I am that typical girl. I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan. I’ve read every book. I’ve seen every movie. I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m head over heels in love with his stories. So, when it came to his most recent novel, Safe Haven, I was first in line to purchase and enthrall myself into yet another love story. But what I found was slightly different. It was still a beautiful tale of love, but it was much more deeper than a typical Sparks book. It deals with love and family, but also fear and domestic violence.
The story follows a young women named Katie who moves to a small town in North Carolina. She comes with no money, starved and lonely. She quickly makes friends with her next door neighbor Jo, and soon after catches the eye of a local shop owner and widower, Alex. Alex notices that there is something off about Katie, but can’t quite figure it out. He begins to try to open her up, with the help of his two little children, Josh and Kristen. After some time, and a string of events that bring Alex and Katie closer, the two begin to fall in love. As she let’s down her guard, she starts to open up about her tragic past and fears of the future. Katie admits to being on the run after her abusive husband tried to kill her. She goes on to reveal her real name and after finally starting to feel safe in her new home, tragedy strikes again. Kevin (Katie’s husband) finds her. Cue the dramatics. Only these dramatics are not the typical eye roll. It is an intense page turner that keeps you from putting the book down.
Mysterious, suspenseful and thrilling are typically not adjectives you use to describe a Nicholas Sparks novel. He went a different route with this one, and I absolutely loved it. I immediately developed an attachment to Katie. I was anxiously waiting to figure out her past and wanting her to be set free from her troubles. I fell in love with Alex, just like Katie did. You see the form of a family with them and his two children, but not in fast way. The story is realistic in the sense of the pace that takes the love to form. But the best surprise came at the end of the book. A wild twist that I never saw coming.
I whole-heartedly recommend this book, especially to Sparks lovers. I also believe people who normally aren’t swooning over his typical love stories, will like this one as well. Hollywood has already hopped on this one, with a film version being released on Valentine’s Day. Julianne Hough plays Katie and Josh Duhamel is portraying Alex. I am extremely excited to see how they adapt this to film, believing that both characters were casted perfectly!
So, run to the store and grab a copy of Safe Haven to read before the film release next month. I promise, you won’t be able to put it down.