Wednesday, January 16, 2013

[Book Review] Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Summary (on Amazon):
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.

Although I’ve only read two of Nicholas Sparks’s books, I’ve watched enough of his movies to know that I’m a fan of his storytelling. Still, the chance to read a book before it turns into a movie isn’t one I like to pass up. For that very reason, the next couple of book I’ve set up to read are all upcoming movies (Beautiful Creatures, City of Bones, The Host).

Plot: Like almost every book I read, it did take me some time to actually get into the storyline. However, it wasn’t as long as it normally is. I think it was like 20 pages for SH. I’d heard a great deal of this book from people on Twitter without actually doing too much investigating about the book. So, I knew he was a widow. I just didn’t know what else was going on. For the most part, the plot was ok. I’m not going to lie, I felt like there could have been more twists and turns, but I have to remind myself that this is a standalone and contemporary novel. As the book was coming to an end, I was waiting for that last piece of non-closure that series give. The last chunk of books that I’ve read have been part of series so I think I just have to snap myself out of that mentality. 

Characters: When reading a book, you meet a character and you find out stuff about them. I really love how Nicholas Sparks does the discover of his character’s past. His characters have a past and therefore you, as a reader, see why they act a certain way or why they’ve become a certain person. 

Relationships: I accidentally (not so accidental) ended up reading a section of the back. So, that big spoiler at the end of the book, I knew about it about 150 pages in. This only made me like that relationship 10 times more because I knew. It made me look forward to that discovery. The relationship Katie has with Josh and Kristen is also something that I loved about the book. She was so caring and understanding of who they were. Her relationship with the kids is what made the romance, if you ask me. 

Romance: I’m a fan of romance (big surprise there). So, that’s what I look for in a book. If there’s no romance, chances are the book will not be too good on my scale. Thankfully, the romance in this story was a good one. Katie and Alex’s patience for each other shows what just one of the aspects of love should be.  

Creative way of writing: There’s a reason why people coming back to Nicholas Sparks book. There’s a reason that once he writes a book, it immediately gets signed for a movie. Nicholas Sparks has a creative way of using things that happen in every day life (loss, struggle, love) and making them into something special. 

Looking forward to watching the movie and crossing me fingers that they don’t change too much. 

4 out of 5 stars to Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks  

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