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Dear John Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2009
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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.
Go Behind the Scenes of the Motion Picture Dear John (Sony Pictures, 2010)
Starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum
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From Publishers Weekly
Hot on the heels of True Believer and sequel At First Sight, Sparks returns with the story of ne'er-do-well-turned-army-enlistee John Tyree, 23, and well-to-do University of North Carolina special education major Savannah Lynn Curtis. John, who narrates, has been raised by a socially backward single postal-worker dad obsessed with coin collecting (he has Asperger's syndrome). John bypasses college for the overseas infantry; Savannah spends her college summers volunteering. When they meet, he's on leave, and she's working with Habitat for Humanity (he rescues her sinking purse at the beach). John has a history of one-night stands; Savannah's a virgin. He's an on-and-off drinker; she's a teetotaler. Attraction and values conflict the rest of the summer, but the deal does not close. Savannah longs for John to come home; her friend Tim longs to have a relationship with her. On the brink of John and Savannah's finally getting together, 9/11 happens, and John re-ups. Savannah's letters come less and less frequently, and before you know it, he receives the expected "Dear John" letter. Sparks's novel brims with longing. (Oct. 30)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The other three Nicholas Sparks characters who fall into this bracket are, Dawson Cole, Logan Thiebuex, and Ira Levinson.
The "leading man", John Tyree, a US Army sergeant who served in Bosnia and Iraq, was a highly sympathetic character, as was "leading lady" Savannah.
Not only were the characters good, but the plot was also.
The book moved very quickly and I finished it in one sitting, and then had to eat crow to the woman who recommended it to me. I just bought four more Sparks novels from Amazon, the book was that much fun to read, even for this curmudgeonly retired wire service reporter.
I laughed. I cried. I felt nearly all the emotions John and Savannah felt. That is the sign of an incredible book. The way Sparks wrote the novel engulfed me in the story to the point where I had to set out time during the day to get things done, otherwise I would have just read this book all day.
I may be a sucker for sappy love stories, but who isn't? The book still had deep insight into the purpose of relationships and how one person can change the lives of everyone around them--like Savannah did. The ending of the story can be interpreted several ways: Savannah thought she loved Tim as much as he had always loved her so she stayed married to him out of naivety, or because marriage is a commitment and she did not want to give up. No matter the reason, John is still left high and dry, only to serve his country and live without the one and only woman he ever loved.
I was able to feel the magnitude of the pain John felt when he saw Savannah for the first time wearing a wedding ring. The description in the novel is extremely vivid and eloquent. The situations in which the two are placed are realistic and allowed me to picture the settings easily.
However, because the story is told from a young man's point of view, it is obvious there are a few things that are too good to be true. The way John describes Savannah is a bit unrealistic at times. He points out details and soft images that a soldier stereotypically would not notice, so it is hard to believe he would think that way.
Another possible plot hole was the fact the two fell in love in two weeks time. Yes, that may be possible, but for them to stay together long distance through college and fighting a war in Iraq made it hard to believe their summer romance would last. I felt this way especially because they were hardly able to talk on the phone and letters were all they had to communicate. That would be hard to continue after only knowing someone for less than a month.
These two plot holes are easily ignored because of the tone of the story. It is not a novel one would read to analyze, but rather a book to enjoy on the beach or when feeling lonely. It could easily be read in a day if time permitted.
If you love Nicholas Sparks, you will love Dear John. Sparks' writing in this novel reverts back to his classic style and is sure to be enjoyed.
Oh, and one last thing: I would recommend the book over the movie any day of the week!
This was an... okay book. Not excellent, not awfully. Just... okay. Still, I'm quite willing to take a look at the other Nicholas Sparks' books.
Of course there 's love and romance. But in reading it something clicked inside me. He has written a fairy tale with it's witches(love)and monsters(sadness); it's haunted forrest(war) and it's enchanted streams and rivers(understanding and surprise). But could stories he writes overlook the dreams of fairy tales. I think not. Dream on.
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