Category: Reviews

The Nicholas Sparks Novel We All Forgot About

A copy of The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

 “For at that moment, the world is full of wonder as I feel her fingers reach for the buttons on my shirt, and slowly, ever so slowly, she begins to undo them one by one.” This is the ending line of The Notebook, perhaps the most popular romance written by Nicholas Sparks. 

Although, the movie adaptation ends differently. There, we see Ally and Noah’s love interests, embracing each other, dying in each other’s arms. Of course, I know why the change was made, to make it more romantic. They’re soul mates. They spent so much time trying to be together, and here they are, dying in each other’s arms. What better way to end a lifelong romance?

Well, why not follow up with another romance with Noah and Ally’s children? There is a sequel to The Notebook that people seemed to have forgotten about—the Wedding. Okay, technically, it isn’t a sequel. But it might as well be. Sparks himself said that he “wrote about the next generation.”

In this novel, we follow Jane and Wilson, Noah and Ally’s daughter and son-in-law. They, sadly, are forced to recognize that the romance in their marriage has officially died. In fact, they never even had a wedding. They got married in front of a judge in a courthouse so Wilson could return to his job. 

Wilson is desperately trying to win back the heart of his wife. He has spent years forgetting anniversaries, and he wants to somehow make it up to her for their 30th. He fears she fell out of love with him, and he wants to win her back.

So he goes to Noah. Perhaps the mastermind behind his own fifty-year love affair. The mastermind behind so many things, actually.

Coincidentally, Wilson’s youngest daughter Anna reveals that she has gotten engaged. And that she wants the wedding to happen within the next two weeks. On the same day as her parents’ wedding anniversary. Noah is alive, but he is sickly, something that comes with his age, so they all want the wedding to happen before his eventual passing. 

Anna is young, 27, but still young. She doesn’t know what she wants. Or, more so, she wants her mother to believe that. So she lets Jane make the most important decisions, including Anna’s wedding dress. 

Remember how I mentioned that Noah is the wonderful mastermind behind everything? Well, we may also have to add Wilson to that list. Before the engagement was revealed, he took a few weeks of vacation to prepare. He also managed to find caterers and a photographer who just happened to have an open spot on the right day. Then, of course, we have to mention the godly workers who found time in their schedule to fix up the venue. And I have to honor the guests who all had an open spot in their calendar. What a neat little coincidence!

Then we have our final chapter—arguably the most tearful. Slowly, Jane and Wilson become closer to the stress of their daughter. They go to the wedding venue, Ally and Noah’s old house turned retirement home. We watch Wilson drop off a dress for his daughter, but it’s not her wedding dress. 

Anna gets ready, and so does everyone else. Then we see her walk down a set of stairs wearing the dress her father gave her that morning. Tears begin to fill Wilson’s eyes, and confusion fills Janes. She asks her daughter why she isn’t wearing her wedding dress; then it is all revealed. She is getting married, just not yet. It’s never been her wedding. It’s always been her mothers.

And then Jane turns to Wilson. Everything became so clear at that moment. Wilson was finally able to give Jane the wedding she had always dreamed of. She still has more questions, but Wilson leaves. Grooms are not supposed to see their brides before the reception; it’s bad luck. 

Then the wedding happens. Wilson re-courts his wife.

It is extremely predictable and cliche, but honestly, what would you expect from romance? Everything is a cliche at this point, but it still works. It is a sappy story, and that might be what I love about it. 

Though it really is a shame to see that this rendition does not get the love it deserves. I would love to see this as a movie, but it’s canon that both Ally and Noah pass in the movie version of The Notebook, and Noah is an important character in The Wedding. 

This book was published in 2003, around the same time the filming took place for The Notebook. The ending was changed to make it more romantic, but I think that was the one useless one out of everything they changed. There is no reason that they had to die. 

Nicholas Sparks is known for writing romances coated in tragedy. So while it’s romantic, it would match much better to his writing style if it ended with Ally dying in Noah’s arms and Noah waking to find her. It would be the final tragedy in their story—the perfect sad ending. 

Of course, this is all my opinion, and I do not claim to be right. I would love to see The Wedding as its own movie and finally get the same love The Notebook or Dear John.

And so I leave you with my favorite line.

“But love, I’ve come to understand, is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.”

Plastic Hearts

Plastic Hearts is Miley Cyrus’s seventh studio album and was released on November 27, 2020. This LP comes after her EP “She Is Coming” and single “Slide Away,” both released in 2019. Although the single is not a part of this album, it provides a lot of insight into where this LP would be going. This being her previous relationship with her now ex-husband. Throughout the LP, she provides a lot of insight into how she feels and how she still thinks about the relationship and how it has affected her.

The lead single that came out of this album was “MIdnight Sky.” The song channeled a Stevie Nicks kind of vibe that would have come out in the ’80s. What makes this song even better is the remix of Midnight Sky and Edge of Seventeen. Given the current trend of nostalgic dance/ synth-pop, the single felt very different than many of the songs being released at the time. In the song, Miley discusses how she feels great about leaving the relationship and how it has led her to feel free in a sense. The second single that was released to promote the album was “Prisoner,” featuring Dua Lipa. The song is very similar to that of “Physical” by Oliva Newton-John. When the single was initially released, I found the song to be very boring, with not a lot being done production-wise to elevate it. However, after listening to it within the album’s context, I have to come to appreciate the song a little more. I would also like to say that Miley and Dua Lipa have a lot of chemistry within the song that really does make all the difference.

The album is very 80’s rock with a little bit of punk and a hint of electric pop. You can clearly tell what she was going for, considering the two other features: Billy Idol and Joan Jett. Both individuals have experience and are widely known for their rock status. Throughout the album, Miley will often switch between a rock and a very slowed down country. Although I hadn’t seen this the first time around, it became apparent after really thinking about the LP. Although I don’t mind the country songs, they take away a lot of what is supposed to be an 80’s rock album. 

The album starts with “WTF Do I Know” and is a magnificent intro into the album. The bass line throughout the song is so good, and the lyrics are outstanding. One of my favorite lyrics from this song has to be, “Am I wrong that I moved on, and I don’t even miss?” This song is a clear indicator as to what she is going to talk about throughout the LP. The album then moves on to the title track, “Plastics Hearts.” Within this song, Miley provides a lot of good vocal delivery that really elevates the song.  Within this song, Miley talks about how she “just wants to feel something,” this being an emotion of some sort because she is “hollow” on the inside. We then move on to “Angels Like You,” and we start to see the country songs. This song is perfect and shows us exactly how Miley feels about the relationship between her and her ex-husband. Moving on, the album then goes into “Prisoner” and then into “Gimme What I Want.” “Gimme What I Want,” I think, is where we can see a little bit of the punk influence. The lyrics show us that Miley, at one point, didn’t care about the other person in the relationship’s emotions and how it would often lead to her harming herself mentally. Following this track is “Night Crawling,” featuring Billy Idol. The song has amazing vocal performances from Billy and Miley, where you can almost hear a growl in their voices that add a lot to the song as a whole. After this song is “Midnight Sky” then “High.” High” goes back into a more slowed down country that has Miley talking about how she is still feeling “high” about the relationship she left behind and how it will always be with her. Next is the track “Hate Me,” where Miley wonders when a certain person will ever stop hating her for what she has done and is also where she takes full responsibility for what she did. Within the song, I love she sings the lyric “hate me,” especially at the end of the song, where it really wraps up the song. Following this track is “Bad Karma,” featuring Joan Jett. I feel this one is very country rock, and I really appreciate the song because of it. Miley and Joan’s voices go so well together that I actually thought it was Miley singing throughout the song. Moving on, the next track is “Never Be Me.” This song has to be one of the most thoughtful songs on the LP and is where Miley really reflects on who she is. I especially love this song. They switch up the lyrics towards the end of the track because they show how much she is willing to try in a relationship. To close off the LP, Miley decides to go for the track “Golden G String.” Although the track’s title may sound a bit inappropriate, the song itself is actually very insightful on Miley’s time within the music industry and how it has changed over its course. The basic premise is that she doesn’t care what the media has to say about her and that she will do what she wants to do now. I found this track to be a great closer to the album and possibly shows where her music career could be going. I would also like to state that there are three bonus tracks on the album, one being “Edge of Midnight” and the other two being “Heart of Glass” and “Zombie,” these being remakes of old songs. However, in these songs, Miley adds her own spin to them. My favorite one is “Heart of Glass” because of how Miley utilizes her vocals throughout the song. 

The album totals to being around 50 minutes with 15 tracks, including the bonus. I found the album as a whole to be very well made and a very thoughtful and reflecting look at Miley Cyrus’ current life. I look forward to seeing what else Miley has in store for the future, and I trust it will be amazing.

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Movie Review: The Post

On January 12 of this year, “The Post” hit theatres. It stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and was directed by legendary Steven Spielberg. Streep plays Katharine Graham, the first American female publisher of a state-wide newspaper, while Hanks, in this non-fictional movie, acts the part of the newspaper’s editor.

After another competing newspaper publishes a glimpse of the Pentagon papers, Graham and her company discover the rest of the government secrets in their hands. It’s up to them to reveal what the government has been hiding for decades. Will they exercise their right to publish, or will they stay silent? This movie will beautifully provide you insight into a court case that relates to even today’s society, and it’ll teach you more than your history class has.

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