Tag Archives: Anna Karenina

Bookshelf: “The Last Song” and “L.A. Candy”

3 Apr

Who would have thought that Nicholas Sparks and Lauren Conrad would have anything in common?

Well, they do. Both penned novels that I finished during the past week while recovering from knee surgery. Moreover, both penned novels that I enjoyed!

I usually pride myself on reading more “deep” works and/or classics. However, while I’ve really been trying to broaden my horizons, I can never pass up a good Nicholas Sparks book despite the unrelenting predictability in regards to setting and general plot. (North Carolina, small beach town, boy meets girl, falls in love, yada yada yada.)

As for L.A. Candy, I chose it because it seemed like quick, easy, mindless reading – “fluff, if you wll. I got what I expected. It was fun, breezy….but no Pulitzer-caliber work. Perfect for the days when I was running on 2 hours of sleep, and on meds that made me drowsy. While usually I enjoy books that make me think, I was grateful that, for this one, and under the circumstances, I didn’t need to do so.

Read on for my “reviews” …

THE LAST SONG – by Nicholas Sparks

If you read Nicholas Sparks, you know the deal. All of his stories are set in the south, usually if not always in NC, in a small beach town. Two seemingly mismatched characters always fall in love, there’s usually some sort of snafu or disapproval of the relationship, and so on. However, “The Last Song” hits some deep notes, and delves not only into romantic love but also into familial love AND learning to love one’s self. It is a story about growing up, letting go of the past, and learning what is important in life. There is humor and passion, spunk and romance, sadness and contemplation. I feel that the characters really come to life int this story, and was interested to know that the screenplay for “The Last Song” movie was actually written BEFORE the book, which usually isn’t the case. Additionally, the screenplay was wrote FOR Miley Cyrus….which made sense, because, reading the book, she (no matter how much she may get on my nerves) is the perfect “Ronnie.”

I think that “The Last Song” is one of Sparks’ best, and I’d advise any fan of his to read it. I would also recommend this book to just about anyone, as it has a charm all of its own and can stand alone from his other works.

L.A. CANDY – L auren Conrad

I always hated “Laguna Beach” on MTV…..but, somehow, I admit, “The Hills” and “The City” got me. I figured that it was  probably for 2 reasons: I liked LC (Lauren Conrad), Whitney, and Audrina….AND, both of these shows revolved a lot around fashion and the fashion industry, which I’m a definite sucker for. However, while watching these admittedly silly and scripted “reality” shows, I never once thought about what went on behind the scenes and how it affected the characters.

Nor did I ever picture Lauren Conrad writing a book about it all. A clothing line? Sure, why not. A book? Never did that thought cross my mind.

While her writing skills are nowhere near as perfect as her side braid, Lauren did not disappoint as I thought she would. She proved that she could tell a story, use wonderful descriptive writing, and capture the essence of her characters.

Of course, some of it seems forced and contrived….but, it is a book about reality television, an MTV-esque network,

and young Hollywood, so what do you expect?

It was a nice, easy read. No brain surgery, but entertaining. I’ll read the sequel.

A for effort!

Next up, I’m going to finish two books that I’ve started but yet to finish: Committed” and “The Shack.”

After that? Anna Karenina. I’ve read excerpts, but never the whole thing. If my former lit teacher AND Oprah recommended it, I’m in. Plus, the main character of “The Last Song” was reading it….so I took it as a sign that it should definitely (finally!) be up to bat soon on my to-read list!