Way back in 8th grade, I came home from Target with a book in my hand I was more than excited to read. It was The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I knew that Zac Efron was going to be starring in the movie of the book that they were filming at the time. I was only 4 pages deep by the time I realized something dreadful...the book was about adults, not the teen love I was expecting. I shoved the book in my bookshelf and completely forgot about it. Then, a couple days before I left for spring break this year I was watching TV, and I saw a movie preview for The Lucky One, I scavenged through my bookshelf, and brought the book along with me to the beach. I'm very glad I finally read it with a new view point, instead of an immature, 8th grade view point.
Reading it two years later and actually reading more than 4 pages, I developed a new respect for the book. The novel tells the story of a marine who finds a picture of a girl in a field while in Iraq. He keeps the picture with him, and ends up believing that this girl in the picture is his good luck charm. He then finds the girl and falls in love with her. The girl, Elizabeth, ends up being a struggling single mother.
In the book, the main character (the marine) Thibault, talks much of his best friend from the marines, Victor. Victor is a strong believer in fate, destiny, and omens. Victor is the one who finally convinces Thibault that the picture he found is good luck, and is saving him from many near-death expiriences. Victor also convinces Thibault to find the girl in the photo. If it wasn't for Victor, Thibault would have never found Elizabeth, his soul mate. Much of the book is themed around fate and what is meant to be, will be. Whenever this theme is brought up, it is always tied into Victor, and how he died in a fluke fishing accident, not in the war. Thibault believes that this death happened to show that he really needs to find the girl and thank her for everything. Victor really represents the theme of if you follow your destiny, what is meant to happen will, because everything happens for a reason.
I saw the movie after I read the book, thankfully. The reason I was not really a fan of the movie was because they hardly even mentioned Victor. He says that Victor died in the war, and was a strong believer of faith. That's all of Victor that is mention. Without Victor's importance in the movie, I did not get the same feel of the whole "follow your destiny" thing that I did as I was reading the book. It was actually pretty upsetting; the movie did a pretty poor job of representing this theme.
The book also has another main theme, that you should follow your heart, not your mind. In the book, Elizabeth has a son that Thibault gets along with very well. Thibault also get along very well with Elizabeth's Nana. Elizabeth is very skeptical to fall for Thibault, although it's obvious she wants too. She is afraid because she thinks if she has a new boyfriend, her ex-husband will threaten to take away her custody of her beloved son. Her over worrying mind stops what her heart wants to do. Once she lets go of her fears though, and falls in love with Thibault, she ends up being very happy.
The movie did an okay job of representing this, but the movie also left out a major part. In the beginning of the book, Thibault has a confrontation with Elizabeth's husband before he even meets Elizabeth(only because the husband is a cop and he is suspicious of Thibault). This establishes the sense of hatred the ex-husband has for Thibault before he and Elizabeth's relationship comes into the picture. If I hadn't read the book, I would have been very confused during the movie as to why the husband hated Thibault so much.
In the end, the movie was okay, I guess. Maybe I only liked it because Zac Efron was in it. I would recommend this book to anyone though. Although it is about adults and marriage, it was still a page turner. I got a lot out of the book; it actually made me want to just go with my fate. I think the movie was sappier than anything. Have you seen the movie, if so, what did you think of it? If you read the book too, what other parts were sad that they left out of the movie?