Title: Safe Haven
Author: Nicholas Sparks
On the Shelves: Fiction> Contemporary/Romance
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. (Goodreads 2016)
Ahhh Nicholas Sparks. A writer I have avoided since I watched (and slept) through the overhyped Notebook at age 14. I’ve never really understood why he is such a hyped author- all of his books seem to follow the same story. Poor white boy falls in love with rich white girl and they have the usual ups and downs of a romance until BOOM! Terminal Illness!! And normally that is when I want to throw a book across the room- the personal pet peeve of mine: terminal illness as a plot device.
So “why am I reviewing one of dreaded Sparks books on my own book blog?” I hear you ask…well…I got roped into watching Safe Haven a few months ago on netflix and I absolutely shocked myself by finding I enjoyed it! I enjoyed it so much that when I saw a cheap copy of the book on a shelf in a charity shop for £1, I thought “why not?”. I then took the book on holiday with me last year and read it in two days while sunbathing on a lounger.
Guys…I really enjoyed this book. I mean, I actually enjoyed reading this book and it didn’t feel like a chore to finish it at all. By the end the story did feel a little stretched and one or two characters started to grate on my nerves a little bit, but overall, I enjoyed the characters, the pacing and the story and actually was a little bit sad when I finished it because it had ended- I never thought I would feel that way about Sparks books.
This is not saying I’ll be suddenly reading every single book by him but it has certainly made me concede my spark-hate a little bit.