Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Title: Safe Haven 
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Fiction/Romance
Publication: September, 2010 Grand Central Publishing 
Rating: 5/5 

As everyone knows, Nicholas Sparks is the master of romance. Honestly though, when I think back on his novels, they blend into one sometimes because of their similarities. Safe Haven, however, stands out immensely.  This novel is more than just a love story; it is a story about a young woman’s journey with pain, loss, love, and finally understanding what it means to find safety in another person.

It is definitely the best book from Nicholas Sparks to date.

Katie, a broken victim of domestic abuse, escapes to the beautiful town of Southport, North Carolina (and I can say it's beautiful with actually knowing this because I live fifteen minutes away :p). In Southport, Katie meets a young storeowner and widowed father of two, named Alex. Their relationship starts off slowly- guarded, cautious.  Since running away from her abusive husband, Katie is weary of everyone and everything. It takes time for her to warm up to people, especially Alex. Alex suspects that there is more to Katie than she lets on. Alex knows that Katie is more than just a pretty face; he knows she is a women with a past. A troubled past.

I particularly loved the start of their relationship. So many novels start off with the two main characters just jumping right in and almost instantaneously falling in love. Their romance takes it time. Katie needs time to heal, time to think, time to gather her bearings. Before Southport, she was on the run. Never settling. In Southport, Katie’s whole life changes but finally for the better.  

Katie eventually, of course, drops her guard with Alex, and they fall in love.  Alex is such a kind, warm-hearted character who really cares for Katie. The love he has for his kids is wonderful. I love how Katie interacts with Alex’s kids – not trying to take the place of their mother but still nurturing and loving. You know the kids will eventually come to think of her that way anyways.

Katie’s husband eventually does find out where she escaped. This part of the novel got me on edge. Nicholas Sparks normally does add a little action into his books, but this is by far the most gut-wrenching nervousness I’ve experienced by him. Kevin, Katie’s husband, is a complete psycho. You just want to kill him from the beginning. Sparks shows Kevin’s point of view, and it definitely adds to the suspense because you know he is unstable and unpredictable. He loves Katie, he hates Katie. He loves Katie, he wants her dead. When he showed up in Southport ruining the safe haven Katie found, I just wanted to jump in the book and murder him myself.

"The past was always around her and might return at any time. It prowled the world searching for her, and she knew it was growing angrier at every passing day."

In Safe Haven, there is love, suspense, and an outstanding ending that will leaving you so bewildered, you’ll be flipping back through the pages to read it over again. I definitely recommend Safe Haven. A must read!

Sidenote: The movie is wonderful but different. And as I said, I live 15 minutes away from Southport, and I normally go to the 4th of July parade that they filmed in the movie, but I couldn’t go this year and I didn’t know about the filming. SO ANGRY. I COULD HAVE MET JOSH DUHAMEL AND JULIANNE HOUGH AND I DIDN’T AND IM SO ANGRY. AGH. 

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