Customer Reviews for

Safe Haven

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

103 out of 127 people found this review helpful.

Excellent as Always

Nicholas Sparks never lets me down. I could read his books everyday. This one you will not be able to put down. Loved It.

posted by sadlere on September 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

274 out of 315 people found this review helpful.

SPARKS DELIVERS ANOTHER LESSON OF LOVE

While reading in a waiting room the other day my concentration was interrupted by a woman who looked at my book and enthused, "Oh, I just love him!" The "him" was, of course, Nicholas Sparks, popular author of 16 novels, six of which have been made into motion pictu...
While reading in a waiting room the other day my concentration was interrupted by a woman who looked at my book and enthused, "Oh, I just love him!" The "him" was, of course, Nicholas Sparks, popular author of 16 novels, six of which have been made into motion pictures. My new found friend's enthusiastic tribute to Sparks stopped only when she was called in to the doctor's office. She will be one of many who will stand inline for SAFE HAVEN, such is the appeal of Sparks, and his easy to read messages of love.

With SAFE HAVEN we meet Katie, a beautiful young woman who has sought refuge and anonymity in the small community of Southport, North Carolina. She rents a small cabin and works at Ivan's restaurant. Katie has no car, and walks wherever she goes. She's a bit of a mystery to Alex, a widowed store owner, and Jo who soon moves next door.

Katie is determined to reveal nothing about herself lest she be found by Kevin, her alcoholic husband, who kept her a virtual prisoner in their home and savagely beat her without reason. On their honeymoon she was beaten for leaving her sun glasses by the pool; at home she's been thrown down the cellar stairs, her head knocked against the kitchen table. She endured all forms of physical abuse that left her bruised and sore. Kevin often swore that it would never happen again but it always did. When he finally pulled out his gun, a Glock, and held it to her head she knew she had to somehow escape, run for her life.

Yet despite her resolution to remain private she finds herself drawn to Alex, a kind, good hearted man who his doing his best to be both father and mother to his two children, Kristen and Josh. Katie develops a fondness for them, and they feel the same about her. Over time she is able to relax, to enjoy being with Alex and the children. It isn't long before she must to admit to herself that she's in love with him and dares to think of what being part of a happy family might be like.

Meanwhile, of course, Kevin is searching for her. He's a policeman and a smart one, but not smart enough not to let vodka get the best of him, turning him into a raging psychopath intent upon finding and killing Katie as well as the man he believes has taken her away.

Sparks spares little in describing the dark side of love and, as always, underscoring its redeeming powers.
- Gail Cooke

posted by GailCooke on September 16, 2010

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent as Always

    Nicholas Sparks never lets me down. I could read his books everyday. This one you will not be able to put down. Loved It.

    103 out of 127 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    Could not put it down! My favorite sparks novel!

    This book was so good. I had heard mixed reviews and have read and loved many of Sparks' novels but this one is by far my favorite. It reminded me a little of Julia Robert's movie Sleeping with the enemy, but they are different enough and there is a HUGE twist at the very end that I definitely did not see coming.. I definitely recommend this book.

    74 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Awesome!!!

    Halfway through I thought it would have a typical ending but no, NS has surprised us all. Thankfully this one was not a tear-jerker just a 'good ending' book. VERY well done!!!

    58 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A KEEPER!

    SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks
    Reviewed by Hana Gabrielle Packard

    Adding a bit of the thriller aspect to his sensitive love story routine, Sparks seems to have turned a new corner to his creativity. Beautiful, young Katie arrives in a small southern town, Southport, North Carolina. She rents a small cabin and works in a local restaurant, then meets the local widowed grocer, Alex and his two young children. Apparently, she is keeping a low profile and is very secretive, which is quite the mystery to the people she becomes closer to. As the story moves along she finds herself drawn to Alex and feels very close to his children, enough to loosen up a bit and let go of her tight reign on her past. There is great suspense and in the flashback story Katie reveals her terrible abusive husband and how she is taking refuge in Southport. She struggles to climb the self-protective walls she'd built for herself as she learns to let go of the past heart ache. Meanwhile, Kevin, her alcoholic, abusive husband is searching for her. He's become a raging psychopath intent on killing her. Sparks paints an accurate and convincing picture describing the dark side of love. Yes, as the other reviews reveal this is very much the theme of SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY. But that is one of my all-time favorite movies! So I'm quite happy with that! Sparks knows how to yank on the heartstrings and his diverse real-life characters are hard to forget. Sparks emotionally charged books hit home with almost anyone who can read with his subtle inspirational messages. They are always touching on commonly experienced subjects of love, loss, forgiveness and are always an emotional journey to overcome challenges that we can all relate to. There is always a growth process, be it conquering fears, correcting mistakes or forgiveness on the road of insight into the heart toward unconditional love. We can always count on his quality, tasteful writing that overflows with touching, heartwarming and perfectly chosen words that always stir the emotions. We experience triumph over tragedy; we laugh; we cry; we wish; we fix; we love. I search for books that lift my heart and make me feel better for having read them. I haven't read a Sparks book that I didn't love so I'm adding this to the list. His books restore faith in mankind! Treat yourself to a great story. Don't hesitate! This is Nicholas Sparks!

    42 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Save Yourself 10 Bucks - Rent Sleeping With The Enemy Instead

    I have never read a Sparks book, but, at the request of my 15 year old niece, I did so. Needless to say, she will be punished appropriately. This book was TORTURE. Insipid and full of cliches, from the sexy, senestive wounded widower with a heart of gold to the two plucky kids to the scared, yet brave heroine. Within the first 10 pages, I actually knew what was going to happen throughout the whole book, and, with the exception of a RIDICULOUS twist at the end (I see someone pulled out his DVD of The Sixth Sense before writing this book....), I was spot on. A book that attempts to cater to the lowest common denominator and somehow, fails on every level. I will have to find something intelligent to read to rebuild the brain cells lost reading this book. Save yourselves! You've been warned!

    34 out of 105 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    A miss...

    Some of Sparks books I have liked, and some not. This one, not. I saw story lines from other book and movies, repetetive conversations and dialouge. Overall, found it quite boring and predictable.

    33 out of 93 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    good read

    This was a brilliant novel- one of the best books I have read by Nicholas Sparks. Can't wait to order his next

    31 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    His worst book

    I love Nicholas Sparks and all of his books with the exception of this one. It was too predictable with too many holes in it. Similar to "Living With The Enemy" movie that Julia Roberts starred in years ago. Ending was strange and made book seemed like it was just throwned together. Would not recommend buying it, go to the library if you must read it.

    30 out of 76 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    Not the usual Nicholas Sparks book

    I preordered this book because I have loved this author and have read all his other books. Unfortunately I did not know the violent theme of this book. I was hoping to read something that was emotionally satisfying not traumatizing.I read for pleasure or information.Unfortunately this book did not satisfy either need. I get absolutely no pleasure in reading a fiction or non fiction account of violence against a woman. I was greatly disappointed in this book and would not recommend it.

    23 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2010

    Beautifully written beggining and middle. After that it was a waste of paper!

    This was the first Sparks book I've read. I'm 27 and married and related to the main character Katie in some ways. Her story of starting over and meeting someone new was exciting and well written. Her husband Kevin's character and point of view was also very honest and almost humorous because of his hypocritical mentality. He was a walking contradiction of his own thoughts. But still interesting to see his point of view of his marriage and "defense" of his abuse. And then came the moment readers were waiting for. He finally tracked down his runaway wife. Throughout the book, he was a drunken loser, yes, BUT, he was a detective and a control freak and a master manipulator. However, as soon as he finds his wife and I'm waiting for this final confrontation and what is he going to say to her and what is she going to say to him and what will Alex, his wife's new love say to him. Will he get his revenge on the man who abused his love? Will Kevin tell his wife he missed her and loved her but wanted to beat her to death and confess his insane idea of love to her? Will Katie/Erin tell her husband she had, had enough of his crap and would never go back to him? INSTEAD Kevin, who was smart and miraculously sober enough to drive from Boston to North Carolina, could barely stand and made no sense. Seriously? Like was this really the point of the book we the readers were waiting for? And when it finally happens, the guy is too drunk to even say two words that make sense to his wife who he's been crying over for months? That was it?? And then he hits Alex with a crowbar before he can even look him in the eyes and say a word. Ummmm where is the undying love shining through telling Kevin that his wife is now his Katie and he would never let him put a finger on her. Or atleast tell him he loved her, something, anything? Where was Kevin telling his wife that he was a wreck without her and accusing her of being an adulterer? When Erin made her weak confrontation of "why did you hit me, I loved you", Kevin was too drunk to even comment or understand what she was saying to him. I have never been so annoyed reading anything, and I am not a picky reader. I love Twilight and can read about Bella mumbling all day long. But this? This confrontation should have been the most exciting part of the book. Instead he tries to just put his wife on fire and doesnt even care to say a word to her because he's too busying vomitting on the side of the road and thinking his jumbled thoughts. Sparks, seriously, could you not have let the man wake up from his nap, come up with a real plan and think of all the things he wanted to say to his runaway wife and actually SAY them. And then let him, uhh maybe lay off a bottle of Vodka long enough to not slur his speech and throw up while hes trying to murder his wife. And the whole thing about Jo being a ghost of the past in the end did not make up for this dissapointing "confrontation". Hopefully they will change things in the movie version.

    19 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My New Favorite Book!

    This is a must read for all Nicholas sparks fans. I read the last song because im a miley cyrus fan and for me to say this is better than the last song is rare. I love the story line. I felt myself falling in love with katie and I loved watching her relationship with Alex Unfold. I did a review on it on youtube. Come check me out and subscribe!

    17 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

    Beautiful Book !

    Another great read! I loved the book, couldn't put it down.

    17 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book, prefer Fallen Angel way more over this. But this is a

    Good book, prefer Fallen Angel way more over this. But this is a good read too.

    16 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

    Juvenile

    This is the first sparks book that I've read. I'm not overly impressed. While the story line is ok, the writing is pretty bad. There's not a lot of description in the book, and the writing is so plain and simple, it seems more fit for a 10 year old. Sorry, but I won't be reading any more sparks novels.

    14 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Read! Will capture your heart and mind.

    In this story, you meet Katie a mysterious women, with a mysterious past. Using the small town of Southport, North Carolina as a way to escape her horrific damaging past, she tries to blend in with the locals and keep a low profile. When a local shop keeper named Alex strike up a interest in her it becomes increasingly hard for her to keep to herself. As the story progresses on Katie starts to fall in love with Alex and gets a true friend named Jo. and put down some roots, start a new life and learns how to trust again. But when Katie starts to feel comfortable and relax into her new life with Alex and his kids, someone from her past is searching for her. Someone that Katie has been trying to avoid for months. This person is determined, revenge bound, and smart. Once, she is found Katie does what she has to do to protect the people she loves. This book is very suspenseful and has that unable-to-put-down quality. It's my favorite Nicholas Sparks book so far. I would recommend this! I think it is mostly suited for adults or even teenage girls. It has a wonderful story line that leaves lingering questions in the end.

    12 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!!

    I LOVE this book! It is a must read! It is one of Nicholas Sparks best books!! Please read! You will not be disappointed!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Schlock of the worst order

    OK, I was ready for a schlocky read, but this one is arguably the worst book I've ever read - trivial, stupid, a "deus ex machina" ending that the Greeks would be embarrassed by. I kept thinking, he writes a good character, why is he writing this dreck? Oh yeah, for the money. Well save yours and buy "True Confessions" instead.

    10 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Loved it

    I loved this book. It was a great easy read. I seen the previews in the movies and rushed home to start reading it. I could not put it down! I finished it in two and a half days. If you want to a great love story that keeps you on the edge of your seat this is it! I hope the movie is just as good :)

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Safe Haven or Sleeping With The Enemy?

    I am a diehard Nicholas Sparks fan but this one was a total bust for me. While reading it over the weekend all I could think of was "Sleeping With The Enemy", Katie took on Julia Robert's role and the rest was downhill. Sparks gave it enough differences to make it unique to him but the similarities were there, right down to the carnival/fair scene on the ferris wheel. Not my favorite.

    9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    My friend had told me another Nicholas Sparks book was becoming

    My friend had told me another Nicholas Sparks book was becoming a movie and we made plans for a girls night out to see it. So I ordered it on my Kindle and began reading so I could be ready to see the movie next month. Nicholas Spark's words always immediately grab my attention. I would read on my lunch break at work, and would come back a little late because I would be lost in reading (oops!). I loved how we got to know each and every character. I loved being in the mind of Kevin. The thought process of someone so demented was incredible that it gave me goosebumps.
    I love to read the negative reviews just to see what people say. It was NOT predictable and it was not as violet as some say it was. It has a twist at the end and it was just such a good read!
    I saw the trailer for the movie and I fear it will be like The Lucky One, disappointing. But nonetheless, I will still go on my Girls Night to see it with my best friend.
    I can't wait for your next book Nicholas!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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