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Showing 1-10 of 548 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,103 reviews
on February 18, 2014
I took the recommendation of a female friend whom I respect highly and bought this book, but when I first looked at it, put it aside figuring it was a romance novel that would only appeal to women. How wrong I was.

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.
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on June 29, 2017
I am from Sanford North Carolina & now just a year ago, got engaged & living in Tidioute PA. When I read a Nicholas Sparks book, I know I will be taking back to North Carolina, as he always writes close to home. Thank you Nicholas...
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on September 7, 2010
DEAR JOHN by Nicholas Sparks is a novel I would read again. It may be your typical love story, but has surprising twists the reader is confronted with on the first page of the novel. However by the end of the story, I had completely forgotten about what I had initially read because I did not want it to be true. I wanted a happy ending and that is not necessarily the message Sparks is trying to convey in this story.

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!
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on May 30, 2014
Wow, this book is hard to evaluate. There are parts of the book which I truly liked. As for the other parts of the book, they were awfully annoying. I read it without too many expectations, so it feels like it didn't really exceed in anything. I thought that the main characters, John and Savannah, were just the kind of characters I don't like to follow-up with in a story because although their reactions are very human, they are also very plain and unimpressive. John is the typical regular hunk who falls in love with a random girl he meets on a stroll on the beach AND YET he just KNOWS that she is the woman of her dreams? I couldn't really buy the idea. It's kinda ironic that the best parts of the book in my opinion revolve around John's relationship with his dad, and THAT was something that moved me to tears. I also liked Tim, who also happens to be very "normal" and yet struck me as a far better character than John.
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.
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on May 11, 2014
Of all of Nicholas Sparks' books, this one was one of my favorites. For one thing, the soldier depicted was realistic -- a real human being with thoughts and feelings....not a distorted killing machine type of hero. This guy is a selfless and wonderful person...and I think most soldiers are. Plus it's a story that takes place during 9/11 ... a very defining moment in American lives overall.
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on April 18, 2014
Love stories and romances do have a large audience. Perhaps more gender oriented than expected. Yet Sparks has, even if unintentionally, written neither.
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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on January 24, 2012
This is by far my favorite story by Nicholas Sparks, with The Last Song being a close runner up. I actually watched the movie first and fell in love with the actors because they did such a great job portraying all of the emotion this story contains. Since I loved the movie, I got the book. This is the first time I can honestly say that I loved them both the same. The funny thing is there are some significant differences between the two, the ending being the most critical, yet I loved the way the movie ended and I also loved the way the book ended even though they were very, very different. I've never had that experience before.

Since this book was entirely in the first person POV of John, the only person's head you are ever in is John's. I think that was one of the things that made the book so poignant for me. It was so decidedly male in regards to the perspective of the story, but in this book Sparks shows a side of men that you can only experience from reading John's internal thoughts. You can't capture that on film, and that was what made the book so powerful.

This is a love story in it's purest form and I found it truly inspirational that John gained so much insight and maturity from his relationship with Savannah and their experiences. He learned from the pain as well as the good times, but for John, the painful lessons made him stronger and gave his life another layer to it that he embraced. That was truly inspirational for me. The way John concluded his thoughts about what real love is would make even the toughest of hearts melt. It wasn't sappy either, but truly insightful and touching. If you've never read Sparks before and you want to see some of his best work, start with this one. It's not depressing, but rather hauntingly beautiful, and I loved it!
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on September 26, 2011
When I first read the description of the book I wasn't so sure if I wanted to buy it and since we all know the effect Mr. Sparks, which would be when you read one of his book or are watching one of his book movie adaption have a box of Kleenex right beside you because you are going to cry. Anyway, I ended up buying it.

Weeks after, one Saturday afternoon when I wasn't doing nothing much I took the book from my bookshelf and after a few pages I couldn't stop and I didn't stop until I finished the book, and course you can imagine the end result? I cried!

The story is told in first person and through John's narration you see how he turns to be a rebellious young man into a very brave, kind and very good man. Not only does he put himself in the line of duty for his country but at the end of the story he makes the ultimate sacrifice and for that he's more than a hero.

The plot may be simple but is well written and it not only concentrates in Savannah and John story but also the relationship of John and his stranded father. The book touches a very serious subject which is men & women risking their lives behind the enemy lines and the permanent effects it can have in their lives.

I wish I could tell you more about the book but I can't spoil it for you, if you already saw the movies (I haven't) from what I heard is not 100% accurate but it does have the essence of the book which for me is important but by all means go to the original material you won't be disappointed. This book is a must READ for you, so far it has been the best book I've read from Mr. Spark so I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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on January 27, 2010
I picked up the book Dear John after seeing the romantic and exciting commercials on tv. After falling in love with the movie the notebook I tried to read the novel but it didn't excite me like the movie did. So after that fail I was wary when picking up Dear John. Although it was a smoother read (in my opinion) than the Notebook, the relationship between main characters John and Savannah was difficult to root for. With only a couple encounters together, half of them being arguments, and Johns determination to make this "love" work, I just wasn't buying it. The depth of all their conversations are equivalent to those held on a typical first date, leaving me wondering how shallow John is that he can already know she is the only woman he will ever want. By the end I was hoping Savannah would move on and do something better with her life and maybe we could read about that! I wish the author could have given the characters a little more depth, a little more of a connection, and more of a reason for us to care!
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on March 29, 2016
Extremely good read! Well written as usual. Good story but it just did not hit the sweet spot for me . However a 4 star for Mr. Sparks is like a 9 star for any other author. By that I mean that the worst book he ever wrote was wonderful. I read his work to my wife, of 61 years, who has dementia and these books of his puts a smile on her face!
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