The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks - An Emotional Contemporary Romance About Healing

Friday, April 20, 2012

About the Book:
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 2008
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance (Secular Fiction)
E L S E W H E R E:
Find the Review Elsewhere:
Rating: ★★★1/2 

The Story: Surviving three tours of duty in Iraq, eleven bombs, and countless other “close calls” is not something marine Logan Thibault likes to think about. All are memories best forgotten, and yet, he dare not. His friend and fellow marine assures Logan that the photograph of the woman he found laying on the ground is the good luck charm has saved him from multiple “close calls.”

Without re-upping for another tour of duty and following a tragedy that led to his disillusionment, Logan sets out cross-country to find the smiling woman in the photo known to him as only “E.” At the end of his journey, Logan comes face-to-face with Elizabeth “Beth” Clayton. 

In time, Logan struggles with his reasons in finding Beth, and Beth knows he's holding something back: How can he tell her, she is the reason he is there? The bond he forms with the single mom and her family is undeniable but is it enough to earn her forgiveness?
Mainstream fiction is really not my thing. The film adaptation of The Lucky One is what inspired me to pick up this novel. Prior to this, I had never read a novel by Sparks. (Though I had seen most of the adaptations.) Like  many of his earlier novels, this one is also set along the Southern coast. Because of this, there are common uses of long, beautiful walks along the beach as a means of building romantics. Obviously he intends this to be intentional and it is an ideal setting for a romantic novel. Still, this could have done with stretching the horizons a bit. 

FILM REVIEW | The Lucky One (2012) - A Romantic Drama about a Soldier's "Lucky" Charm 

The succession of events cumulates to further develop the characters not to mention playing on our romantic heartstrings. Logan’s unexpected appearance in Beth’s life intrigues, and his free-spirit attracts her. This builds on tension, chemistry and allure. Though not always of serious expectations, but rather of purely passionate desire. Little does Beth realize that Logan has much different feelings for her.

On one side, I can say I really did like the story, the writing and characters but I also could make the argument that this novel isn’t Sparks best. It has its moments, but I also don't think it had a lot going for it. The characters are easy to like and are admittedly well developed (Logan particularly has a fascinating past), but sometimes they aren’t easy to root for. One example being Beth’s stupidity regarding her ex. (Seriously, Beth, Keith is a JERK. GET. THE. CLUES. Trust, Logan.)

There's also something missing in the relationship between Logan and Beth. Whatever it is, there’s a disconnect. I cannot pretend that I didn’t “enjoy” the book because I did. Much of the story seems to rely on common clichés
You should be kissed every day, every hour, every minute.” 
Broken into “sections” in which Sparks dedicates chapters to whichever character the chapter is named after (i.e., “Beth,” “Thibault,” etc.), it keeps the plot simple and easy reading because we know who we are going to be reading about for the next several pages. Contrary to what this review makes it sound like, the book isn't "bad." The writing is simple and to the point, and the last one-hundred or so pages is sure to keep you turning those pages.♥

*What to know: There is profanity (p***ed, d*mn, h*ll). One man is a pervert – he takes photos of collage co-eds and imagines having a friends-with-benefits sort of relationship with his ex. There are references to “making love,” minor sexual connotations and alcohol consumption. Beth is described as wearing immodest clothing. 


  1. Does everyone make it out alive? That has always been my beef with this author. Why must someone always die?

  2. With Sparks, that is a perfectly logical question, Charity! I am right there with you. =)

    SPOILER: The answer? Nope! Not everyone makes it to the epilogue. At least this time, no one dies from cancer or some other dreaded disease. That is progress... right!? ;D END

  3. I just was reading about the movie/book etc. in the paper today wondering if it would be good. It seems like a good plot/story and sweet. I don't know if I'll read it or watch it though. Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

  4. I want to see this movie sooooooo bad! The book/story sound awesome.

    And um, Zac Efron is kind of a lot adorable. ;)

  5. Sierra - the movie looks lovely (the cinematography is supposedly gorgeous). My mom and I talked about seeing it so we may make a Saturday afternoon out of it (likely next week) but we'll see...

    The book is... good but from what I know, I think the movie will easily surpass it. =) I rather did like the story. But then, as long as it has a happy ending, I love a romance. =)

    Rachel - me, too! I'd like to get to this one. I may in the next week or so, and then I'd get up a movie review. =)

    Zac Efron... yep, that is just fact. ;D

  6. Wow, what a great review. I love Nicholas Sparxs' books. Call me a sucker for anything romantic. This one, I actually read twice, it was my favorite of his novels so far. While there was some stuff like you mentioned, I was still able to look past that and enjoy it :) I can't wait to see the movie. Zac Efron... ♥eek.


  7. After reading this one, I am thinking it may be fun to read some of Sparks' other novels, Jessica...

    I didn't not enjoy this one... I was just wishing it would be "better," I guess. He has several other novels optioned for film, so perhaps I'll pick some of them up - I just want to steer clear of those "bad" endings. =)

    Most of the time I look beyond the "bad" in film and books also, and I did to a certain degree with this novel because, honestly, the movie is going to have "different" things in it, but will still be "adult."

    Me, too - I think Zac will play the part well. I just read a review in which the guy thought Zac's lines / sentences were too "short" or something like that. Um... whatever, dude! That is Logan's character - he is a quiet guy! Read the book. =D

    *Great thoughts, all! Have any more? Leave them below, readers. =)

  8. I agree with you about how Sparks in many ways seems to keep with the same general story lines in his books (i.e. romances... and in the south). When it comes to Sparks movies and books, I tend to either love the movie and dislike it's corresponding book (A Walk to Remember), or I love the book, but don't like it's corresponding movie (The Last Song). So I guess I'll have to wait and see about this next one.

  9. i never got around the reading the book but i just saw the movie. ohhh zac efron. gorgeous!!!
    but i should get around to reading this soon!
    xo TJ

  10. Natalie - I am so... weird. I whine and complain about Sparks' movies / stories but then I still have to see them! This novel definitely made me curious about his other books (this was the first one I'd read) so I am thinking I may read some of his others... plus, I think I'd read this one a 2nd time. I am such a romantic. *sigh*

    Fun piece of trivia for The Last Song: It was written after the film - that is a switch. Cyrus wanted Sparks' to write a script for her specifically. So he did. Little conceited if you ask me. ;D

    TJ - oooh! My mom and I may see this next weekend - from what little I know, I am going to like the film better than the book... or those are my impressions. But we shall see.

    Zac Efron is going to do the role of Logan justice. Says me! =)

    Hope you enjoyed the movie - and will enjoy the novel, too. =)

  11. Great review! I remember seeing the trailer months ago but I had no idea that it was adapted from a Nicholas Sparks now *blushes* It's been so long since I've actually read a Sparks novel (I think I've moved away from his works after---high school? lol). Maybe I'll check it out if I'm in the mood xD

  12. Nice review. =} I haven't read the book but I would like to see the movie. I enjoyed Taylor Schilling when she was on Mercy.

  13. *headdesk*


    His books are so... predictable.

  14. Well, actually, I picked up a copy of The Last Song because of the huge hoopla the movie was getting. I just skimmed through it because it was boring :P
    Also, don't characters always die in his books? :P

    And this might sound weird, but I'm kind of biased against male romance's weird. I guess I think women are the only creatures capable of creating a good romance? ;)
    I've watched A Walk to Remember { I loved it! But I hated the end...}and I want to watch a few more movie adaptions :)

  15. Haha, Charity. "Does everyone make it out alive?" Good question. ;) Rissa, thanks for your comment on my blog!

  16. Lianne - this was the first novel by the well-known Sparks that I've read. It was good. I think I would read another of his, and would certainly re-read this one.

    The movie looks way better than the book, so I am excited about seeing it soon - maybe even in theaters. =) You'll have to let me know if you see it.

    Jen - yeah, I remember that show but never watched it. Taylor is more of a newcomer but I think she'll do the role justice.

    From 1st impressions, I will appreciate reading the book all the more once I see the film. Looking into what book I may try next by Sparks. =) Thinking about starting with his next film adaptation.

    Charity - my thoughts exactly! Why, oh why, does someone ALWAYS have to die. Really, dude: Go with a different ending. ;D

    Trinka - I am thinking about reading The Last Song because I liked the movie okay.

    Hmmm... my mom likes female authors because she hasn't had a lot of success finding male authors that she's liked. I think Sparks does fine with romance... but the movies have a better grasp on the romance.

    Yes, you are correct, nearly every book / story has someone dying. Sometimes it isn't as sad because it is a character we don't like or a secondary one, but on occasion, it has been one of the leading characters (or even both!) and then they don't wind up together. *sigh* That always makes me mad. =)

    Never saw A Walk to Remember (it ends SO sad!). My favorite Sparks adaptation? Dear John, then The Last Song. (Trust me: Steer well clear of Message in a Bottle. So NOT a good one!) The only reason I like Dear John is because the movie changed the ending! Thank goodness for screen writers! ;D

    Rachel - aw! Thanks! THANK YOU for the follow! I so appreciate it. =) Hope you stop in often.

    Ha! With Sparks, that question is only logical. Unfortunately, he does kill a character off in this book. That dude seriously needs to re-think that sub-plot. In my opinion. =)

  17. i LOVE your reviews. just saw the movie this weekend, i loved it but i need to read the book i feel. i just nominated you for a blog award on my blog so check it out! love your blog xo

  18. I have never read a Nicholas Sparks book. I might have to give them a try.

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog! :)

  19. Brooke (Lovers Letters) - aw! Thank you! I appreciate your kind words - it is readers like you that make me continue to blog, and enjoy it.

    Oooh! I am so hoping to see this during the week... but if I don't, I'll definitely see it on DVD. =) Glad to know you enjoyed it - hope the book results in the same for you.

    THANK YOU so much for the award! That is special that you thought of my little blog. Thanks!

    Kati - me either. This was my first by him. With the movie about to release, I thought, "why not?" and so I read it. =D

    You are welcome - thank you for stopping by. I hope you do so again sometime. =)

    [love all this great conversation about this book, readers - any more thoughts are, as always, welcome.]

  20. Interesting review Rissi! I've been wanting to read Nicholas Sparks novels for years now, because I enjoy the movies made of his books (despite the endings...), but somehow there's always another book which begs to be read first.

    I'm looking forward to this movie a lot!

  21. Thanks. I know what you mean about wanting to read / try someone's works but never getting around to it. (I have so many novels in my TBR stack, it isn't even funny!)

    I have liked two Nicholas Sparks movies. I "liked" Nights in Rodanthe but I don't consider it one of my favorites because it is sad.

    Me, too! I am looking into show times, hoping one will work with the week. =)


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