Sunday, August 18, 2013

Safe Haven: A Book Review

I hauled this book in my June Book Haul and read it immediately after receiving the order!  I was so excited to check this book out, and I’m definitely glad I did!  I read this book so quickly … in like 2 days! … then watched the movie right after.  I loved the book, but unfortunately the movie didn’t live up to my high expectations.  However, this cover is definitely one of my all time favorites!

Title: Safe Haven
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Romantic Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 14, 2010
Pages: 368
Out in Paperback?: Yes; August 2, 2011
My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.


The main characters, Katie and Alex, were both very likeable throughout the entire novel, and I never was annoyed or frustrated with them.  Both characters were sweet, kind, and loving, and I found myself smiling as I read about their interactions.  The people of the small town in North Carolina were not described much aside from those that work at Alex’s store.  However, they were typical small town personalities, as they were kind and helpful, always volunteering to help out at the store or with Alex’s children.  Katie’s friend, Jo, was also very sweet as she helped Katie adjust to her new house in the new town.  I feel that these characters all had a good heart and good intentions.  Now for Kevin, Katie’s ex-husband, he is a completely different story.  Kevin is introduced about halfway through the novel.  His personality is just about the opposite of everyone in the small town in North Carolina.  Kevin is the main source of anger and suspense in the novel, but I felt that it was well balanced out by the budding romance between Katie and Alex.


The storyline throughout the novel definitely kept me interested and entertained.  Often times, romance novels (specifically Nicholas Sparks novels as he is the only romance author that I really read) tend to not keep my interest unless I have read a couple of heavier, complicated, darker storylines recently.  Then, I tend to choose I lighter romance novel.  However, if there isn’t a little action or suspense in addition to the heavy romance, I tend to lose interest fairly quickly.  If I can predict the plot of the romance novel (such as True Believer), then it takes me a while to get through it.  With this book though, I could hardly put it down!  I spent most of my weekend reading this book and didn’t put it down long enough to try and figure out what would happen next!  The suspense and action made me panic and worry for the characters, but I got through it (yes I did … it was touch and go over here).

Writing Style:

As you probably already know, I do feel that Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors.  That only wavers when the plot is too predictable, but I always love his writing style because of all the description.  Safe Haven was no exception; I could visualize the entire story as I was reading it, which I loved!  There was a very nice flow to the words, and the story made no major jumps that left me confused as to where we were or what was happening.  One of my favorite writing styles is when an author combines to different viewpoints.  Sparks does this as he switches between Katie and Alex, and later Kevin.  The quicker changes between characters, later in the novel, increase the pace of the story and heighten the suspense for the reader.

Movie Review:

As I mentioned earlier, I felt that I could see the entire story play out in my head as I read this novel, which I love, but this did not bode well for the movie.  The movie came out shortly after I had purchased the book so I went ahead and bought that as well.  I did enjoy the movie, more than some of Sparks’s other movies, but it still didn’t live up to my expectations (which are a little high because of The Notebook … so great!).  The movie varied a little from the book, not too much but enough to notice since I had just read the book.  Since I loved the book, the changes in the movie didn’t go over well with me, but overall it was one of the better movies from Sparks’s books. 

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  Have you seen the movie, and would you recommend it?  What is your favorite Nicholas Sparks book-to-movie adaptation?  Mine is The Notebook! :)

FTC Disclaimer:
All items mentioned were purchased by me.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliate links were used.

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