Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Lucky One

by Nicholas Sparks

I think I am one of a very few people who thought that The Notebook was the stupidest, sappiest, load of crap movie I ever saw (right after City of Angels). I have never been a fan of sap, so Sparks has never been an author I would even consider reading. He practically invented mushy love stories! They showed Nights in Rodanthe on my flight a few months ago and I was practically nauseous just watching the screen. Oh yeah, and I figured the whole thing out in about 5 minutes of lip-reading. Blech. Anyway...

But again, thanks to my mom's Christmas gifts, she was pushing an unexpected one my way. I had heard from someone that this wasn't one of those typical N.S. novels, and it was relatively short, so I figured I'd give it a try. I seem to read faster in the winter anyway.

Logan Thibault is a marine, recently home from Iraq, who decides to walk from Colorado to North Carolina to meet a woman he knows only from a photograph. He found the picture half-buried in the dirt in Baghdad, and once it was in his possession, he seemed to have found a good luck charm. People were getting hurt or dying all around him, yet he remained safe. His closest friend, Victor, told him that he owed it to the woman in the photo to find her and figure out the meaning behind this good fortune.

Once he finds Beth (a little too easily if you ask me, but I think that's part of Sparks' m.o.) it doesn't take Logan long to fall in love with her. It wasn't long after that she returned his feelings. Yet he never told her about the picture.

I was giving frequent updates to my friend who also isn't a big fan of romantic goo. I told her that it was a very easy read and I couldn't help but be intrigued. I was eager to find out where the story was going to go. But I did warn her that if it turned sappy, I was going to immediately throw the book against the wall. As I neared the end I began to warm up my pitching arm.

Then lo and behold, it was only about 5% sappy at the end. I can handle that! I can't say it's the best book I ever read, or even a great book, but it was a decent story that held my interest for 336 pages.

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