Sunday, August 9, 2009

Good-Bye Bad Book Blues

The handsome and talented Nicholas Sparks saved me. He swept me off my feet and serenaded me with his newest novel “The Lucky One.”

Okay, okay. I admit it; I am a hopeless romantic. But there’s no denying that Sparks rescued me from my unfortunate string of disappointing novels. If nothing else, Sparks has rekindled burning desire to believe in something as passionate as “fate” and “destiny.”

When Logan Thibault, U.S. Marine, finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the sands during his third tour of duty in Iraq, it becomes his lucky-charm. The book begins as Thibault (pronounced like T-Bow; it’s French!) is searching for the woman in the photograph. Finding her changed his life … and hers … and her jealous cop ex-husband’s too

The strongest part about the novel was Spark’s intricate character development. Readers can’t help but detest Keith (Beth’s ex). The first time readers are introduced to the man, he’s playing peeping Tom in the woods. And every time Keith mispronounces Thibault’s name (thigh-bolt) I wanted to spit in his face. It’s the little things like this that really deepens the characters.

But anyone who knows me well knows my book grading scale. If I reach the middle of the book and I want to know how the book ends, then it’s a good book. If I actually flip to the last page and read the final few paragraphs, it’s a great book. Based on that scale, “The Lucky One” is a great book. I read the last page, made my predictions and then kept reading.

Although I’m sickeningly talented at predicting most endings (just ask my boyfriend), Sparks really threw me for a loop. The last 30 minutes I read at a feverish pace, allowing myself to be as lost in the moment as the characters. All my predictions were wrong. But thankfully, I love it when authors can surprise me.

But Mr. Sparks can’t hog the spotlight tonight. Mr. James Patterson helped continue my good reading streak. “The Quickie” proved to be one hell of a murder/detective novel. I honestly think I’m going to read the Alex Cross books now.

That’s all for tonight. More to come later, when I’m not in a procrastinating mood.

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