I haven’t read much Nicholas Sparks in the past. Just Safe Haven which I must say I enjoyed. The only Nicholas Sparks film I have seen is Dear John – Yes, shock horror, I’m a girl who has never seen The Notebook. Therefore I went in open-minded to this. But it was irritating, ,sooooo irritating.
In the beginning the set up was interesting. Ronnie hasn’t seen nor spoke to her father in 3 years. Now she and her younger brother Jonah are sent by their mother to stay with him at his new home. Ronnie would rather be hanging out with her friends or going out to clubs back home in New York so she resents being sent to live at the beach for the whole summer. The reader gets to see how Ronnie feels about being around her father and we learn why she doesn’t want to be there.
A multitude of other characters are later introduced to Ronnie and subsequently the reader. Ronnie first becomes friends with a girl named Galadriel whom rather prefers being called Blaze and her uber-creepy boyfriend Marcus. Yes, you read that right. Blaze We also meet Will, Scott, Lance and other local teenagers that Ronnie begins to meet at the beach and surrounding areas. However things turn to the worst for Ronnie. Marcus begins to become interested in her and because of this Blaze goes out of her way to make Ronnie’s life unbearable.
Ronnie distances herself from Blaze, Marcus and their crew and begins to hang out with Will. After a time they begin to form a relationship and Ronnie begins to realise that she doesn’t miss partying, clubbing, her friends or other parts of her life back in New York as much as she thought she did or would.
Up until around this point the writing was lovely. There was interesting snarky dialogue between Ronnie and everyone she meets. Characters like Jonah made me smile. The descriptions of the buildings nearby, the nature, the activities undertaking by the characters were detailed, descriptive and informative. However it all started to get rushed. Plot points that were high action and high drama were left unanswered for chapters for no reason. The Hospital trip for Blaze for example. The title of the book suggests that there is singing, song-writing and music throughout the book when in reality there was mentions of it early on and then a sudden rush of the writing of the last song towards the end.
Overall I did not enjoy the novel. There was extremely sad moments throughout the end of the book but I couldn’t connect to the storyline or sympathise with the characters. I don’t know whether it was just me or the rushed writing that made me feel this way. I heard this was a book that would make you cry but it didn’t – and I’m usually a crier if a book is a tear-jerker.