Jan 19, 2011

Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks, author
I've got some more romance for you! Nicholas Sparks, the renowned author of The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, Nights in Rodanthe, The Last Song, and A Walk to Remember (among his other books), released his newest book- Safe Haven in September 2010. Six of his seventeen books have been made into movies with actors like Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Miley Cyrus, and Channing Tatum gaining fame and popularity from his romantic plot lines and dramatic flair for the tragic.

This entire week will be devoted to Sparks' fictional stories of tragic love... Fates entertwine and create a diversional plot line in so many of his books, and the guy of your dreams always gets the perfect girl!

We'll start off with his newest book, Safe Haven, which features a young woman, Katie, who is running away. (I know what you're thinking.... "From what!?"... But I can't tell you or else it wouldn't be a surprise!!!) She ends up in a little coastal town where she, an extremely shy and reclusive woman, meets Alex- the local convient store owner and his two adorable children by his deceased wife. Alex sees the beautiful though destitute creature, and resolves to chip away at the wall that she has built around herself. SPOILER ALERT Using his detective skills, he determines that Katie has, in all likelihood, been an abused housewife. (oops... spilled the beans)

As Sparks goes back into Katie's past we learn that first off that she's not really Katie. She's Erin, and her vile husband, Kevin, manipulates her and abuses her, both physically and mentally. When Katie assumes the identity of her neighbor's deceased daughter to escape, she makes her way to North Carolina, hiding from her vengeful husband.

Kevin's dementia shows in his paranoia and his inappropriate beating of Erin. When she leaves he resolves to get her back, and almost succeeds multiple times. Sparks uses an omniscient third-person narration to really get inside Kevin's mind, and make the reader thoroughly understand him, though not sympathize with him. As he continues with Kevin's plot to retrieve Erin and Alex's slow but steady befriending and seduction of Katie, Sparks switches between Kevin and Katie's opposing points-of-view up to the climactic ending. (I won't spoil that for you.)

Overall, the plot line is a gripping one, compelling the reader to read further and faster the more you read into the novel. Katie's plight urges the reader to feel a hint of pathos, while the triumphant ending thrills the reader with a sense of rightness and justice. On the "ADDICTION SCALE" it rates a secure 9. The gripping and thrilling plot was somewhat unlike Sparks' more relaxed novels, but his great character analysis has always remained true.

This book was recently turned into a movie! YAY! It's in theatres right now, so go watch it! I've heard it's fantastic, and it stars Julianne Hough (Footloose) and Josh Duhamel (Transformers).

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