Hello! It has been a long time since I last wrote a review and honestly I was feeling bad for that! Here goes the review of a book I finished reading months ago, The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. It’s a book that was published in 2008, after a year’s pause on writing. My review is spoiler free in therms of action, though I describe the characters, but not what happens to them, only events that you notice since you begin to read.
The plot is very unique and singular, though it is full of contextual factors that are relatively easy to find on other stories. Meaning, this plot is unique because it shows the story a of a man that spends time fighting in a war and doesn’t suffer too much from accidents (even though the book says he’s a lucky man because he did not dies, I think he suffers a lot because he watches friends dying) and he’s a man that cross the country to find a woman that’s on a photo he finds in Iraq. What this plot has that is very mundane: it has a dominant male who bullies others and controls his ex-wife’s life; a young and pretty woman who has no luck in love after divorcing his husband; a father who wants his son to follow a career on sports; an intellectual son; a father who doesn’t understand his son and a wonderful stepfather. In my opinion it’s not the plot that makes this book good but it has the amazing detail of the photograph that gives birth to the whole story and the fate that carries along with it, it’s just a shame that this book has so many American stereotypes.
I think the book is very good thanks to the characters and it is due to them that you have the wish to keep reading. Even though there are some stereotypes which I told about earlier, since we get to know the character’s thoughts, they get more complex and we understand better their points of view.
Beth is shown as a fragile human being, even though she has to be strong for her son. She’s a teacher, so she supports Ben’s taste for music and mental activities. She is beautiful but insecure. She suffers because life it’s not like the way it should be for her but she takes the best out of it. She’s naive and family is her strongest support and the thing she protects most. She is a character made with realism, given her circumstances, but I think she’s too naive for a realistic character. She needs to be naive for story, that’s it. You feel sorry for her, you feel like you want to help her, it’s a main character that you like but also feel like she needs you. I was reading and at certain points I felt like I wanted to help her, even though books can’t ear me! It’s the fragile woman that you see a lot in love stories, but she’s original in the sense that she is the woman of the photograph and she is a lucky charm.
Thibault is an enigma. You get to know so few about his past and his motives and I felt that he was the main character less explored. Of course you know so much about the war and the journey he made across the country, but you know almost nothing about his dreams, what he wants in life. He’s the kind of man that you easily find in love stories because he’s strong, he fights for the ones he love, he’s gentle, kind, he loves kids. He’s almost perfect. What makes him different from other main characters like that is the story behind the photograph. And he crosses a country just because of a photo! Besides that, he’s similar to others characters from other stories. And he’s so humble that you can’t avoid liking him.
Keith is the character full of stereotypes. I’m not even gonna tell much about him, if you read the novel you can easily identify the American stereotypes that make Keith who he is. I like the way this character happens to be in the end. He was made for you to hate, I mean, even though you enter his mind and you see things the way he feels and thinks about them, I believe Sparks wrote in a way that makes you feel unfriendly about him. But like I said, in the end of the novel I kinda felt sorry for him and I felt bad for hating him. But seriously, that’s a genius touch by Sparks.
Nana can look like sometimes a fairytale character, like the Fairy Godmother. She takes care of everything, she’s strong, intelligent, she gives advice. She also believes in love and in second chances in life and that makes her such a good person to those who treat her well. She has the kind of character that makes you wanna meet her personally and be her friend. She’s the link between the main characters and Sparks created with realism, meaning this that since the beginning of the story you know she’s not perfect, you know she has weaknesses.
It’s just so bad for me that we don’t enter inside Ben’s mind. I mean, it would be very interesting for me to know what he’s thinking about some situations he’s going through. Of course you get to know in by his actions and behavior, but I think Sparks could have written some chapters about his thoughts. I think in a way Ben is the most important character of this story. Not in the beginning, you know, but since he appears on the story. He’s the main focus of the other characters. You get to known this kid as an intelligent one, kind, sweet and in a way he’s shown as the perfect son for his mother and the worst son for his father. To me he is so mature and almost like an adult in a very young age. If we stay out of the stereotypes he’s surrounded by, it’s a good character for you to like. Even though he’s almost a fairytale one.
Writing / Escrita
The Nicholas Sparks’ writing is very simple. The chapters are really easy to read, the name of the chapter points out the character’s point of view you’re going to read (the narrator assumes a character’s point of view in each chapter). That way we have the same plot seen through different perspectives and we understand the distinct points of view about each situation (I was hoping to see Ben’s point of view, it would be extremely nice). Ever since a while the narrator gives his own opinion (is very critic towards Keith). I think that it’s on the details that this book is a good piece and it’s because of them that the story is attractive and the book has success. The fact that the story starts due to a photograph and the critics the narrator points out about Keith (besides showing the other character’s critics) captivate and real in the reader.
So, what do I think about this book? If you like stories about love and the human strength of character, this a good story for you. If you already read Nicholas Sparks, it’s good for you. If you don’t, it’s good for a start, if you forget about the stereotypes that I told you about. It’s very easy to read and it’s a catchy book. It’s that kind of book that doesn’t need that much of your brain to read it. And in the end, you’ll get in love with the characters. That’s what Nicholas Sparks did very well in this book.
A citação (The quote is only made on the language of the book I read, sorry)