The Last Song (novel)
Hardback cover of The Last Song
|Publisher||Grand Central Publishing|
|September 1, 2009|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|Pages||405 pages (including the prologue and epilogue)|
The Last Song is a 2009 novel by American author Nicholas Sparks. The Last Song is Sparks' fourteenth published novel (fifteenth published book), and was written specifically as the basis for the film adaptation by the same name. It was released on September 8, 2009 by Grand Central Publishing. The story revolves around the summer of Ronnie Miller's seventeenth year, during which she is sent to stay with her estranged father. Through their shared love of music, the duo reconnect.
17-year-old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller is a troubled teenager who is wanting to live her own life and is trying her very best to ignore her divorced parents: Kim, her mother with whom she lives in New York, and Steve, her father who lives in his hometown of Wrightsville Beach, NC. Her mother decides that it would be in everyone's best interest if Ronnie and her 10-year-old brother, Jonah, spent the summer in Wrightsville Beach with Steve. Jonah is excited, while Ronnie can only wonder why her parents hate her so much as to send her there for the summer.
Once they arrive, Kim leaves and Ronnie runs off to the carnival down at the beach, where she watches a volleyball game in the crowd. As she turns to leave, one of the players, the privileged Will Blakelee, knocks into her while trying to reach the ball, spilling her soda all through the front of her shirt.
When she tries to find a stand selling shirts, Ronnie bumps into Blaze, an estranged teenager like herself, spilling the remaining soda on her again. Blaze helps her find a T-shirt booth and they leave to watch a show by Marcus, Blaze's boyfriend, on the pier. The show includes "harmless" fireballs, and when it's over, the police runs Marcus off. They go to sit under the pier, where Blaze heads off to find food. In Blaze's absence, Marcus attempts to touch Ronnie's breasts, causing her to leave.
Later, when Ronnie finds a nest of Loggerhead turtle eggs in danger of racoons behind her house, she decides to camp out next to it to save it. She learns that Will volunteers at the aquarium, and after a few nights of talking with him on the beach, she realizes she has feelings for him.
When Ronnie comes to Blakelee Brakes, where Will works, he kisses her in front of Will's best friend Scott. Scott is furious because he can't be with his crush, Cassie, if Will doesn't date Cassie's best friend Ashley.
After two months together, Ronnie attends Will's sister's wedding, where they kiss. They go down to the boat Will owns to have sex, but Marcus stops them and ruins the wedding, causing Ronnie to break up with Will in fear that the Blakelee family hates her. But after talking with Will's sister, she reconciles with him at his volleyball tournament. During the tournament, Blaze catches herself on fire while doing a fireball show and Will and Ronnie rush her to the hospital, forcing Scott to forfeit the tournament. Will and Scott fight, and Ronnie takes him to her house to show Will the stained-glass window Jonah and Steve have been working on for the new church. While there, Ronnie and Will begin to have sex but Ronnie stops them, claiming that her dad will see. When Will leaves, it turns out Jonah was watching them, after all.
Ronnie then finds out that her dad has stomach cancer which has metastasized to the pancreas and lungs, and will likely survive only until wintertime. After finding out, she, Jonah, and Will finish the window; Ronnie finishes a song for him on the piano; and Pastor Harris, Steve's friend, installs the window at the new church. Kim arrives to say goodbye to Steve one last time and take Jonah home. Ronnie stays with Steve. Will had left in August to go to Vanderbilt; however, he shows up at the funeral once Steve has passed. He leaves again for Europe, and Ronnie returns to New York. While at Juilliard, auditioning for a spot, Will shows up to surprise her; he reveals that he's decided to go to Columbia to be closer to her.
A book tour for The Last Song was announced on July 11, 2009 and reached around 13 cities. Despite the relatively short tour, The Last Song debuted at number one on weekly bestseller charts. It headed the Publishers Weekly and New York Times charts for hardback fiction and the Wall Street Journal chart for fiction. According to USA Today's chart, which combines sales of all formats of a book, The Last Song outsold all other titles in its first week. The book dropped to number 2 on all lists the following week, due to the release of Dan Brown's highly anticipated The Lost Symbol, the sequel to The Da Vinci Code.
The film version of The Last Song was released in the U.S. on March 31, 2010, Unlike previous adaptations of Sparks' novels, Sparks participated in writing the film's screenplay; after agreeing to the project, Sparks invited his college roommate Jeff Van Wie to co-write the script. With Van Wie's help, Sparks finished the screenplay before he began writing the novel. The Last Song is director Julie Anne Robinson's first feature film. The film stars Miley Cyrus as Ronnie, along with Greg Kinnear as Steve, Liam Hemsworth as Will Blakelee, Kelly Preston as Kim, and Bobby Coleman as Jonah.
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- "Nicholas Sparks interview". Sun Journal. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
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- Schuessler, Jennifer (2009-09-27). "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
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- Donahue, Deirdre; Wilson, Craig; Minzesheimer, Bob (2009-09-16). "Book Buzz: What's new on the list and in publishing". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Schuessler, Jennifer (2009-10-04). "Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Rich, Motoko (2009-09-22). "In Debut Week, ‘Lost Symbol' Sells More Than 2 Million Copies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "The Last Song". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- "'Everyone Needs Forgiveness' | Movies & TV". Christianity Today. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- The Last Song on Nicholas Sparks' website
- Prologue of The Last Song published by Amazon.com
- Prologue and first four chapters of The Last Song published by Hachette Book Group
- High quality book cover hosted by Hachette Book Group