Friday, April 20, 2012

REVIEW: THE LUCKY ONE ~ NICHOLAS SPARKS

It was with skepticism that I decided to give Nicholas Sparks another try. The guy usually makes me cry and leaves me angry with him for quite a while, which is why I’ve been successfully avoiding his books for a few years now.

A few weeks ago the television channels started airing the trailer for The Lucky One, the movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel. The storyline immediately grabbed my attention, and after seeing the trailer about three times I decided to read the book.


Logan Tibault is a US Marine serving in Iraq when he picks up a picture of a beautiful blonde woman, with the words “Keep safe” written on the back. At first he pins the photo to the notice board where the Marine who it belongs to can reclaim it. However, nobody claims it, and driven by a compulsion he can’t explain, Logan takes the picture back. That night, with the picture in his pocket, his luck turns. At first Logan simply wins a lot of money from other Marines at poker, but soon it appears the picture is a lucky charm in every sense of the word when Logan inexplicably survives attack, after attack, after attack. After his third tour of duty, Logan is driven to find the woman in the picture. She saved his life. He owed her…

Elizabeth Green is a lonely young divorcee, living in a small town with her Grandmother and her son, Ben. Elizabeth’s dating life is non-existent, leaving her vulnerable as she ponders why the men she dates all eventually simply stop contacting her without any explanation. To complicate her life even further, Elizabeth shares custody of Ben with his father, Sheriff Keith Clayton – an immature, womanizing bully who abuses his power.  Keith’s family is the most prominent family in Hampton, which also includes a Judge of the Court, and Beth knows that rattling the cage in any way could cause her to lose Ben to the Claytons for good. For this reason Elizabeth is forced to toe the line in all respects for fear Keith might sue for full custody of Ben.

Elizabeth helps Nana run a dog kennel and training centre, and when Logan finally finds Elizabeth at the kennel with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window, Logan has the opportunity to become a part of Elizabeth’s life. He knows it’s his destiny to find her, though he doesn’t know why yet. He takes the job at the kennel, getting to know Elizabeth, Nana and Ben, with the ever present picture of Elizabeth in his back pocket.

When Elizabeth and Logan fall in love, Keith couldn’t be more unhappy with the situation. Apart from the fact that Logan might posses evidence that could cause Keith’s Grandfather to disown him, Keith always saw Elizabeth as his toy, and even though he’s found other toys to play with, it doesn’t mean he wants anybody else to play with his old toys. This was a creepy analogy used in the book, and it effectively captures how perverted Keith Clayton is. Can Logan and Elizabeth’s fragile new relationship survive the wrath of Keith Clayton, and the massive secret that Logan is keeping from her?

The Lucky One is a beautiful love story! Logan and Elizabeth’s romance is very realistically portrayed from Logan’s fascination with Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s initial distrust of Logan, gradually getting to know each other, Logan’s budding relationship with Ben and ultimately discovering that they’ve come to love each other. The humour in the novel is also quite witty. I found myself laughing out loud several times, first with some of Nana’s sayings (which never make any sense), and especially with Logan and Elizabeth’s first date at “Shagging for Crabs”. It sounds dirty, but it’s really not! The whole experience is based on double entendres, which gets to be very funny. This is one of my favourite scenes in the book and I sincerely hope it’s made its way into the movie version.


One of my favourite character’s is Logan’s dog, Zeus! Not many authors can subtly yet effectively make an animal a very real presence and a primary character in a story. Zeus is awesome. Nicholas Sparks has a lovely way of writing romance. Honest, simple and realistic. I had high expectations for The Lucky One, and it didn’t let me down.

The Lucky One releases in American theatres today. My fellow South Africans, it hits our screens on 25 May 2012.


Nicholas, you and I are on speaking terms again, my friend…


Product information:
Title: The Lucky One
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Number of pages: 352
Publisher: Penguin SA
Year: 2009
ISBN: 9780751539240

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