Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Reading

I know I said I was going to read books that were deeper and more lyrical, but Halloween is coming up and I needed some candy. Many people find Nicholas Sparks to be too "popular," but then again, many other people buy and read his myriad novels, which is what shoots him onto the NYT list with each and every new book.

The Lucky One was a fast read, finished in two days even with an impossible schedule this week (I used some of that waiting-in-the-car time that moms always seem to have. I had a bunch this past week.)

Each chapter is labeled with the character whose viewpoint it's told by - the story alternates between three main characters, one of whom is "the bad guy," except it takes a while to figure out why and then what he's going to do, helping to build tension and suspense. But the changing viewpoints also offered logical stopping points to be able to put the book down.

The story is very contemporary. The main character is Logan Thibault, a U.S. veteran of the current Middle East war, survivor of three tours of duty overseas. The scenes Sparks paints of the war are just as gripping as the familiar scenes he paints in his beloved North Carolina.

When the book begins you don't know too much about Logan, except that he's a vet and there might be something wrong with him because he's just walked across the country - from Colorado all the way to the Atlantic Coast. He's searching for a woman who's picture was his "good luck charm" in Iraq.

The blurb on Sparks' official website reads:

When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. 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 photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet. Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives.

Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, The Lucky One is Nicholas Sparks at his best—an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.


I enjoyed this book. Sparks definitely has the gift of storytelling down to a science. Since I don't read a lot of his writing, I can't tell you if it's like his other books or different. But if you're looking for a fast read and a little escapism I'd recommend it. The story is nice, the characters are likeable, and the suspense is easygoing. Not a fast-paced, can't-put-it-down thriller like Steig Larsson's trilogy, but certainly a keep-your-interest tale of people you grow to care about.

What are you reading?

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