Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Book Reviews, On Screen

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks Gone with the Words Review

4 Stars

I’ve been a big fan of the movies made from Nicholas Spark’s books. But for some reason, I never felt inclined to read his books. In a way, I felt that they would ruin the movies that I loved because we all know the books are always better. Always. But something about this one just called out to me. The movie trailer intrigued me so much. And so I read Safe Haven. And I loved it.

Safe Haven is all about starting over. Katie is a woman who has successfully run away from her abusive husband and is now starting over with a new identity in a speck of a town. Alex is a guy who sees something in Katie that draws him to her, which he hasn’t felt since he lost his wife. Their relationship is such a nice, slow, romantic build up. I was smiling every time they were together. It definitely wasn’t easy for Katie to let her guard down, but seeing Alex with his kids and seeing how amazing he was with them certainly helped a lot.

And Katie might have also not realized she liked Alex if it had not been for her friend Jo, who kept bringing him up. I liked Jo a lot. She was funny and such a great listener. She definitely helped Katie come out of her shell.

We also get to see what Katie’s abusive husband is up to after she’s gone. The suspense of waiting to see how he finds her eventually because you know he does is really nail-biting at times. He was really terrifying. And the way his mind worked was totally disturbing.

The biggest twist comes in the end and I can’t say I saw it coming. Of course, it makes perfect sense NOW, but it was TOTALLY EERIE reading that part at night, in bed, with the lights out!

The enhanced content was cool if you’re interested in the movie. It had some clips and also some interviews with the stars and with Nicholas Sparks. I enjoyed them.

Book Info

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Pub Date: December 18th 2012
Pages: 325
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: AdultContemporaryRomance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

The #1 New York Times bestseller and soon-to-be major motion picture is now available as an enhanced ebook and features a behind-the-scenes look at the movie.

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.

(The enhanced ebook includes video clips from the movie, interviews with Nicholas Sparks, Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, and Lasse Holstrom, stills from the set, costume design sketches, b-roll, a video tour of the set narrated by Nicholas Sparks, and an intereview with Nicholas Sparks and Lasse Holstrom about translating books-to-film).

And the movie…

I enjoyed the movie a lot! I thought the actors were great portraying the characters. Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel had great chemistry together. And of course, I shed some tears. DAMN YOU, NICHOLAS SPARKS!! There were some details that were changed that actually worked for the film version, mainly having to do with Katie’s husband. I think it’s totally worth the watch. :)


Jess @ Gone with the Words

7 Responses to “Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks”

  1. Avatar


    I’ve only read a few of his books (A Walk To Remember, Dear John, and The Notebook) but I enjoyed them. He just pulls at your heartstrings SO much!

    Glad you enjoyed this one, Jess! I’d been debating on whether to get it, because I wasn’t totally sure what it was about. It sounds like a good story, and since you enjoyed the characters and their relationships, perhaps I’ll snag a copy!

  2. Avatar

    Alexa Y.

    REVIEW TWINS! I liked this book and the movie, though they aren’t my favorites from Nicholas Sparks. I will say that I enjoyed how different this novel is from his other works, and how hot Josh Duhamel is in the film :)

  3. Avatar

    Amy @ bookgoonie

    This one does sound intense. I read The Notebook before the movie came out. I hate to say the Alzheimer’s part of the storyline actually wore me out (one of those things you are ashamed of like kicking puppies … I’d never do that) & then I never went to see the movie. I will Sparks another go ;D

  4. Avatar


    I just read another review on this one, and it sounds great, but I am not sure if it’s for me. I am kind of a Nicholas Sparks fan, but I have a love/hate relationship with him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I am glad you enjoyed it :)

  5. Avatar


    I have never read a nicholas sparks book. I have one on my shelf though, my grandmother sent it to me. lol. This movie trailer really intrigued me though, so I thought about getting this for my kindle.

    truthfully though, I’m scared she will die. Like it just have this feeling she’s going to bite it. Because someone always does. :-/ *sigh*

    Maybe I’ll just watch the movie. lol. :)

  6. Avatar


    I have read a couple of Nicholas Sparks books. However, I have not read Safe Haven before! This movie was dull of unexpected turns and plot twists but was still a romance movie! I love the Nicholas Sparks story lines all together! I would give this movie a definite thumbs up for all you hopeless romantics like myself(:

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