I recently read The Last Song,
(and not because the movie was released recently! My mom recommended the book to me way before we knew a movie was made - a movie I will not be watching because I do not believe in Miley's acting ability--she got bad ratings in the film-- plus she doesn't fit the role)
by Nicholas Sparks, and while I enjoyed the book I came to realize I do not like the trend of Sparks' work. The Last Song is the only book of Sparks' that I've read but I've seen several of the movie adaptations (A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, and Dear John) and all of his stories greatly upset me! Nicholas Sparks is an expert in crafting romantic tales but he is also a master of mixing in tragedy. Why does he feel the need to build up beautiful relationships between characters and then throw them off balance with a devastating event?! I know why, because that's reality...the themes of love and death that Sparks continues to display are constants in our world but I don't like to confront them. The Last Song is about a teen romance (a topic I always find interesting) and maturing, more specifically realizing what's important in life. Its messages put me in a contemplative state, I started questioning my values. Even though the story made me cry (the common effect of Nicholas Sparks works) it made me think and I'm grateful for that. I also appreciate the positive ending after the unfortunate occurrence. I just always feel such tremendous empathy for characters I engage with, either in a novel or on a screen. I'm not sure if I'll involve myself with Nicholas Sparks' work in the future (I already vowed never to watch A Walk to Remember ever again); I'm not sure if I want to endure the emotional tumult again...but who knows, it's partially addicting. Dear Mr. Sparks, you enchant me and piss me off all in one, over and over again! What a gift.
(photo cred: me)