September 21, 2010

Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks


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.





 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ever since The Notebook made Nicholas Sparks a word-of-mouth publishing sensation in 1996, he has maintained his status as a bestselling author of tragedy-tinged love stories. His spare, simply themed novels star ordinary people overcome by extraordinary emotions, and changed by them. 

It's possible that Sparks might have enjoyed his level of popularity by writing these stories strictly from imagination, but in fact his family's struggles play an important role in many of his books, especially the earliest novels. (For exampleThe Notebook, his tale of a great love affair extending into old age, was inspired by his wife's grandparents; Message in a Bottle drew from Sparks' father's life story and A Walk to Remember from his late sister's.) In addition, a three-week trip he and his older sibling Micah undertook in 2003 became the basis for Three Weeks with My Brother, a unique memoir as moving and tenderhearted as any of his fiction. 

Sparks is very methodical about his writing, an approach he makes transparent on his web site with several essays, updates on works in progress, and notes on the mechanics of his novels. Unsurprisingly, critics have faulted him for being too formulaic or cliched. Still, Sparks never fails to move his stories along quickly, maximizing emotional impact and featuring strong, down-to-earth characters. His endings also tend to depart from convention a bit, revealing tragedy where the walk into the sunset should be. 

Although he is often classified as a Romance writer, Sparks is quick to point out that his books don't really satisfy the requirements of Romance publishers. Instead, he admits to writing love stories, a different genre altogether. Whatever he cares to call them, one thing's for sure: Nicholas Sparks continues to strike gold with his bittersweet novels of love and loss.

I haven't read a Nicholas Sparks book that I didn't like.  I don't know how he is able to capture pure romance so perfectly but I'm glad he puts it all on paper.  Katie is a great character and you can't help but feel for her throughout the entire book.  Nicholas has written yet another winner!

Grand Central Publishing
September 14, 2010
340 pages
$25.99 US

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Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free from Hachette Book Group.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.




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57 comments:

  1. Sounds like another great read by a well liked author! Loved Message In A Bottle and have been a fan ever since.
    Thanks,
    candc320@gmail.com

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  2. Looking forward to reading it!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

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  3. I am so beyond excited about this book!!

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  4. I haven't read anything from Nicholas Sparks that I have not loved! I turned my little sister on to him and she loves him too. I can't wait to read this one.

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  5. A new Nicholas Sparks book! YEA!!! He just can't write enough for me! Love his books!

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  6. Ilove Nicholas Sparks books. He never disappoints me.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  7. I can't wait to read his newest book.

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  8. I have read all of his books and loved them. Can't wait to read this one.
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

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  9. I enjoy Sparks' books.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  10. His books are sappy but I do love them

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  11. Good review.
    I've read 2 by him and liked them both. I think this would be just as good. He does have a way about his writing that makes it easy to enjoy. He must be in love....

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  12. I've read Spark's other books and enjoyed them. Safe Haven sounds like another hit! His books are in general a "safe haven". . .something to read that is current, deals with real problems, friendships and love. . .and feel the characters emotional turmoils leaving the reader to reflect and say "Good book. I enjoyed reading it."

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  13. Sounds like another great story, what a great author!

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  14. I love Nicholas Sparks - I've read all his books!

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  15. I love ALL books by Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoyed reading this post.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. I just love the cover!

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. I think we all will be able to relate to this somehow. I am not sure what her secret is from the past but we ALL have one or two. He is truly my favorite author and I am sure this book does not let down....

    Thanks for the chance!

    Amy at Harvest For Tomorrow
    aesnyder@suddenlink.net

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  19. This sounds like a good book. :)

    HilLesha@gmail.com

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  20. Sparks can always be counted on for a good read.

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

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  21. I cannot wait to read this book - I love his writing!

    Tarah
    tarah716[at]ymail.com

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  22. Looking forward to the opportunity to win a book by Sparks.

    Karen / lilk13

    kkappleby@msn.com

    http://lilk13.blogspot.com

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  23. "I haven't read a Nicholas Sparks book that I didn't like" - I agree! Love, Love, Love anything by Nicholas Sparks - but I can't read them without a box of tissues beside me!

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  24. Sounds like another good Sparks read--always glad there's pretty much one a year!

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  25. HUGE Nicholas Sparks Fan! :)

    nicole_gilmore7@hotmail.com

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  26. I love this author and I can't wait to read this book!

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  27. I know the little town of Southport, so I'm looking forward to reading this book!

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  28. looking forward to read this novel :) great review!

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  29. Book looks amazing, I can't believe how quickly Nicholas Sparks is able to produce such finely written books.

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  30. Nicholas Sparks definitely does love and loss well. I haven't read all of his books but have enjoyed many. Thanks for the release

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  31. I haven't read this but would love to. I'm sure it's as fantastic as the others. ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

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  32. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win! wgbc1446[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  33. Safe Haven sounds like a wonderful book.

    Sarah E

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  34. I am a big fan of his books. This one sounds like a great read, and I'm looking forward to it.

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

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  35. I have heard a lot of people talking about Nicholas Sparks' books, but have not had the chance to read on yet.

    trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

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  36. I really enjoy Nicholas Sparks' books & am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the review!

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  37. I very excited to read this book. Sounds like it will be wonderfuL! ksbald2@yahoo.com

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  38. I love Spark's books..one of my favorite authors! Would love the chance to read this!
    shawnac68@hotmail.com

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  39. He is one of those authors that can pull me out of a reading slump, I love his books.

    purehrt555(At)Yahoo(Dot)com

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  40. Glad it's recommended by you; I liked "The Notebook"!

    theyyyguy@yahoo.com

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  41. I have never read a bad book by Nicholas Sparks! This one sounds as good as the others. Thanks for the review!
    Elenna {AT] sbcglobal [DOT] net

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  42. Thanks for the chance I love Sparks books eaglesforjack@gmail.com

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  43. I have loved every single Nicholas Sparks book!

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  44. I would earmark this win for my granddaughters. Nicholas Sparks is their favorite author.

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  45. I've yet to read one of his books that i didn't absolutely love!! Thanks for the review :)

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  46. I have loved all the Nicholas Sparks books I've read! This one sounds like a great read too.
    Thanks for the review!

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  47. I have enjoyed every Nicholas Sparks book I've read, can't wait to check this one out!

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  48. I also liked A Bend in the Road. This one sounds good too.
    mightynaynay(at)cs.com

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  49. He is such a good writer...I would love to read this.

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  50. I am also a fan of Nicholas Sparks.. I have read a couple of his books, but not this one yet. It definitely sounds like a good book. I would love to read it next
    AD85(at)live.ca

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  51. Love his books! I really liked A Bend In The Road. I grew up about thirty miles from where this book takes place and I'm familiar with a lot of the sites.
    LuckyTJG@cs.com

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