Romance novels have often been associated with sappiness and over-the-top displays of affection. Nicholas Sparks' novels might feature a little bit of that, but with additional depth added to it. Safe Haven is a fairytale for adults; it's a little getaway to a universe where true love conquers all.

On the run from a past that she prefers to keep vague, Katie finds herself with very little money to get by. Surrounded by mystery and fear, she flees to Southport, North Carolina where she keeps to herself, but eventually, she lets her guard down, and reluctantly develops relationships with the people around her. She falls in love with widowed Alex and his two kids, and befriends her eccentric neighbour Jo. When her past comes back to haunt her, Katie questions her own self-worth, her ability to recover and the possibility of maintaining relationships with the people that she loves without hurting them.

As the story unfolds, the reader understands that Katie was the victim of abuse by her husband. She tries to be as inconspicuous as possible, yet her need for human companionship overpowers her fear. The twist is exposed early on in the novel, adding up to a weak climax and making the rest of the novel predictable. With a bruised body and a bruised ego, Katie reassembles the ruins of her life until her husband finds her.

Aside from its predictability, Safe Haven has a seamless narrative. However, the characters feel like actors that smile all the time until the muscles of their jaws ache. Although the plotline is simple and easy to follow, the characters lack realism and are too perfect to be a part of today's world.

What makes Safe Haven a good read is the fairytale love aspect; it's healthy to escape reality every once in a while and reside in fantasy, and Safe Haven offers just that with an inspiring element as well. As the story develops and Katie falls in love with Alex, she learns to love herself again.

Unlike other Sparks novels, Safe Haven doesn't have a heartbreaking ending. A short walk into the world of the supernatural wras up the novel unexpectedly, but that doesn't make up for the clichés in the storyline.

Safe Haven is a good novel by Sparks, but if you’re familiar with all his other work, you may feel a little let down.