05 January 2013

Review: Safe Haven

I love Nicholas Sparks, but his novels typically follow a formula:

 Two unlikely people fall in love, despite some type of obstacle, unpredictable circumstance tears them apart, and then you end up in tears over some tragedy usually unrelated to the obstacle.

His writing is what makes these novels thrive, rather than the same cookie cutter, cut and paste plotline some authors tend to do.

Safe haven completely blew me away because Mr. Sparks diverted from his typical formula.

There's the tragedy, but there's some myseteriousness and also mysticality to it.

As always, the reader falls in love with the characters. Katie is someone the reader pities at first, but then grow to respect and admire for her courage and strength. The reader wants to learn more and more about Katie's past. Alex and his family are as adorable as can be, which adds stability to the very dark storyline.

I recommend this book to anyone, especially those who like to be surprised. Keep your tissues handy, though.

Also there's a movie coming out this year. I'm a tad disappointed in some things revealed in the trailer, which are pivotal to the tone of the novel. But my rule with movies based on books is to look at it as a separate entity, because nine times out of ten, the book will be better no matter how good the movie is.

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What threw me about this novel is Katie is a victim of domestic abuse. Her true name -- Erin -- is revealed while the reader is placed in her abusive husbands point of view, which adds an element I hadn't expected from Nicholas Sparks.

Being inside her husband's mind kept the pages turning for me and thirsting for more about how she got away. The suspense of him tracking her down, finally finding her, and trying to kill her provided a perfect amount of action.

The surprise that Jo is the ghost of Alex's wife was a big curveball as well. I definitely liked that and it added a nice supernatural feel to the bittersweet ending.

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