Title: Safe Haven
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing/2010
Where I got It: I actually won it in a contest. =)
Why I read it: He's one of my favorite authors!
Rating: 5 stars
Inside flap description: 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. Be 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 empathetic 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.
This was actually a really great book. At first I didn't think I liked it, and it took me a minute to get into, but I would definitely recommend it to everyone. I feel like Nicholas Sparks wrote this book a lot differently than he did his other books. While yes, this is still a romantic love story, it's not quite as "gushy" as his others have been. But, that doesn't take away from his story, or the way he wrote this particular book. The way the book is written is kind of like in parts. In the beginning you're told about her moving to Southport and not being very outgoing, then you've got the part where she briefly speaks about her past, then another happier part, and so on. We don't find out about what exactly the kind of past she had until well into the book, closer to the end. I'm not sure if i like this or not. It felt like it was backwards to me. The 'good' was first, then the 'bad' was second. Usually books have what happened bad happen in the beginning of the book, then the middle to end of the book is how they over come the struggle(s). But Sparks did it the total opposite, which made for an interesting book.
Apparently this book has already been sold to become a movie. I kept this in my mind as I was reading it and I basically kept picturing it has a mysterious, love story with a side of horror mixed in. That's pretty much how the book goes down.
It's heartwarming, and has a few funny parts, it'll make you smile, and you'll actually find yourself scared during parts of it too, wondering if the characters will escape the madness that they're going through. I do believe, however, that this is the first book that Sparks has written that hasn't made me cry. But! Don't get that confused with it being a bad book, because it's not at all. He still did a fantastic job writing it, even without the heartbreaking, sobbing and crying stuff that his other books have. But then again, maybe it's just me and I wasn't in the "crying mood". You be the judge if it's a tear jerker!
I highly recommend this book. I don't really have anything bad to say about it. It's a quick, sort of light, heartwarming, family loving, learning about your past and moving on book. I think you should go read it today!!