Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Review: "The Lucky One" by Nicholas Sparks

The premise of this story was intriguing: a soldier in Iraq finds a woman's picture half buried in the sand and it becomes his good luck talisman. After he returns to the States, he searches for her, and finds her. Love ensues, along with the requesite challenges from various parties, including her dweeby, perv ex-husband.

The main characters were engaging enough. Elizabeth was slightly too perfect for my taste, but she was a good romantic heroine: strong and vulnerable. I liked her. The grandmother and son were both interesting; they had all the things I look for in characters: integrity as well as flaws, and each had very unique personalities and interests.

The problem was that Clayton is not bad enough to be a true villain and Logan is not noble enough to be a true hero. Clayton is not evil; he's just spoiled and selfish and mean. He's not dangerous, he's just a bastard. I never really feared him; I just loathed him. He needed to be a little scarier. He didn't need to be a serial killer, but he needed to be more like a psychopath than like a grown-up Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Logan said and did all the right things, but there was always the underlying question in my mind as to whether or not he really was as good as he seemed. For one thing he certainly had a way of bringing death and mayhem to those around him, which made me wonder if his comrades weren't right about Logan's good luck being bad luck for his buddies. He seemed a little scary to me. That made it wierd for me when Elizabeth fell for him so quickly. Maybe if his character had been fleshed out a little more with a little more backstory, I wouldn't have had such a hard time understanding her attraction for him (other than his kindness to her kid, which is not a small thing).

The book was a good, fast "beach read" but it wasn't especially well-written. All of the characters could have been developed a little more. I liked the ending: I love it when the ending really surprises me.

By the way, it's "Marine" not "marine" and "Corps" not "corps". I know that seems like niggling. It isn't.

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