Monday, June 17, 2013

Reading Challenges- The Lucky One

For this review, I chose The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.  I have wanted to read this for a long well, but when it came out as a movie, I knew I had to read it before I saw it!   I am trying to see if my husband will take me to see this morning if we can find a sitter.  I think it will be a good date movie. 

Have you read the book and/or saw the movie yet?  


Spoiler Warning: If you have not read this book, stop!  Read the book before reading the rest of my review!!

This book reminded me how I met my husband.  No photograph was involved, but it was a blind date by friends of my.  Shawn was friends with them, too.  Turned out to be the right blind date.  My first one & last one!  I love how Nicholas Sparks writes this book with the main characters: Logan, Beth, & Keith (the Deputy or Beth's ex-husband).

Can a photo in this situation give you good luck? I wonder if Beth thought about how Logan walking into her life that first time would change her life completely.  

The first time we meet Logan Thibault is when the Deputy & him ran into each other when Logan was hiking with his dog, Zeus.  I love that Zeus is a German Shepherd. I love the name, too, but maybe it has to do with us having our own Zeus.  Not a German Shepherd, but a husky!  I love how Logan took something from Deputy Clayton.  What did Logan take & who did he give it to minus what part?  Are you with me so far?  I am so glad that Logan did what he did.  A deputy/Sheriff/police office, etc should not be doing what this one was doing.  Not right at all.  Very very wrong.  

We learned that his mother worried about him.  Us moms are very good at that.  "He called every few days to let her own he was doing okay, and usually, after hanging up, he would think that he wasn't being fair to her.  He'd already been gone for much of the past five years, and before each of his three tours in Iraq, he's listened as she's lectured into the phone, reminding him not to do anything stupid." (page 30, but e-book)  If a son of my wanted to join the military, I will not be happy, but I would not put up a fight.  It is their life & their choice. Then, when he came home, he wanted to walk across the country.  What would I say?  I would tell him to be safe & to call me.  I would worry.  I think it was a way for Logan to fit in once he came back from his third tour. 

"It's hard at times, but it makes a kid strong in ways that most people can't understand.  Teaches them that even though people are left behind, new ones will inevitably take their place; that every place has something good-and bad--to offer.  It makes a kid grow up fast." (pg 39 e-book)  I think this is a powerful statement.  It is talking about Logan's dad being a Marine, his dad's transfer, & losing his father to a heart attack.  Logan lost his dad when he was 15 years old.

I like the character, Victor.  Logan's friend that he meets when he is a Marine.  Victor belives that this photo is "lucky." Victor said that "Dawn is a powerful time of the day." (pg 45 e-book)  He also said it is a sign, that she is your good-luck charm.   I love these 2 quotes-- "It is your destiny" & "you're meant to be together" (pg 290) talking about the photo.  Poor Logan to see his friend die like that.  No wonder Logan had to go find the lady in the photo since he lost the best friend he ever had.  

Ben is a good kid.  Her mom divorced his dad.  His dad, Keith Clayton, is not nice at times to him.  Making him clean his home or do the dishes.  They could do it together.  Then, there is more time to spend together.  Keith is not happy his son wants to learn to play the violin.  I love how Ben connected with Zeus.  Zeus loved to have Ben play with him.  Playing ball or throwing a stick for Zeus to bring back.  It did not matter to Zeus as long as they spent time together.  Their bond was special.  I love how Zeus can track Ben down when he was hiding.  

Logan "wanted a dog with strong, working bloodlines, and if that's what you want, you'll usually find the best dogs in Germany.  Logan got Zeus in Germany because of obedience, but also tracking & protection.  Logan did the research when he got his dog.  When I met my husband, Shawn, he had this great German Shepherd.  His name was Duke.  I remember the first time I met Shawn & Duke.  Shawn wants to get a German Shepherd, but we have 2 huskies!!

The other day I saw this on Facebook.  In the book, "Last year, her ex had stood on the sidelines on soccer games with a scowl on his face, which was a reason Ben didn't want to play." (pg 59 e-book)  So, anyways I shared this photo on my Facebook.  
Noah told me the other day the one kid that was on his soccer team (they switch teams because not enough coaches) told him that they need to win.  Noah told him that is there is more to soccer than winning.  Having fun!  I am so proud of him.  We are in a new soccer association & our old one told the kids that playing soccer is all about having fun!  I wrote this: 
When kids are playing baseball or soccer, us parents have to remember they are kids not adults. We need to be good on the side lines. Cheer on our child, but also everyone on our child's team along with the other team. If we see someone do something good like get a soccer goal (my son plays soccer) then we cheer "Get goal" or if that child misses a goal & the other team scores. We say "You will get the next one." It helps that child feels better. It is not all about winning. It is about playing the game they love. They need to remember that every time they play or they won't play anymore because their parent is screaming at them. So, the next time you are on the sideline think about what you are going to say to your child & your child's teammates! You can be kicked out of the sidelines. The soccer association or the school soccer teams has rules on this! We need to be good role model for our children.

Beth did everything she can for her son, Ben, but Keith did not.  He was stubborn, opinionated.  "He wanted a certain kind of son, and by God, he was going to get him."  What in the hell does this mean?  You can not make a child play baseball or soccer if they do not want to especially if a parent is screaming on the sideline.  When Beth told Logan to get the crank-handled ice cream maker, I thought of my stand mixer.  Beth said "Perfectly.  Amazing, isn't it?  Nana got that as a gift for her wedding, but we still use it all the time.  It makes delicious ice cream."  My stand mixer just broke in February.  It was a wedding gift, too.   We received it from Shawn's Nana.  I always felt like she was here when I was baking.

I can not stand when someone says "he was babysitting" his son.  Keith wasn't babysitting since the child is HIS son.  I can not stand Keith!  Keith has been negative a lot.  What is it that is said about negative people?  I can not remember right now, but they aren't happy themselves.  I like calm people.  No yelling or screaming, but calm.  I think it is important for kids to grow up in that kind of environment.  I do not like him at all.  I do not like how Keith scared away all of the men Beth was dating & how he used being a deputy to get to them.  I hope he knows that Logan will not be scared of that.  When they first met, Keith mentioned that Logan was not phrased by him.  Logan's a Marine!  Why would he?  He was in Iraq!  He has seen things that most of never will.  He is not going anywhere.  haha!   Who was Keith to interfere with by who Beth dates?  It's up to her.  Not him.  He's an ---! Fill in the blank!  He says this is caring!  I call this he doesn't want anyone else to have his ex-wife, but him.  Go Logan!   Another thing Keith is a poor loser.  What's he teaching his son?  Keith has said so many times that he's going to get Logan.  I don't see that happening since Logan is a trained Marine, one that has killed people.  This Keith is a Deputy.  Probably got the job because of his daddy.  He shouldn't be a deputy because he's a criminal.  He broke into Logan's home.  I think Keith has anger issues.  

I wonder when Beth & Logan started dating how that affected Keith.  I don't think he would be too happy.  He wanted him gone.  Compared to Keith, Logan is great.  I bet Ben thinks that, too.  I bet Ben thinks Logan is a lot more fun than his own daddy!! Logan does not yell at Ben like his own dad does.  Mmm, who would you want to spend time with?  I choose Logan!!

I love Nana!  I love her metaphors!
1. "It's a like candy on battleship" (pg 202) talking about her going to visit her sister.  I think she left on purpose so Beth & Logan could get to know each other better!
2. "Cleaning to me is like being naked to a monkey." (pg 481)
3. "You were better than a duck on a stick" (pg 493)
4. "You might as well be sitting on the front porch picking petals off a daisy." (pg 504)
5. "Kitty cats and maple trees" (pg 564)

I think Logan walking across the country to find the woman in the photo was something that he had to do.  I think Logan was lost.  I also think that getting a job in the kennels is his "calling."  He is great with Zeus.  He trained him.  I wish he could train Bolt.  Either him or Beth's grandma. When Logan tells Nana that Zeus "wouldn't react well to long separations." (pg 165 e-books) I was thinking separation anxiety, but they nearly all their time together.  Zeus does sound like our Zeus on page 212 when he "trotted ahead of them, checking every now and then to make sure they were following.  Logan is teaching Ben good things.  He is calm with him, takes the time to listen to him, & they talked a lot.  Logan "wasn't trying to impress Ben or impress her (Beth) by showing her how well he could get along with Ben." (pg 267)  Ben loved spending time with Logan, but Logan loved spending time with Ben.  

We learned more about the photo that Logan found it.  It was Drake's, Beth's brother.  He was there, too.  Drake lost it.  The photo was taken the last weekend they spent together before he joined.   Drake had it laminated & kept it with him.  Drake lost it in Iraq & emailed her to send a new one, but she never did.  He died before she got a chance to.
I love how Logan tells Keith that he will be a better person.  He gives Keith 3 things or he will go to the paper or his daddy with the disc. 1. Stay out of Beth's business.  2. Stay out of Logan's business.  3.  "If you take your anger at me out on Ben, you'll have to answer to me." (page 476).  I love these.  I love that someone finally put Keith in his place.  I love how he put Ben in one of the 3 conditions! Go Logan!!  My favorite quote of Logan said to Clayton is "Know this; You've never met someone like me before.  You don't want me as an enemy."

What did Ben want to be when he grew up?
A. Astronaut
B. Fireman
C. Doctor
D. Teacher
E. All, but which one?

My favorite Nana quote is "He was a wonderful man.  And when a man is that special, you know it sooner than you think possible.  You recognize it instinctively, and you've certain that no matter what happens, there will never be another one like him." (pg 509)

Keith went to see Beth at her school to tell her about Logan & the photo for 1 reason.  To get rid of him.  He did not want Logan in his ex-wive's life or his son's life.  When Keith was telling her about the photo, he was lying to make sure she would get rid of him.  "I don't think I did, but I didn't tell you that I did talk to some of them."--Talking about the men Beth dated & him talking to them.  He lied there.  He talked & scared ALL of them.  I love this quote of Keith's--"You probably consider it an intrusion into your personal life"   (pg 540)  What would you call it?  It is an intrusion into her personal life.  He has no right.  He can not pick who's in her life, who she dates, who she marries, etc.  Keith set the stage so Beth could walk back into his bed.  He is sweet talking her, too.  Yuck!  I love how Beth answers him back "Do you honestly expect me to believe you have my best interests at heart after admitting you're been spying on me for years?" (pg 542) Go Beth!!

Beth confronted Logan like Keith wanted him to.  It was his plan.  After awhile Beth & Logan made up.  I am not going to tell you how, why.  Read the book!!  Both Nana & Ben helped Beth.  Keith is not happy.  

I do not like at the end of the book where Keith threatens Beth.  That he wants her to kiss him, go out with him whenever he wants or he will take their son from him.  Walks in Ben saying "I'm not going to do it!" Then, he runs out the door in a bad rain storm.  Rain caused from a hurricane, but of course, Keith said, "He'll be fine.  I want to make sure you're clear on how things are going to go with us." (pg 604)  Love love what Beth says to Keith.  "Get the hell out!" & "I am so sick of you & your family telling me what I can & can't do, & I'm not going to put up with it anymore!" (pg 604)  GO BETH!!  Keith is not a good dad at times.  It is flooding, but he wants to continue fighting with Beth.  The pages in the book about the tree house had me on the edge of my seat.  I was so worried. Ben in the water.  I am not going to say more, but Read the book!  I thought something else about the way the book these pages on the tree house pages until I got to the cemetery pages.  I just knew that Nicholas Sparks would have me in tears again & he did!    

Another wonderful book by Nicholas Sparks.  If you are looking for a book that keeps you reading page after page, then this is the book!  Pick it up today!  

Keep on reading.  

P.S.  Some quotes from The Lucky Ones' Facebook page

"He didn't wander into town by chance."
"Everyone has a destiny. You were mine."
"Most love stories begin with a kiss. Ours began before we even met." - Logan (Zac Efron) in The Lucky One 

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