I just finished Dear John, a Nicholas Sparks classic that I started reading today and could not put down. Sparks, a notorious romantic storyteller, creates a love story that is truly spectacular, realistic, and heartbreaking. The narrator, John Tyree, enlists in the army after graduating high school, not knowing what else to do with his life. Raised by his dad, a quiet and shy coin collector, John begins his training as a rebel who resents his life and father. After being stationed in Germany, John comes home on his first leave as a grown man, and his life is turned upside down when he meets her: Savannah Lynn Curtis. She is a college student who is volunteering for Habitat for Humanity when she meets John. Their whirlwind romance over his two week leave creates an unbreakable bond between them, and they both vow to keep in touch after their tragic goodbye. Savannah vows to wait for the man of her dreams and John knows in his heart that this is the woman he is meant to be with. Two years pass by, as John and Savannah exchange letters and the occasional phone call, waiting for him to finish his duty to his country.
September 11th changes everything. Now, the U.S. is going to war with Iraq and needs as much support from the army as possible. All around him, John's friends are re-enlisting. As much as he wants to fight for his country, he knows that the love between him and Savannah is slowly fading with his absence. John has to choose between love and his country. And Savannah will have to decide to wait for him or move on. This heart-wrenching love story shows the intensity and unpredictability of true love, and how it comes at the most unexpected time.
What I loved about this book was that it was not completely sappy, with unrealistic fantasies of a two people falling in love and living happily ever after. Life changes, people change, and love fades. But when love does come to you, you must cherish it with all of your heart, because in an instant, it may be gone. Also, I have a new found appreciation for the men and women overseas and their families. I cannot imagine the hardships that they are going through and how difficult it must be. I have been thinking about the soldiers more and more because of this book, and also because I have a friend who's brother and father are overseas. So here is a shout out to all of those affected by this tragic war, and I hope that your loved ones come home safely <3
As with The Lovely Bones, I was inspired to read this by the trailer for the movie that is coming out this year. I hope that the movie will be as good as the book. Watch here!
My only complaint about this book was that the trailer portrayed so many letters that were sent between the two lovers and I assumed that there would be more letters in the book. There were a few, but I would have appreciated more to give us more of Savannah's point of view, which was lacking. But it is a good read, so go for it!