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'Safe Haven' novel better than movie, contains twists

By Gillian Ponce
On March 26, 2014

I don’t normally bring up movies that were made about books, but I feel I have to in this case, because the movie was the reason I even decided to read another book by Nicholas Sparks. His books, though amazing, never fail to make me cry. Yes, it’s a romance. That is what I enjoy reading. But with Sparks, you never know what you’re going to be reading. He always has some plot twist that may or may not destroy the romance or other things.

Just a fair warning, however. If you have read or know about any of the other books I review, you know I tend to prefer lighthearted books, especially dystopian or fairy tale. I do love this book, but it’s dark compared to what else I read. It’s not extreme, but it is when compared to what else I’ve reviewed.

Books are naturally always better than the movies, and “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks is no exception. The movie was fantastic, but there is always something extra you get from the book.

For me, the biggest extra you get in the book is seeing inside the antagonist’s head. You get to hear what he thinks and why he does what he did. While at times it is disturbing, it adds to the feelings you have for the protagonist. You also get to see inside the other protagonist, Katie, the love interest for the main protagonist. It helps you see more of the story and helps you decide your feelings for each character better.

The book stayed true to Nicholas Sparks and makes you cry, but you really feel for the characters. There is such a variety of people, but they all fit in. There’s likely someone who you can relate to, so it makes it easier for you to be in the story. Sparks is good at describing his characters in a way that makes you remember what they look like, but it’s not overly done in the description, so you get bored a line or two into it.

The book flowed well. There were some flashbacks that wouldn’t have made much sense if the book wasn’t written well, but they made sense and you were always able to tell when it was not the present time. The flow between points of view was smooth and almost effortless. Many books have a hard time switching points of view, but Sparks achieves it and makes it flow well.

The way he writes is almost flawless. There are no grammatical or spelling errors that distract from the book, and the way he writes helps send you away into the world he created. You can feel a certain love Sparks has for his characters, and it adds to the whole world in general.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, just know that it didn’t follow the book. While both are good, there were some very big differences. Some of the reasoning behind certain things was not the same. Some characters didn’t even play the same role from the book to the movie. Other characters didn’t even get their real name into the movie. While these things can be very annoying, the book is amazing, and I would definitely recommend reading it if you like mystery with a bit of romance.

Gillian Ponce is a sophomore majoring in journalism. She was an editor for her high school newspaper and received a scholarship for an article she wrote. Send comments to

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