33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2010
I have only recently discovered Nicholas Sparks but have very quickly grown to like his style of writing. I have previously read The Notebook and The Last Song. I have also seen Nights in Rodanthe and The Notebook on the TV.
The story behind this most recent book is well thought out and realistic. The characters are easy to relate to and the way the story goes from past to present works well. I really really enjoyed it - so much I went straight to Waterstones to try and buy another couple of his books.
There is also a lovely added twist at the end which leaves the reader with a big smile and warm feeling.
I see it has been made into a film and I think the storyline will lend itself very nicely to the big screen. The cynic in me asks whether Sparks is now writing FOR a film version? Whether he is or not I am finding his books to be terrific reads and this one is no exception!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2010
really like nicholas sparks books and this was no exception!
a bit different to others i've read,keeps you guessing what's going to happen
next. was surprised with the ending but enjoyed the read all the same.
looking forward to his new book and also the lucky one being made into a film.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2010
I have loved all Nicholas' books. The Guardian I thought was the best, but Safe Haven beats even that. He has a wonderful way of expressing feelings and this one touched my heart in such a way that I couldn't put the book down. When reading his latest gripping story, you almost feel you are there with the characters experiencing the feelings of love and fear throughout. A spectacular read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I've been a big fan of Nicholas Sparks since reading The Notebook, and The Lucky One, and I've been meaning to read Safe Haven for a while, and so I was thrilled to be able to sit down with it and once again enjoy Nicholas Sparks writing abilities.
I really enjoyed this book! It has been a long time since I read a book by Nicholas Sparks and the start immediately drew me in. I found that once I'd started reading this book was very hard to put down, and I finished it in a day and a half, as I was reading at every opportunity I had.
The story of Katie is what intrigued me the most. When we first meet her there is a lot of mystery surrounding her, with hints of trouble in the past. As a reader I instantly warmed too her and wanted to reach out to her, I felt very compelled to read on as I wanted to find out what had happened to her, and I hoped that things would improve for her.
Nicholas Sparks has created some very well-written characters, and in his writing really opened them up for us so we have a great understanding of them. I liked that as the story progresses, we learn more about the character's background, personality, and how this affects who they are, so as a reader I felt very much like I knew them on a personal level. I feel the characters are really what made this story as great as it is, they were very-well developed and made me want to read on. I particularly liked Alex as a character too!
I won't say too much about the plot lime as I don't want to give anything away, but this is one of my favourite books that I have read recently. You won't be disappointed with it!
There is a film adaptation of Safe Haven being released this year, and after reading such a fantastic book, I must say I am really looking forward to seeing how it is interpreted in the film, and I can't wait to go and see it!
Safe Haven is a powerful novel, at times it is dramatic and at times incredibly moving. I would highly recommend this book, it is impeccably written and you won't be able to put it down!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2011
I like Nicholas Sparks. I've read at least 8 of his books by now and most of them have had me reaching for my box of tissues. No tissues at all were required because, thankfully, this one has a happy ending.
Katie is a former abused spouse who has finally found the courage to run away and has built a new life for herself in the small town of Southport. She begins a relationship with the local store owner Alex, a widower with two small children. However, her abusive ex-husband, is searching for her and...
Enough already! If, like me, you've seen "Sleeping With The Enemy" then a lot of this book is going to seem old and familiar. Sparks does conjure the feeling of suspense well but there was always a niggling feeling at the back of mind that I already knew how it was all going to play out.
I did like the side story of Jo, Katie's new neighbour, which was an unexpected twist and gave a nice finish to the story. However, I don't think "Safe Haven" is a book I would be picking up to read again in a hurry.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2013
I gave this book 4 stars as it certainly kept me reading, it wasnt dull at any point, and the characters kept me interested. There was an unexpected ending, but to be honest it didnt really need to be there, the book worked very well if it was never written in. I wasnt completely hooked on the love story between th two main characters, and I enjoyed the skipping from Katie and then back to her husband. A good read, recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2014
I'd had a run of disappointing reads so I asked my daughter to pick my next read and she wanted me to read this so we could watch the movie together. I must confess that my initial reaction upon starting to read was something like here we go, just another run of the mill romantic boy meets down and out poor girl and it crossed my mind to leave it and read something else but I'm glad I didn't.
It was quite a slow start but then chapter 17 turned it around for me, discovering Katie's history, the story of the abuse, this made the book a lot darker than I expected. Her well thought out escape plan, her fear and anxiety all conveyed well.
I liked that once we'd learned Katie's secret and the book went into a dual time format and dual narrator we hear more of Kevin's story. His head is seriously messed up, the twistedness that he tried to justify with what he'd done and was doing was dark and disturbing and I found myself feeling a little sorry for him - that for me is a sign of a good writer; when they make you feel sorry for the bad guy!
I actually preferred the chapters which involved Katie's escape and her husband's pursuit to the love story which followed, that was a little predictable.
This book surpassed my expectations, I would have given it 5 stars but I wasn't really into the twist at the end, I think that the book held its own without that, up until that point I had found it to be 100% believable and that brought it down in my opinion.
Overall a really good read about domestic violence and coming out the other side which reminded me of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy. Don't be put off by the mushy looking cover, there's a lot more story to it than you'd expect!
on 28 April 2014
When a mysterious woman, Katie arrives in the small town of Southport, things change. Not only for her but for the people she connects with. With the last of her money she rents a rundown cottage on the outskirts of town. She wants peace, a place to escape, and for her this seems the perfect spot. Afraid of the past coming for her, she distances herself from everyone around. Too scared to make any attachments, Katie finds a job and knuckles down into life at a slow pace.
Life always has a few surprises and Katie is noticed by the owner of a local store and widow, Alex. From his own background he knows life has been hard for her, even though she never says a word. As they draw closer, her past finds them and now not only is her life is in danger, but Alex and his children as well.
I have to admit that I picked up this book based on the film adaptation, which I enjoyed. It took me a little while to get use to Nicholas Sparks style of writing. It seemed very simplistic to me but once I got into the story I became lost. The detail at times was a little much, do I really need to know, that she washed her hair, moisturised, put on perfume and pulled out the hair dryer. Just had a shower would have been enough for me.
Reading from Kevin’s point of view fascinated me, especially as he began to lose his mind. There was a nice build up to the finish and a great fight between all concerned. I am not sure about the twist, I can’t make my mind up if it is necessary or not, but overall I enjoyed this read. It got me away from my normal genre which was a nice change.
on 25 February 2013
Many years ago I found myself reading a lot of novels by Nicholas Sparks. He does have a way with storytelling and the romance is always so sweet, but then I started to notice a trend. You are not always guaranteed a happy ending with Sparks and that scares me. I'm not saying I must always have a happy ending but I seem to gravitate toward them. I don't mind characters being put through multiple trials and tribulations but in the end... well in the end I want them happy and together. I want to see that through it all, the ups and downs, they find their way to their very own happy ever after.
So why now, you may ask? Why go back to a Nicholas Sparks book when I was unsure as to how it was going to end? I was at the cinema last week and saw the preview for the film due to be released soon and that sealed it for me. The story looked great and when I want to see a film and I know for certain there is a book it is based off of then I always want to read the book first so, I did. And I am very happy to say I was not disappointed.
"That's the thing about life. A lot of the time, it isn't easy at all. We just have to try to make the best of it."
Safe Haven has just enough suspense, mystery and of course romance. You can't help but fall in love with Katie and Alex and cheer for them to make it through all the crazy that is Katie's past. What is that crazy? Katie is running from her abusive, alcoholic husband Kevin. And to say he is crazy is a true understatement. The man is a lunatic and the scenes that follow him were intense. I was on edge waiting to see what he would do next and rooting for Katie to get free.
"I've come to believe that in everyone's life, there's one undeniable moment of change, a set of circumstances that suddenly alters everything."
Katie is a loveable character and Alex is sweet, caring and romantic. But above all I fell in love with Alex's children, Josh and Kristen. They are adorable and you instantly fall in love with them both.
Sparks has always had his own style of writing. You not only get drawn into the characters but also the location. Safe Haven is no exception, it takes place in Southport, North Carolina and it is beautiful. The cozy cottages, the small town, the ocean... it is lovely and is the perfect backdrop for a new romance.
"When she looked up at him, it was suddenly easy for her to imagine that her fears were pointless. That he would love her no matter what she told him, and that he was the kind of man who loved her already and would love her forever."
So... through everything are you wondering if there is a happy ever after? Well I am not going to give that away because I strongly recommend that you read this if you enjoy Nicholas Sparks or if you enjoy a nice romantic story with great characters. I have to say that this has probably been one of my favorite books by Sparks. Yes it took the film being released to get me to read it but thankfully I did because it really is a lovely story.
"I love you, Katie. You might not be ready to say those words now, and maybe you'll never be able to say them, but that doesn't change how I feel about you."
Rainy Day Reads
on 30 October 2012
I was lucky enough to win this paperback from a giveaway run by @BtweentheSheets on Twitter.
Straight away I was intrigued by Katie - there were hints of trouble in her past and I was keen to find out exactly what that trouble was. An overwhelming feeling of sadness surrounded Katie and I quickly felt protective towards her. She was leading a simple new life with only the basic essentials that she needed, this made me feel that something pretty bad had happened previously to make her live in that way.
Alex also seemed very sad although the reason for that was explained quite early on in the story. The scenes with him and his children were lovely to read, there were some real `awwwwww' moments which made him a very likeable character in my eyes.
I was relieved when Katie began to open up about her history and the reasons why she was in Southport, although I found some of it difficult to read I felt that this information made me understand her character much better.
Katie's new friend Jo was interesting, I felt glad that she was there for Katie but I couldn't really figure out her place in the story, it wasn't until quite near the end that it all became clear.
Kevin had some serious issues and the author did an amazing job making me believe his craziness, he was a character who I pictured very easily thanks to the writing and by the end I really feared his appearances.
The whole story was written beautifully, some of it had a very calming effect on me and other more manic moments really got my heart pounding. I particularly enjoyed reading the letters - the first caused tears to stream down my face and the second gave me goosebumps as something strange was revealed.
A fantastic read filled with real issues and a touching romance.