My good buddy The Book Vixen has graciously agreed to guest review here at FictionVixen.com today. She is Nicholas Sparks’ number one fan! Take it away BV!
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Available: December 7, 2009
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book received from: Purchased by reviewer
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.
Let me start off by saying that I am not a re-reader. My philosophy is why re-read when you can read something new, right? But when I saw the re-release of Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (with Channing Tatum on the cover!!) and the fact that a movie was made based on the novel, I wanted to revisit John and Savannah.
I think it goes without saying that Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors. If Sparks writes it, I will read it. His books are on my auto-buy list. It all started with the movie The Notebook. I was completely and utterly captivated with Noah and Allie’s story. I wanted more. When I found out the movie was based on a novel, I went to the bookstore and picked it up and read my very first Nicholas Sparks novel. Then I read At First Sight, True Believer, Message in a Bottle….the list goes on and on. I fell in love with his writing style, the characters and with North Carolina (the state itself is a character in its own right in each of his novels). Sparks has a way of getting the reader immersed in his story, longing for more. He has a knack for pulling the reader right into the story.
Dear John is story of love, loss and emotion. It is a story that begs the question ‘what if…?’. What if you took a different path in life? Would you still end up at the same destination? What if you made the wrong choice? Would you live to regret it? And what about the tougher questions, like how long would you wait for the one you love? Can love survive the distance?
John is a bit of a rebel but never fell too far off the right path. He was raised by his father, though the two weren’t all that close. John had a hard time relating to his father. His father’s coin collecting hobby kept them close for a short while. Over time, the two grew further apart. After high school, John realized he wasn’t going anywhere in life so he enlisted with the Army for a 4-year tour.
Savannah is a girl who is pure and full of naïve innocence. She’s an all-around good girl; you could even call her a goody two-shoes. She lives in a small town and is very close to her parents. She dreams of opening up a horse ranch for autistic kids. It is on a break from school, when she’s volunteering for Habit for Humanity, that she meets John and the two fall quickly in love.
Neither John or Savannah were expecting to fall in love but their attraction was inevitable. His two-week furlough is up and he has to return to Germany. Savannah promises to wait for John to finish out his tour. The two continue their relationship through handwritten letters. Savannah writes first.
There’s so much I want to say to you, but I’m not sure where I should begin. Should I start by telling you that I love you? Or that the days I’ve spent with you have been the happiest in my life? Or that in the short time I’ve know you, I’ve come to believe that we were meant to be together? I could say all those things and all would be true, but as I reread them, all I can think is that I wish I were with you now, holding your hand and watching for your elusive smile.
The two continue their relationship through romantic letters, then the events of 9/11 happen and John re-enlists. The distance and time apart put a toll on their relationship. And the questions of “what if…?” begin.
Dear John is one of my favorite reads by Nicholas Sparks. It is a story you will not soon forget. You will cry. Your heart will ache. You will find yourself asking “what if…?”. Dear John is about a love lost but not forgotten. I don’t agree with some of the choices made by either John or Savannah but John’s selfless act at the end of the story made me proud. Have the tissues ready! If you love a good, seamless love story that pulls on your heart strings, then you need to read Dear John. In fact, you need to read everything by Nicholas Sparks. His stories of timeless, endless love will captivate your heart and stay with you.
The Book Vixen rating: 5 Froggies-aren’t they cute?
Purchase a copy of Dear John
Add book to your GoodReads shelf
Movie premiers today!