Book Review: "No Safe Haven" by Kimberley Woodhouse and Kayla R. Woodhouse

Summary from Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though Twelve-year old Andi has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. Its news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna's husband (Andi's dad) in a car accident.

But as they were flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who wants to kill them.

It's always fun to come across a new story about subjects you don't know about. I find that a lot of fiction stories that use actual events or situations are the best places to learn about new things. In this book, I learned a lot about Alaska, survival and a disease that many people suffer from that I didn't know about. I really enjoyed Andi's character. She's a wonderful teenage protagonist who has had to mature because of her medical disorder. She's very likable (more so than her mother at times) and I really was rooting for her throughout the book.

This was a wonderful suspense story. It's pretty much non stop and you can actually feel like you're trapped on a mountain, low on oxygen and covered in snow. The Woodhouses do a great job at going into detail about Jenna, Andi and Cole's expedition. There was actually a few times where I could almost feel myself suffocating from thinking about being buried under the weight of snow. It felt extremely realistic and it's not glamorized at all, as even talk about going to the bathroom is brought up. To make it even more suspenseful is all the talk about Andi's medical disorder that doesn't allow her body to regulate temperature or feel a lot of pain. It's even more scary because the actual teenage author of the book goes through the same thing in real life, making her life a daily struggle and adventure.

I only had two qualms while reading. I did not like Jenna's reaction at seeing a psychologist while at the hospital. I don't know if this was the author putting in her actual feelings or if this is just Jenna's character alone but she was incredibly rude and insulting. There was no apology, no remorse after the situation and all we are left with is a feeling that anyone in the psychiatric field is not good at all. As someone who has great respect for those in the psychiatric field (including my own sister), I was quite insulted. It made me feel as if Christians and psychiatry should not mix and I could not highly disagree more. The other qualm was that I felt the romance in this book was too rushed. I understand the high intensity of the situation and that a close bond will happen when you are placed in extreme situations like this. However meeting someone and then 9 days later accepting a marriage proposal is way too fast. Even if you think you love them, there are many things that you haven't yet discovered and the odds are against you for a having a good trusting marriage if you rush it that quickly.

Other than those, it's a great book. The story doesn't feel too far fetched with the reasons for putting the characters in peril. Native Alaskans get a lot of talk about in the book along with the names and meanings of the mountains in the area. As I said the suspense is top notch. The mother/daughter writing duo have put out a wonderful novel and I'm looking forward to reading more from them in the future.

No Safe Haven by Kimberley Woodhouse and Kayla R. Woodhouse is published by B & H Publishing (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher


  1. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Glad to read such a great review. My book club is reading this book in a few months.

  2. Other than the plane crashing, I am in! :)

  3. Whoa, 9 days from meeting to proposal? That IS too fast. And I completely agree about the psychiatrist thing. I also think that kind of portrayal in a book can make it look like anyone who goes to a psychiatrist is nuts, which is completely false.

    Just out of curiosity, what is Andi's medical condition in the book?


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