Lisa's Reviews > Safe Haven

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
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it was ok

** spoiler alert ** People don't understand why I dislike Nicholas Sparks' books. Here's what I think... I think he wrote a pretty good novel--The Notebook--out of the gate. And then, because he had a fabulous smile and was a man who seemed to understand true romance and could write about it minus the smut, he got assigned to the best PR person in the history of publishing.

Sparks is a mediocre writer at best. His plots might have a seed of promise, but the writing reads like someone who is taking their first creative writing class. Or maybe he's channeling an average writer from the past. His style is flowery yet stilted. All the characters talk the same. The movies made from his novels are much better than the books, so that pretty much says it all.

Now as far as Safe Haven goes... I'm fairly sure he stole the plot from "Sleeping With the Enemy" and changed a few minor details. It made me nuts that he only eluded to the fact Katie's husband beat the shit out of her for w-a-y too long before he said it outright. And I wanted to yell, "Yeah, I get it already! That loser, Kevin, is a lousy, narcissistic, controlling and crazy Bible quoting drunk. He's the quintessential wife beater." I can't even begin to know how many times he repeated the description of this guy. I guess he was trying to allow the reader into Kevin's head. All it did was piss me off.

And then there was Katie. Like I said--"Sleeping With the Enemy." She managed to physically escape her abuser, and then she spent all her days waiting for him to find her. She trusted nobody except she allowed herself to visit with her neighbor. She was determined to make it on her own. Until she met widower Alex. At first she was tentative, but one thing led to another (imagine that) until they had a full-fledged relationship. Alex was directly opposite of Kevin, but Katie couldn't risk getting too close to him. But that's exactly what happened. Finally Kevin found Katie--er--Erin and was enraged to see her with another man. She and that bastard would pay! There were fire and guns and near death experiences before Kevin finally met his maker.

Predictable, but I could handle that. Then Nicholas Sparks couldn't resist taking it to the hokey and totally unbelievable level by making it so Katie's neighbor was really a magical spirit. She was Alex's wife who loved him so much she wanted him to be happy with another wife who would also love her children.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 14, 2010 – Shelved

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

You have got to be kidding! A benevolent spirit!?!?

This sounds GAWFUL. And even though I haven't read it, I read the Notebook and, I think, A Walk To Remember. Both of them ended up being thrown across the room. What a hack.

I'm sorry this book happened to you, Lisa. Better book next time.

Beth Gibson I agree. I read somewhere before I finished this, that it was supposed to be a Christian novel. And his bio says he started a Christian private school. So maybe that really was what he was trying to do with this. However, there was no foreshadowing to the fact that Jo was a "ghost" so it felt totally forcefit because he couldn't think of any other way to explain her disappearance. A big "not like."

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