Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks - Book Review

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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.

Safe Haven is a good book though I can't help comparing it with Sparks'other novels. It seems like Sparks is running out of ideas in his latest works. What made me love Sparks is how he writes beautiful novels with good story lines and unique plots. I became an instant fan when I read The Notebook. In his latest works however, he recycled his ideas.

This Safe Haven, for instance, is a mixture of A Message in a Bottle, A Bend in the Road, and The Guardian. I'm just tired of these redundant ideas. His wife dies so he becomes a single parent, then he meets someone and he falls in love with her. Suddenly, he learns that she is hiding something then something tragic will happen.  But they still live happily ever after.

Inspite of all these, I'm still giving it a high rating. There are some parts which are boring. Somehow the element of letters made me like this book in a way.It's one of the things I like about Sparks.
What brought twist to the story is the revelation about Jo. I never had an idea that she was who she was.

"Love doesn't mean anything if you're not willing to make a commitment."
"Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive it."
"Long-term relationship - the ones that matter - are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys." 

Nicholas Sparks

As a child, Nicholas Sparks lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair Oaks, California at the age of eight. His father was a professor, his mother a homemaker, then optometrist's assistant. He lived in Fair Oaks through high school, graduated valedictorian in 1984, and received a full track scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.

After breaking the Notre Dame school record as part of a relay team in 1985 as a freshman (a record which still stands), he was injured and spent the summer recovering. During that summer, he wrote his first novel, though it was never published. He majored in Business Finance and graduated with high honors in 1988.

His ancestry is German, Czech, English, and Irish, he's 5'10" and weighs 180 lbs. He is an avid athlete who runs daily, lifts weights regularly, and competes in Tae Kwon Do. He attends church regularly and reads approximately 125 books a year. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. 


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