Harris mentioned to Ronnie about her father

"... I don't think you realize how much he missed you, or how much he really loves you and Jonah. He was literally counting the days. When I'd see him, he'd say, 'Nineteen days,' or 'Twelve days.' And the day before you arrived? He spent hours cleaning the house and putting new sheets on the beds…" (Chapter31; page 319)

It puts the tears on my eyes when I read this, just because Ronnie's father's wish before he died was to spend the holiday with his children. This story keeps me awake and eager to know what will happen next. That is what I like about this book. I would like to give a special thanks to both my mother and grandmother for recommending this book. It is definitely a heart-warming book for teenagers. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for an average-level book. Throughout the reading, you will feel something stir inside you.

Plot

The Last Song begins after the major action of the plot has already occurred, so the novel is actually told as a flashback. The story was set in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina during summer on the present day. Sparks use the place he lives to adapt on his novel. Moreover, the story is not told only from Ronnie's perspective but also as the third person narrative, with the changes of perspectives from chapter to chapter. There is the mention of Christmas trees, as well as the fact that last month was November. This not only helps to establish the setting but also provides two important contrasts: the first is the contrast between this year and last year; it was last New Year's Eve when a fire destroyed the church and the second is the contrast between summer and winter. The church stated on this novel was important physical locations because it gives a huge impact on development of Ronnie's character.

"Still she hoped that someone new in town had stumble into the church this morning and experienced the same sense of wonder she'd had when she first seen the light flood the church on that cold day in November." (Prologue; page 1)

"She'd been awake for an hour, but she wasn't ready to face the day. The holidays felt different this year. Yesterday, shed taken her younger brother, Jonah, for a walk down the beach. Here and there were Christmas trees on the decks of the houses they passed." (Prologue; page 1)

Characters

Veronica "Ronnie" Miller is the protagonist of The Last Song. She was progressing from a self-centred teenager who is mad at the world, especially her parents; to a thoughtful, mature young woman who finally learns the important of family, talents, and gifts. At the beginning of the novel, there is a mention about the Ronnie's age. She was seventeen, so legally must abide by her parents' wishes. Ronnie has had been arrested because of shoplifting, but generally stays out of trouble. Her parents had divorced, and she can't handle the situation very well and turns out to be rebellious and selfish person. Ronnie blame his father for abandoned her three years ago. After that, she quit playing the piano to get back at him, even though she is very talented. She also has not seen him even though her father came down to visit her and never replies his father's letter. She take it too seriously and unable to address her anger towards her father. towards her father.

"…she was seventeen. Because of a trick of the calendar. Because Mom conceived three months earlier than she should have. What was that about? No matter how fiercely Ronnie had begged or complained or screamed or whined about the summer plans, it hadn't made the tiniest bit of difference. (Chapter1; page 7)

Steve is completely an ideal father. Even though he is dying, he keeps his illness a secret and puts the wants and needs of his children above of his own. Steve demonstrates to his children, but significantly to Ronnie, what it means to love another. Though Ronnie took some time to understand her father's words and actions, she finally had open her heart and eyes to see broadly, think maturely and accept the fact that everything happens for a reason and there must be a silver lining above all had already happened. Many questions remain about Steve's actions surrounding the divorce; about why he have to left his family, about why he have not confronted his ex-wife about her affair, and about why he don't let Ronnie knows the truth. But just as Ronnie takes a journey of maturation, Steve is on his own journey; his quest is to find God.

Initially, Will Blakelee also seems to be too good to be true. He seems to have it all; good looking, athletic, wealth, good friends, and a good job. But Will is holding a big secret about his friend, Scott. Privately, he is dealing with the feeling of culpability. The onus about the death of his little brother, onus about the origins of the fire, onus about not acting on his knowledge, and onus about not let Ronnie knows the truth. He's admirable in any ways but he is not perfect.

Summary

The Last Song is the story of Ronnie Miller and the summer that she spends with her father at Wrightsville Beach. At the start of the summer, she is a rebellious 17 year old who resents her parents for their messy divorce; she is particularly annoyed that she is being forced to spend the summer with her estranged father, to whom she has not spoken in three years. She is so angry that she has abandoned the one thing that she and her father used to share in common - playing the piano. She has no desire to spend the summer in North Carolina; she has no desire to get to know Will Blakelee, the good-looking beach volleyball player who literally bumps into her during her first day in the South; and she has no desire to reconnect with the father who walked away from her, her mother, and her brother. However, a run-in with the wrong crowd combined with a nest of endangered loggerhead turtle eggs results in Ronnie's unexpected maturation. The summer she initially dreaded ends up being an opportunity for her to learn about faith, family, and love.

Personal Impression

The Last Song was Sparks' phenomenal novel. The story sounds very formulaic, but is impregnated with a great deal of life. The story was very familiar when it comes to real world. It begins with a problem and the player cross the threshold and it seems the problem will head off. You will always understand the conflicts between parents and children whether you are teenager or older. A confidential questionnaire about documenting fears, worries and concerns about family issue had been expressed by 147 teenagers during consecutive initial visits to an adolescent medicine clinic in a university hospital setting. Studies shown that 28% reported conflicts in their home, 27% were having problems with their family, and 20% were concerned about their parent's relationship. It had covered 75%; more than a half of overall percentage. The data reported by adolescents on a confidential questionnaire had demonstrated a high frequency of stressful and anxiety-provoking family situations. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8775478; 12:18pm; 19/03/2013).

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