Book Review ~ Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear JohnSummary ~ An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life–until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. “Dear John,” the letter read…and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love–and face the hardest decision of his life.

Dear Nicholas Sparks,

You have written a good love story for our times.  Our times being a time of war.  Your story of love between a young soldier and a college student is a great idea and you get it right for the most part.  I thought the first half of Dear John was a bit slow and though you were developing the romance between John and the lovely and intelligent Savannah, I have a feeling it could have been done within fewer pages.  The second half of Dear John was great though.  I think it could even stand alone as a novella.  The relationship between John and his father who possibly has Aspergers, per Savannah’s rookie diagnosis, really develops and is touching and a joy to read.  Things do not have a fairy tale ending for John and Savannah though, as much as the reader would like it too but it’s a story that resonates truth to a point. 

I was happy to read the book, even though I could have gone to see it on the silver screen and gotten the story in a lot less time but I have a new rule.  If I am really interested in the story and the movie is based on a book than I’m going to try to read the book instead.  Mr. Sparks, what do you think about the movie version of your modern day love story?  After talking with a girlfriend of mine who saw it over the weekend, a lot of details and part of the story were changed.  How does that make you feel?  When I read The Lovely Bones and then saw the film version with a couple of my book club gals, we laughed through most of the movie because the stupidest changes were made to the story.  I’m glad I read your original story about John and his Savannah.  It was also perfect timing reading Dear John the week before Valentine’s Day.

Best,

Karen @ Planet Books

{Rating ~ 3.75 out of 5}