Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe HavenPublished: September 14th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Adult

Pages: Hardcover, 340

Amazon Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again.

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.

My review:

I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, romance books are not something I usually like. And by usually I mean about 99% of the time. There are exactly three exceptions where the book was just romance (no adventure, little or no action, just normal) that I have found that I can read. All three of those came into my life by form of movie, then book.

The first was If I Stay written by Gayle Forman, and the sequel Where She Went. The third, I’ve found, is this book, Safe Haven.

Having watched the movie several times, quite literally only one of two Nicholas Sparks movies that I can watch at all, I decided to give the book a chance. It took me a while to get there because, knowing Sparks’ reputation for romance movies, I wasn’t really interested in watching, reading, anything that he was involved in.

But here I am, and I don’t have many good things to say about the only Nicholas Sparks book I have ever read.

I know this man turns out books like only a few people seem to be capable of, and sells a lot more books than I have (that being zero because I can’t even seem to get more than a few chapters into writing one), but I was really bothered by the writing. I thought, ‘here is a very experienced author, I’m expecting something really well written.’ I was very disappointed before I even turned past first the page.

The sentences were choppy, so horrible that I cringed and thought, more than once, that I wasn’t going to be able to handle reading the book. But I pushed through, found that the writing got better, the sentences more than just six words each, only to be disappointed again as the sentences became choppy latter on.

And the content of the book, well, 75% was information that I never needed to know, that was just written to fill space. The characters weren’t deep, they felt unreal and lacked an aspect that made them feel real. I got the scene that Alex was infallible, and we all know, no matter how hard we try, no one can ever be that perfect. Everything felt like nothing more than a story. When I read a book I like to be completely immersed, like I’m there with the characters. I didn’t feel at all like this.

The only good thing I have to say about the book is the plot. I like the overall idea that this book explores, but I probably won’t read it again, or any other books by Sparks.



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