Book Reviews

The Lucky One: Efron Disappoints But Sparks Shines

I first saw the poster for the movie starring Zac Efron before I knew the book existed. Call it a premonition, the fairy of fate, or if you’re really out there too much carrot juice, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch the film. If anyone had of asked me, I wouldn’t have said it was my love/hate relationship with Efron. How the guy manages to look even more tank, muscular and virile than the last movie he graced is beyond me. And he claims to belong to nerdville. Yeah, right.

But I degrees.

So the little garden people told me not to drool over his latest movie and I heeded their advice. It wasn’t until I was killing time in a book store that the cover of The Lucky One caught my eye and I found myself taking it to the counter and digging out the Visa card.

I’ve never read Nicholas Spark’s work before though I’ve seen The Notebook on film and was vaguely aware of a couple of his books. I never took a real interest until The Lucky One.

From page one I was hooked.

The Lucky One is the story of a U.S. Marine, Logan Thibault, whose bad luck turns three-sixty when he finds a photograph of a woman in the dirt while serving in Iraq. When he returns home, his past experiences and present post war struggles set him on a journey to find the woman in the photo. With a bit of guess work, elimination and luck, he finds her.

Beth has trouble of her own. Raising a young son, caring for her aging grandmother and dealing with her possessive, bully of an ex, she has a lot to deal with. And then the mysterious Logan arrives in town and things start to heat up. But while the romance between them unfolds so do other events that have the power to destroy the future.

As an avid lover of well written characters, Logan sky rocketed up my list of favorites. Sparks manages to make him riveting as the strong silent type and it’s only through the other characters that you get a sense of who he is. And I mean a sense.

It won’t take you long before you hate Keith, the ex-husband, sympathise with Beth, and fall in love with Logan. Or maybe that’s just me. The end of book had me hooked right up the last paragraph with twist that’s a doozy.

While it has a romance subtext, I wouldn’t call Sparks a romance writer. This novel has two much background research, multiple story strands and strong character detail for that. It’s a quality piece of fiction. It speaks for itself.

Ironically, I watched the film soon after setting the book down and hated it. Maybe it was too soon after emerging from the pages because I had a hard time following the script. The book was playing simultaneously in my head and I kept saying, ‘Wait, they left that bit out? That was the best part!’ or ‘What is wrong with you, Efron? Logan wasn’t like that!’.

All I can say is the little pixies were right in guiding me to the book. The Lucky One has became a quick favourite and has a spot on my bookshelf.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, read the book. If you have been tainted by Efron’s portrayal of Logan, read the book anyway.

Ever seen an eighteenth century looking mirror? It was no wonder people had servants to dress them from head to feet because you wouldn’t want to trust a mirror’s reflection back then. The film is like that. A fuzzy outline of the real thing, but the depth and detail is swallowed up in poor mirror craftsmanship.

But do yourself a favour. Wait a while for the memory of the movie to fade into the unimportant background of your mind before you crack open the book. Don’t do what I did and try to compare them together. Let me know what you think and remember, the carrot juice is never wrong.

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