I begin by saying that I am a devout fan of Nicholas Sparks. I have read and enjoyed his every work. I am a sucker for tragedy and romance intertwined, and no one delivers such equal parts of the two in writing as does Sparks. While his plots are mocked by some for their predictability, he always delivers in depiction of a "working man's romance," if you will. In Safe Haven, he creates, as always, believable characters (save one) embarking on a believable romantic path together. His dialogue is as down-to-earth and unstilted as is generally the case with his writing. His main characters are at once likable and interesting and his commonly chosen small town setting is as charming as per the norm. Everything is in place for a delivery of yet another enjoyable, albeit likely tear-jerking, Sparks-ian plot.
However, the book went off the rails somewhere in the middle. The ending "surprise twist" was in plain sight very early. The book attempted to be a thriller/horror but came off like a Lifetime movie. The climax was unbelievable, the characterization of the "villian" became caricature-esque toward the end. The resolution was hasty, at best, giving prominence to the heavily foreshadowed twist. I SO wanted to love this just as I have his others. I did not. It was undistinguishable from a Sandra Brown or ^various other "romantic suspense" novelist's works. That's a negative for me.
Positives: Narrator is excellent. Main characters are likable. Still better than anything in the typical "Romantic Suspense" category (but only barely) Nearly certain we won't have to see this one in movie format.
Negatives: Plot. Sparks can do, and has done, much better than this.
This was my 1st Audiobook. Sparks wrote this well, good story line (reminded me of the movie sleeping with the enemy) but a different twist at the end. The narrator did a good job, but haven't listened to others as this was my 1st.
Didn't like the narrator, the story was boring, and the ending was so weird.
I hate wasting money so I listened till the end but definitely not one of his best. "The Choice" was 1000 times better!!!
Safe Haven, while well written, was completely predictable from beginning to end. The characters were reasonably well developed and this with the writing quality accounts for my two star rating.
Have been finding Nicholas Sparks getting a little too predictable, but this story is a good one. I like his bit of mystery and suspense, and his surprise ending.
This book drove me crazy it was to much like
Nora Roberts's Dance Upon the Air: Three Sisters Island Trilogy,
Book 1 with out the witches. and Robyn Carr's Shelter Mountain.
OT in the Garden
I've "read" all of Nicholas Sparks' books as Audible downloads. Yes, there is some predictabiity, but I appreciate that in recent books, Sparks has included characters dealing with complex experiences without pat handling of those experiences. You can read Safe Haven as simply a romance novel. Or you can read it as a more nuanced story of a woman rebuilding her life after years of abuse. I enjoyed the book, the narrator was excellent, and I was reminded once again that there is nothing one dimensional in being "a widower", "an abuse victim (or survivor)", or even "an abuser." Looking forward to the next Sparks novel . . .
Shelter Island by Robyn Carr has the same plot. I read it last year and this was so predictable that I only kept reading it to find out if it ends the same way. It did.
cant stand it. Its sweet tea with 15 bags of sweet and low. It just too much to bear. I had to turn it off.
I am not sure you can say you "enjoy" a book with this type of topic. But it is a really well written book, the narration is very good. I love the the aspect of "Jo" in this book. Please listen all the way through it is worth it.