http://aka-img-1.h-img.com/media/img/s/t/h/e/the-last-song-3988664.jpg Born in Omaha, Nebraska in Dec 31, 1965 Ran track in high school and college (Notre Dame) and set many records The Passing was his first novel, but wasn’t ever published He married in 1989 He has written 16 novels and is still writing 7 have become movies http://bermudaonion.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/nicholas-sparks.jpg The author writes chapters from different characters’ points of view . My favorite chapters to read were from Will’s point of view. He is a sweetheart to Ronnie and everyone he comes in contact with. http://cdn.buzznet.com/media/jjr/headlines/2009/05/liam-hemsworth-miley-cyrus-last-song.jpg Antagonist and Least Favorite Character: Marcus I hated reading the chapters that were in Marcus’s point of view. He is very creepy and stalks Ronnie. He is the “bad guy” in the story. Every time he comes around, you know something bad is going to happen. He causes so many problems for everyone, especially for Ronnie and Will. http://cache3.assetcache.net/xc/77796506.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF878921E 86F5CE8BE5D78FBFF8B8ADA2A4511077C57C9575FFE2950270981978251CF77 Exposition The book starts out in New York City, Ronnie’s mom is taking her and her little brother Jonah to their dad’s house for the summer. Ronnie is upset about leaving her friends and being stuck at her dad’s house. They haven’t seen or talked to him for three years, since the divorce. Ronnie is very negative and ornery. Jonah is always upbeat and happy. They are the two main characters at the beginning of the book. http://api.ning.com/files/EQS0hZSK6LcCnujx9QkLklv6TWd2ADOI7zcfz9a9863XVwcBLccSND QcgwP-VVs*X61FqUqVg4Y8y4xdSvfNRo*9ZxHLbpfb/NYC1.jpg Rising Action After Ronnie arrives at her dad’s house, things start to get a little better. She meets a girl named Blaze and becomes good friends with her. Then she meets a boy named Will. Will is really interested in Ronnie and soon she starts liking him back. They fall in love, but have some hardships. Ronnie starts to lose her friend Blaze. Although she and her dad fought at the beginning of the summer, they are now getting along much better. Will, Ronnie and her family become very close as they care for a turtle nest and enjoy the summer together. Climax Ronnie finds out that her dad has stomach cancer. She feels totally lost in life. She is so mad and wondering why this has to happen to her. She gets in a fight with Will and doesn’t see him for a while. Everything in her life is falling apart. She has to take care of her dad. He is getting sicker and sicker, and life is getting sadder and sadder. Her dad dies after much suffering. Though it is very hard with him gone, she realizes other ways to be happy. Music is the thing that helps her get her emotions out. Piano was something her and her dad used to do when she was young and has just recently started playing again. Falling Action Ronnie goes back to New York to live with her mom while attending Juliard. She is very down, always thinking about her dad and Will. She hates the idea that she might not see Will ever again. Resolution Will decides to transfer colleges to the same city that Ronnie is going to college. They will be able to see each other everyday. http://blogs.roanoke.com/rtblogs/backcover/fil es/2009/06/school20books.jpg Setting Time Period: present time Place: North Carolina http://www.lawline.com/images/NC.GIF Themes Love Death Family http://www.pulseyouthministry.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/heart.png Rating I give this book a 10. I loved reading it because it is about a teenage girl who I can relate to in many ways. I was always hooked to the book and couldn’t put it down. It is written well and easy to understand. The Last Song is one of my favorite books. Family Relations Parent-Teen relationships are critical for teens to have success. Parents are a huge factor that contributes to a teenager’s selfesteem. http://images.paraorkut.com/img/clipart/images/f/family-869.gif “Teens with a high Sense of Self feel more positive about their own identity, growing independence and relationships with peers than do teens with a low Sense of Self. Specifically, high Sense of Self teens reported feeling smart, successful, responsible and confident and cite positive relationships with parents. Also, significantly, the study revealed that: High Sense of Self teens are more likely to avoid alcohol and drug use; Low Sense of Self teens are more likely to use alcohol and “harder” drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine; and, Parental involvement strongly correlates with teens’ Sense of Self and the decisions they make regarding alcohol and drug use.” (SADD) “Some typical traits of teenagers are: Concern with being popular. The teen is trying to find out how worthwhile he or she is in the eyes of peers. Having friends means that he has been accepted. Teens spend more time with peers because they have similar tastes in music, dress, activities, dreams, and goals. Challenging the way things are. Teens will challenge the rules and reason of parents, teacher, and the world. This is part of their intellectual growth and trying out new ideas and possibilities. Express concern about how they look. They feel that everyone is looking at them. They are concerned with their physical and hormonal changes. Are they fitting in with their classmates? They now can imagine what other people may be thinking so teens feel as if they are living in display store window and everyone is watching them. Having friends you may not approve of. They are exploring new relationships and ideas these friends may have. Influenced by peers. Teens will look to their peers for norms in dress, drugs, alcohol, and sexual behaviors. However, research shows that teens are strongly influenced by their parents in moral issues. Belonging is very important. Having friends during early adolescent years in valuable as children are trying to develop acceptable social skills. They are relating to other teens in different ways than when they were younger. Need privacy. Teens need time to think as their intellectual capacities increase and they are faced with new ideas and challenges. The changes they are undergoing physical often lead them to a need for privacy.” (Parents) Understanding Teens If parents don’t understand things going through their teenager’s head, a good relationship will be hard to have. Both the parents and the teens need to be willing to try to have a good relationship. Selfishness gets in the way a lot. YouTube - TEENS VS. PARENTS Time, Communication, and Trust These three things are the most important in having a good relationship. Some parents don’t spend enough time with their kids. They let their career or hobbies get in the way. After spending time with each other and communicating, trust can be gained. Family should be the number one priority. It is more important than anything else in life. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many families. This results in problems in the home, including low self-esteem. Statistics 62% of teens with a high Sense of Self report that their relationship with their parents helps make them feel good about themselves, while only about 1/3 of low Sense of Self teens report the same. Only 30% of high school teens whose parents provide a strong level of guidance have used drugs (47% have used alcohol), compared to 48% of high school teens whose parents do not provide strong guidance (80% have used alcohol) Statistics Teens with high Sense of Self report that they fell respected by their parents (93 %) and close to their parents (85%), while teens with a low Sense of Self report lower levels of respect from their parents (8%) and closeness to their parents (12%).