568 of 599 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!!!!
This certainly isn't a traditional sappy love story that Sparks usually writes. Sure it has the love story and it's set in North Carolina, but he puts in an element of danger. I have read all of his books and I love them all, however I am definitely tired of the "I love you" on the first date that practically occurs in all of his novels. The rest of this novel makes up...
Published on September 15, 2010 by Kayla
79 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Safe Haven
There used to be a day I'd greet each new Nicholas Sparks book with excitement and an eager desire to put everything else aside until I'd read the book in its entirety. Then a pattern began to emerge, leading up to my current feelings of quiet acceptance that, yes - the story would be engrossing and yes, I'd cry, but there was no hurry to get through it. This led me to...
Published on November 27, 2010 by Lydia
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568 of 599 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!!!!,
This certainly isn't a traditional sappy love story that Sparks usually writes. Sure it has the love story and it's set in North Carolina, but he puts in an element of danger. I have read all of his books and I love them all, however I am definitely tired of the "I love you" on the first date that practically occurs in all of his novels. The rest of this novel makes up for that quick love. It truly is impossible to put down. I made the mistake of starting it before bed, figuring I would read a few chapters and go to sleep - Well, I stayed up all night and finished it. They way it's written is strategic and effective in keeping the reader wanting more (which is why I had to finish it in one night). Sparks has said that this is the next movie adaptation and I'm sure it will work well. There is something for everyone: love story, family life, internal conflicts, danger, and a twist at the end. Well worth the money (the physical book is more $ than the Kindle version - so I don't know what everyone is complaining about; he's a best-seller, it came out yesterday - of course it's not going to be $5!) Overall, I loved it and I don't regret my purchase at all. I'm just sad I finished it already! Can't wait for the next one!
152 of 171 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good escapism,
When I pick up this sort of book, I don't expect my world view to be changed, or to become enlightened as if I'd just had a near death experience, what I expect is to safely escape reality and the cares of the world for a little while. Save Haven is just that, a safe haven in the reading experience. I read enough non-fiction to find it very enjoyable to pick up a Nicholas Sparks and leave the cares of the world behind.
Safe Haven may be a bit predictable, but what makes it stand out for me was delving into the mind of a control freak. Katie Feldman has a secret she's running from and it's a big one. She's found a safe haven in a small South Carolina town where she can just live life on her own terms, safe from fear. Of course it doesn't last because stories need endings, and too much happiness can ruin a good story like nothing else.
The hero in this story is a man who does the right thing and loves his children. With only this guy, the story would be pure vanilla. Throw in a 'bad guy' who's good at his job and loves his wife, and you've got some swirls of chocolate thrown in that are delicious.
I like that the main character of the story realizes that the world if full of shadows where things aren't as simple as they might seem. I won't give away anything else in the story because I read one review and it spoiled the ending for me.
Safe Haven is just what you'd expect from Nicholas Sparks, but I think that's a good thing.
106 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Ending, Perfect Title,
I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan and have read all of his books. I have felt mad, happy, and sad, with some of his books, but they are all amazing. I think this is one of his best. DO NOT peek at the ending of this one. I have a friend that does this and to me it ruins the entire book....any book, but holds true especially for this one. I will not go into the story, as some do on here, because again that can ruin it. You will not be disappointed in Safe Haven. Many conflicts and battles within the characters, and you will most likely relate to at least one of them. Again the ending is awesome. This is one you will remember, I know I will. Sparks just keeps getting better and better.
79 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Safe Haven,
There used to be a day I'd greet each new Nicholas Sparks book with excitement and an eager desire to put everything else aside until I'd read the book in its entirety. Then a pattern began to emerge, leading up to my current feelings of quiet acceptance that, yes - the story would be engrossing and yes, I'd cry, but there was no hurry to get through it. This led me to the decision to listen to Safe Haven on audio during a long car trip to and from my folks house for the holiday.
In some ways, I appreciated the book more this way. The story took longer to unfold and I felt less rushed to get to the "crying" parts of the book, but also, it showed some glaringly slow parts. I liked the characters of Alex and Katie, but found their interaction to be a little cliche. There were some pretty tired jokes made and the dialogue wasn't as witty as I remembered Sparks being.. all in all it felt just a bit transparent, which disappointed me since I loved the relationship in, for example, The Notebook.
Overall, Safe Haven is a worthy addition to Sparks' list of books, but not one of my favorites. I wouldn't recommend the audio, even sitting in a car for 12 hours wasn't enough to keep my interest going at times and I found myself drifting off to sleep, or switching over to listen to music. I think I would have enjoyed the book more had I actually read it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!,
I couldn't put this one day. I bought the book on Tuesday morning and was done by Wednesday afternoon, it was that good! The story keeps your attention the whole way through with a perfect twist in the ending, that I never saw coming. If you liked "The Gaurdian" you are sure to love this new one...it has a very suspenseful feel to it just like "The Gaurdian" had. I highly recommend, it is in my top 3 for Nicholas Sparks books!
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother,
Predictable. Sleeping With The Enemy copycat, but description of the villian seems to be cut and pasted from chapter to chapter to the point where I want to scream, "Okay! I got it!" Sparks seems to be concentrating on quantity and not the quality he once had. Spend your money elsewhere.
78 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Horrible,
This review is from: Safe Haven (Paperback)
I knew going in this was not going to be anything brilliant--I've read a Sparks novel here and there, generally for the chuckles I get out of them, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I just don't think he's a good writer--wooden, overly simplistic prose, poorly-drawn, unrealistic characters, and plots so ridiculously cliche I can predict everything that is going to happen merely by reading the summary. However, I honestly believe this is the worst of the bunch so far.
Warning: this review will contain spoilers, so if you have not yet read the book, proceed with caution.
I was genuinely baffled by five star reviews of this book gushing about all the twists and turns it took, in particular the twist at the end. I knew how nearly every single scenario was going to turn out, which means either I need to take up a career in communicating with spirits on the other side...or this book was far too predictable. The twist at the end of the book is a dead horse that has not only been beaten by a stick, but spit on and otherwise defiled in any way imaginable. Please, for God's sake, just let the poor thing RIP.
The abusive husband is a joke. He is not menacing, and I felt none of the tension I'm certain his pursuit was supposed to elicit, simply because he was so laughably one-dimensional. He's the bad guy because he is a jerk who's mean to his wife and...well, because the story needed a bad guy. That's about it. We know he's a drunk and an ass and a good detective. We know this, because Sparks beat us over the head with these facts about as many times as the stick came down on that poor horse. I might have sincerely considered throwing the book across the room after reading 'He was a good detective' for about the 800th time, if not for the fact that it was an e-book uploaded to a $150 Nook.
There is no subtlety here--we know Katie/Erin is going to shoot her husband at the end of the book because Sparks feels it is necessary to mention several times that she does not like guns. We know Katie/Erin will experience a revelation in regards to what she wants out of life, namely that nothing would make her happier than being a mother to Alex's children and a wife to the man himself, because Sparks cannot write a character flaw to save his life, and what woman WOULDN'T want a man who is handsome, charming, kind, an amazing father, and to boot, probably does not even smell when he exits his bowels?
The romance is the same old formulaic crap. One date is all it takes for both characters to fall madly in love, to realize it, and to proclaim it to one another. What follows is something idyllic and diabetes-inducing sweet, without any conflict other than a brief attempt at a fight, and a little completely unbelievable hemming and hawing courtesy of Katie, who is not sure how much of a commitment she can make to Alex and his children with her husband still on the prowl. I'm not even going to comment on the dead wife angle; I'm still laughing over how contrived all that was.
To summarize: this novel was boring, unbelievable, predictable, and without a single redeeming quality. If you want anything with even a semi-decent plot and character development, I would suggest you keep looking.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost loved it,
As a huge Nicholas Sparks fan and having read all his other books, I was very excited to read his latest release, Safe Haven.
Although it started out a bit slow for me, I soon found myself enjoying it more and more and by the mid-way point, I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the character development, the relationship development between the main characters and the intensity of the conflict of the book.
This turned out to be very different from any of his other books in the portrayal of Katie's past and I found myself cringing at the ordeal that brought her to Southport to start a new life.
The end of the book brewed to a level most Sparks readers are not used to and I found myself completely engrossed. That is - until the last few pages.
While some may find the twist at the end very magical and touching, I found it to be terribly cliche and almost cheeky. I was extremely disappointed.
Still trying to forgive him for the arrogance with which he handled himself on press junkets for The Last Song, I am afraid Mr. Sparks lost a couple more points with me on this one.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd Happenings in North Carolina,
I have read several of Nicholas Sparks novels to date with "A Walk to Remember" being the only one I whole-heartedly endorse. The others were either just okay or too over the top.
This one was odd in many ways. The protagonist, Katie/Erin's abusive husband, perpetuates the cliche of the evil man who tries to justify his actions by referring to the Bible. At first I found the chapters from the husband's point of view compelling. But while spending a bit of time in Kevin Tierney's mind serves to reveal vital information about his character and motivation, spending too much time there left me tired and ragged and ready to move on. There's only so much "I love her, I hate her, I love her, I hate her" that is necessary to set up the story. Nicholas Spark's heavy-handedness in this regard was like using a hammer to attach a thumbtack. When the climax to the story occurred, rather than being concerned about what happened to any particular character I was just relieved to finally get the whole thing over with. Kind of like enduring a root canal.
The oddest thing of all was at the end of the book when Katie realized something that I can only make sense of by assuming she was absolutely insane. (Note to new love Alex - I wouldn't let this woman too close to your children...)
Speaking of which... isn't it a little far-fetched to believe the whole episode with Kevin didn't have any negative affect on Katie and Alex's relationship? What about Alex's kids? Aren't they going to have nightmares for the rest of their natural lives? Or is Katie supposed to be so lovable they'll just settle down with her as their new mom and live happily ever after? I find it all too unbelievable.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First tme reader of Nicholas Sparks books..,
I loved this book, really, I couldn't put it down. The characters were so real and the discriptive writing is so vivid I could feel the heat discribed in the scenes. As a survivor myself of domestic violence both mental and physical it took me back to a time I could not escape. Thankfully my life has changed now but I know others are still in this type of life. Thank you for writing such a beautful story of love, survival, and hope. I don't want to give the ending away...but I loved the ending part, worth the read...don't skip to the end of the book..
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Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Paperback - August 2, 2011)