Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks

Summary: After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck, winning pokers games and even surviving deadly combat.  Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can't seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her.  But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels when his search leads him to Elizabeth, a divorced mother in North Carolina with a young son -- and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret.  As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, Thibault's secret will soon threaten to tear them apart, destroying not only their love, but also their lives.  (Summary from book - Image from

My Review:  Nicholas Sparks books are what they are – chick flicks in print.  They are predictable, relationship-driven romance novels that appeal to fundamental emotions (e.g. love, loneliness, loss, anger, jealousy, etc.), with the requisite bittersweet ending that usually manages to make women swoon and cry at the same time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sniffle-swooned through the movie version of The NotebookThis book is classic Nicholas Sparks.  If you have read and enjoyed his other books, you’ll probably feel the same away about this one.  

While I read through this book rather quickly and enjoyed the plot, I felt the characters could have used a little work.   They read like stock characters picked out of a catalog: Logan Thibault, a sensitive, gentlemanly former marine who just happens to be everything a woman wants; Keith Clayton, the skeezy ex-husband who can’t seem to let go; Nana, the quirky but wise grandmother; and Elizabeth, the lonely and gaurded single mother who is deeply in need of a knight in shining body armor.  These characters weren’t bad, and I could appreciate them on a superficial level, but they lacked the depth that would have brought them off page.   

My biggest problem with this book came in the final pages when it was fairly obvious the author was stalling, stringing the reader along for dramatic effect.  I don’t appreciate being “written” down to and found it insulting.  Enough said. 
Overall, I’d probably only recommend this book to readers who are already Nicholas Sparks fans.    

My Rating: 3.5 Stars.  It’s not bad.  It’s just not amazing.

For the sensitive reader: Some sexual situations.  I think the phrase “He moved above her” was about as graphic as it got although there were several situations when the phrase could have been used.  I can’t remember any language…but I have prego-brain so please, no hate mail if I missed one.  Also, Clayton is a sexist and a pervert, and that is reflect in his thoughts, words, and actions. 

Sum it up:  Exactly what you’d expect from a Nicholas Sparks novel.  Emotion, romance, and conflict without a lot of character depth. 


Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

I have to agree with you. I like Sparks but his novels are pretty much the same stuff over and over. You know what's going to happen and yet you cannot help but read them anyways. However, I recently found out that they filmed a movie on this book and it's coming out soon. Now sure how I feel about it since there are definitely more deserving books out there.
Book Sniffers Anonymous

MindySue said...

There are definitely more deserving books, but I think with some hollywood flair, this will probably be a fairly successful movie...especially since Zach Efron is playing Logan. Personally, I'm not a Zach Efron fan, but I'm sure there are a lot of women out there who are. I actually saw this preview and figured I better read the book before the movie came out, in case I wanted to go see it.

Jeff Rivera said...

As a Nicholas Sparks fan, I enjoyed The Lucky One. Being a published love story author myself, I know it can be a challenge to consistently come up with new characters with the kind of depth that "brings them off the page," like you said. Nana was probably my favorite character in the whole story- I thought her quirkiness brought a lot levity. What did you think about the premise of the story? I thought the idea of Logan seeking out his "lucky charm" was a departure from the same old, same old of a lot of love stories.

Jeff Rivera said...

This is one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks book because you can feel the romance between them. As an author, I deeply respect that, because there aren't a lot of people who can write as good as Nicholas Sparks. I had the chance of meeting him in Miami, he is such a nice guy. I also agree with you that the book isn't bad, but it could be better.


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