Author: Nicholas Sparks
My Rating: 9 out of 10
Summary (From GoodReads): 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 alienated 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 about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.
My take: As you can probably see, this is one of my favourite novels. I love the characters that Sparks created. What gets me is how realistic he paints this family portrait; the angsty teenage daughter and the innocent younger brother. I felt a connection to the family, particularly the father. This book has been crafted beautifully, and with characters so relate-able you can't help but share the laughter, the heartaches and the tears. Will and Ronnie's romance is raw and real, and you can almost feel how they are feeling. The problems that arise are problems that have/could/would arise in reality. The one thing that took away from this book for me is the alternating perspectives. The chapters being so short, I found it hard to keep up with whose thought process I was navigating. Also, I felt there was a few characters whom I didn't care to read through their perspective. This is one of the major reasons this book isn't a 10 out of 10. To this day, most books can not make me cry, yet this book is tear stained - particularly at the end. This heart-wrenching story made me cry more than once. I would recommend this book for anyone in need of a good cry, or anyone looking for a romance so loving you feel as though you're apart of it and a family strength that is astounding.
Conclusion: I know a lot of people who won't read this novel simply because Miley Cyrus stared in the movie. Don't let that be the reason you don't read this amazing novel! Nicholas Sparks has created such a master piece, don't let this one slip between your fingertips!