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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 January 2009
Nicholas Sparks has always written stories where happiness and tragedy meet, full of little co-insidencies changing people's lives forever. Some might call his books sentimental, which may be true, since they are always about love and often about sadness as well.

"The Lucky One" takes Spark's authorship a bit further. The story is less dreamy and more realistic, even at times pragmatic - in spite of the belief in a lucky charm.

Logan Thibault has served three periods as a marine in Iraq, all three times together with his best friend Victor. In Iraq Logan finds a photograph of a young woman, probably lost by another soldier. Pinned on a board, the picture is, however, never claimed and for some reason, after that Logan always carries the photograph with him.

That's when Logan starts going on a winning streak in poker, and even after some of the toughest combats, Logan always survive, while those around him die. Soon there is talking among the other guys, who start to avoid him. Logan is not superstitious but Victor claims it's the photograph which protects him.

As both guys make it back to the States, Victor tells Logan to find the girl in the picture, convincing him it is his destiny.

And so it is that Logan and his German shepherd Zeus walk from Colorado to the small town of Hampton, South Carolina, where they find not only Beth and her son Ben, but also Beths ex-husband Clayton.

The rest of the story is not given, but is full of love, doubt, surprises and even suspense. It's differenf from Spark's other books inasmuch that it's surprisingly straightforward, with little beating around the bush.

The book is a page-turner. The characterization is strong and to the point with a lot of humour. There is surely the good guy and the bad guy, but somehow that seems as it should be - and could be - and not a fairytale cliché.

Spark's best till now!
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on 6 August 2009
just wanted to say, all us Nicholas fans know that the starts are pretty poor the middles are interesting but it's the endings that we read the book for! and this one by fare takes the cake! was so brilliant, literally had me on the edge of my seat till the very last lines, and then I was in tears! unpredictable ending with unforgettable characters, and he really does make you hate the bad guy and love the goodies in this one! of all his books this is my favourite so far! :-)
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on 18 May 2012
I have read a few of Nicholas Sparks book but this one is my favourite. It was absolutley brilliant, I was completely hooked on it. I was so dissapointed when I finished it. It made my heart melt.
Completely compelling story that i would reccomend anyone to read, whether your a Nicholas Sparks fan or not.
I have read many many books and this story will definitley stick with me!
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on 8 April 2012
This will actually be the first Nicholas Sparks book that I've read before watching the film version as for all the other books that have been made into films I have either never read the book (Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember and Nights in Rodanthe) or read them afterwards (The Notebook, Dear John and The Last Song).

Logan is an ex-Marine who has been drifting since his return from his third tour of Iraq. During a fishing trip with a fellow veteran, he was advised that he wouldn't settle until he located the woman in the photo that he carried with him at all times. A photo that he found in Iraq that appears to have kept him safe during many troubling times during his last tour in Iraq. But who is she, who did the photo belong to and how will he find her?

He eventually identifies that the photo was taken at a fair in Hampton, North Carolina so sets off walking cross country with his dog Zeus. When he reaches town, after an encounter with the local sheriff, he decides to check into a motel and begin his search for the girl. He decides to show the photo to single men in the local bars to try and identify who she is but is uneasy when he then sees one of the men go to the phone to call someone so he leaves.

His first encounter with Beth is when he turns up at the kennels that she runs with her Nana looking for a job. They take him on and they soon settle into a friendship, then romance, but he doesn't tell her why he had arrived in town. Beth's son, Ben, especially loves Logan and Zeus being around as he's able to play chess with Logan, something his father hates as it's not manly enough, and play hide-and-seek with Zeus.

Beth's ex, Keith, however is not happy with this arrangement especially since he'd had a run-in with him before he arrived in town, and especially when he's not able to intimidate him to leave like he's been able to with Beth's other boyfriends since they split.

When Beth finds out about the photo from Keith she doesn't know what to believe anymore, was any of it real? She confronts Logan who admits that she's the reason he came to town in the first place and he tries to explain how he believed the photo kept him alive but she's angry and distrustful of him. But when a storm arrives and her son's life is at risk, she is grateful that Logan gave her son his lucky charm...

This book is told in alternate chapters between the three main characters, Logan Thibault, Beth, and Keith Clayton, Beth's ex-husband, and I have to confess it did take me a few chapters to get into this book, which is unusual for me with a Nicholas Sparks novel, but once I did I was wanting to carry on reading to find out what happened next.

I've still got a few Nicholas Sparks books left to read so just need to decide which one to read next.
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on 5 January 2016
This was such a beautiful book to read it was so wonderfully written and put together that I just loved it. The characters were brilliant and it does show that you can be lucky and it showed that Logan was suppose to travel and meet the women.
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on 17 February 2015
The story of an ex marine searching for the girl in the faded photograph he has carried with him through the war.

Finally finding her, he is able to get a job at the kennels owned by her grandmother.

They find themselves falling in love, but he has his secret and she has her ex husband, a sheriff who still looks out for her.

A beautifully told story that hooks the reader from the start and builds up to an exciting climax.
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on 9 March 2009
At ifrst I was disappointed with this book but I should have known Nicholas Sparks would not let me down. It got better and better and couldn't stop reading
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on 6 March 2010
This was the second novel I read from Nicholas Sparks, and though after Dear John I concluded his writing was not for me I couldn't resist picking up The Lucky One because of its exciting plot (see above) (as I have already confessed, I'm a huge war-time-romance junkie).

I enjoyed reading The Lucky One, the plot was exactly what the blurb led me to expect, no disappointments there.

The characters were interesting and I loved that Sparks made them complex, he gave them history, memories, backgrounds and thoughts. Ben also became a little 3D kid, so real I could completely picture him in his glasses playing chess seriously. Nana and her sayings sometimes made me wonder, trying to decipher the hidden meaning behind her words and when I did, it made me laugh, she definitely is a character!

My only compliant in the character development compartment is Keith Clayton, the ex-husband of Beth and father of Ben. Sparks made him a true villain: a creepy pervert, a bully who's having anger issues and exploits his child. I'm sorry he made him such a one-dimensional bad character, it would have been better for the novel if he had given him a few qualities to accompany all these faults.

I also loved the structure of the novel, that we got to know Logan and the meaning behind some of his actions and decisions chapter by chapter through flashbacks as he remembered his tours in Iraq and his time with his mates and Victor.

I think one of the strongest trait of the novel was Sparks' vivid description of the southern life: I could feel the heat, the humidity and completely picture the setting, the narrative really transported me to the scene of the story.

My second complaint is regarding the ending of the novel. I felt it too forced, it was Sparks' way to tie up all the loose ends by taking Keith out of the picture, but making amends by making him a hero in the end. I didn't like the end.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 5/10
Writing: 7/10
Cover: 7/10 (this is a recurring error with Nicholas Sparks' books that the cover girl never matches the description of the heroine: in The Lucky One Beth is blonde with blue eyes, and the cover girl is a brunette..)
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on 11 November 2012
Very well written, excellent story, full of suspense, love, action, etc. And one of the fastest books I've ever read.
Keeping the suspense at the very end was slightly contrived and unnecessary but it didn't stop me crying like a baby!
Highly highly recommended.
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on 6 May 2012
Well, another great book from Nicholas Sparks. You get what you expect from this great author - a love story that will have you weepy by the end.

Ill keep it short and sweet...this book is well worth the read (i finished it within 24 hours), although it pains me to say that the ending is a little predictable. none-the-less, as with all Sparks' books, i had to restrain myself from skimming the last 2 chapters as the tension had me gripped!

Its an easy read, very much a chick-flick book and has left me wanting to see the film to see how well it is portrayed.

definately reccomended for an easy, emotional, lovey type afternoon.
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