Book Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

by Caroline Cravens, Staff Writer

Safe Haven is at first, pretty predictable, but by the end, it is super suspenseful. I had a hard time putting the book down.

Katie is a new resident in Southport working as a waitress. She tries to remain as solitary as possible, but once she meets Alex, she can’t help but fall slowly in love with him. The only problem is, Katie can’t stay in one place for too long (because of her difficult past), so love is out of the question.

Alex is a single dad with two adorable little kids, Kristen and Josh. Alex’s family gives Katie something she has never had and she can’t resist wanting to become a part of their family.

I must admit that the book sounds very predictable. Of course, they fall in love and get married. However, there are tons of unexpected elements. Alex’s wife’s story is very touching, and the letters she wrote to him and his ‘new love’ (which Katie read) made me tear up. She died of a brain tumor, and when Alex has flashbacks on Carly’s final moments. Carly told him she wants Alex to be happy and find someone who will love him and her kids and much as she would. I found it really sad because it was like she actually wanted someone to replace her.

Katie’s past is quite miserable. Not only did she have two alcoholic parents, but Katie has an abusive husband, Kevin Tierney. During the middle and ending portion of the book, the chapters alternate between Kevin and Katie’s life; which creates a majority of the suspense in the end. Some of the things Kevin used to do to Katie are truly appalling and sad, and to think some women actually have to live through that is awful.

I’d hate to give away the rest of the book, but I would definitely recommend reading Safe Haven. If you can’t read the book, Safe Haven is currently in theaters starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. I can’t wait to see the movie; I give the book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a pretty sad book, but if you don’t mind a few tears, it’s a great read.