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The Lucky One Written by Nicholas Sparks To Download You copy please click here U.S. Marine Logan Thibault carries a picture of a woman he'snever met because it brings him good luck. But when he sets out to find the woman, he is met with unexpected circumstances surrounding his new love and his shrouded past. Though not Sparks’ most original tale, the story flows well and narrator John Bedford Lloyd delivers a solid performance. Lloyds deep bass tone is perfectly suited for Thibault, a manly man if ever there was one. Lloyds supporting characters are rich and interesting in their own right, some speaking in comical Southern drawls, others with a raw reality. The final result is quite touching without much over-the-top sentimentality on Lloyds part.

------------------------------------------------------ I always like to start my reviews by giving a little bit about myself away. I'm a 17 year old male high school student who reads voraciously. I constantly vary my tastes from horror to mystery to literature to romance. I've never read Nicholas Sparks before, but I saw the movie The Notebook and literally balled my eyes out. So, I'm not exactly the target audience for Sparks' work, but I still felt like I should check it out. "The Lucky One" is about Logan Thibault, a US Marine who travels across the country in search of a mysterious woman in a photograph he believes to have been his lucky charm during his service in Iraq. There are a few twists and turns, but overall it's a straightforward tale and plays out pretty decently. And I think that's really the main flaw of this book: everything is just "decent" and "mediocre". It gets the job done. There's no risks, no shining prose, no super emotional stuff that really bonds you to the characters. Most things are taken at surface level. This isn't a bad thing if it's what you're looking for in a book. But this is not a deep, passionate, love story either. Nicholas Sparks isn't a wordsmith poet. He uses blessedly simple prose that tells the story fast and effectively. The only problem is, he's catering to an audience... or more likely what he thinks of an audience. Many subjects are broached upon by all of our three narrators, multiple times, one after the other. For example, when Protagonist A gets worried about their kid because Protagonist B is being a jerk and Protagonist C doesn't like it, we get to see and hear about it three times, from all three directions. This mildly interesting device very quickly wears thin and becomes tedious as the book goes on. The structure of the story also leaves a lot to be desired. It's starts out strong, the forward action only briefly interrupted by some expository flashbacks. But then, those flashbacks don't really stop... ever. Every time something interesting occurs in the present, Logan will need to relate it back to his days in the Marines, or his fishing trip with his friend, Vinny. This screws pacing up, a lot. So, then, by the middle of the book, when all of the plot threads start getting laid out, the exposition hasn't finished yet, and the middle really drags on. Luckily, everything picks up for the last 1/4 of the book, when real danger strikes and people start to actually do things. But the ending isn't perfect. By no means. It will satisfy even the most skeptical reader, because it wraps many things up in one swift move. But, at times, the climax does seem a little Soap Opera-ey, with characters responding to rumors and predictable, but still exciting

developments playing out. Also, the Epilogue uses a cheap trick to make the reader feel any emotion at all. Tsk. Tsk. The characters in this book are probably its one flaw, with, of course, the delightful exception of Nana. Logan, Keith, and Ben are all basically one-trick ponies. They don't ever go too far into the land of archetypes, but they never evolve past cardboard static characters. Beth is a decent character, but not because she actually *does* much, more just because she has some active opinions and sometimes acts on them. The best character is Nana, who sounds the most human out of all of them and adds some much needed humor to this bland mixture. In conclusion, this was my first Nicholas Sparks novel, and it will be my last for a long time. I don't want to give up on him entirely, but I think my tastes are better suited elsewhere, at least for the time being. Maybe in a year or two, I'll pick up The Notebook or one of his newer novels, and give him another shot. For now, I'll stick to my other favorites.

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