Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dear John - Nicholas Sparks

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.


I started reading this book in preparation of a girls night out...Mexican, Margaritas & Movies!!! BUT needless to say this book has turned out to be an experience that I cant wait to get over with! :o/ Yes yes...I know its Nicholas Sparks and he likes to rip your beating heart out of your chest but I figured at least we'd get a HEA...NOT! Lets start off with a quote from the book that explains a bit.

"Our story has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. And although this is the way all stories unfold, I still can't believe that ours didn't go on forever."

So you know right off the bat they don’t end up together…I was sorta ticked but had hoped that both would get their HEA. Ok so we open the story up meeting John. He was a troubled kid with no mother. His father was very closed off and collected coins so much that it effected how they ate and lived! :o( John ends up going in the military and while on leave meets Savannah at the beach! Instantly they fall pretty hard for eachother and spend non-stop time together.

"Even now, I'm still not sure how it happened. One instant we were talking, and in the next she leaned toward me. For a second, I wondered whether kissing her would break the spell we both were under, but it was too late to stop. And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever. "

We also get to meet Savannahs childhood friend Tim that you knew just adored her! RIGHT THERE was when I didn’t want to finish the book. I KNEW Tim and Savannah would end up together! UGH! Either way they you really liked Tim and that’s what made everything so wishy washy for me :o/ Ok so John ends up having to go back and they decide they will stay together b/c he’s getting out in 1 year! So the letters start…

"I love you, not just for now, but for always, and I dream of the day that you’ll take me in your arms again."

He visits a few times but its hard and they start to fight which was really sad but you could tell it somewhat made them stronger. BUT it also showed they were beginning to really be strained by him being away. Both were counting down the days till he got to come home. Then 9/11 happens! :*( Everyone started to re-up their stays in the military and the decision that John made changed his path and Savannahs. He decided to re-up as well. Savannah tried to be understanding but it was hard. She ended up writing him a ‘Dear John’ letter letting him know she had fallen in love with someone else!

John was more of heartbroken than anything. Savannah was all he had ever known. His focus switched however very quickly to the war and his now dying father. His father’s situation was SO heartbreaking. Turns out his father had a disability (I think they said he had Asperger's syndrome) so John found a way for they to bond which was great but when his father started having multiple heart attacks he seen that it was staring to come to an end. John had pretty much hit rock bottom in his life and didn’t know where to turn after his father passed.

So John turns to find Savannah. Little did he know hed find her MARRIED TO TIM!!! Then an even bigger shocker was that Tim was in the hospital with Melanoma! He was dying!!! OMG! LIKE SERIOUSLY?!?!? John talks with Tim and Tim decides that if he leaves that John should take care of Savannah b/c he knows that she still loves him. (Savannah had settled for Tim) Tim needed special treatment that cost $$$ so what does John do…sales his father coin collection and discreetly pays for Tims treatment…slipping out of Savannahs life forever. And he ends up alone! WTH?!?!

"It's possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems, and that in time, the grief . . . lessens. It may not go away completely, but after a while it's not so overwhelming."

And we end the book with him secretly spying on Savannah during their full moon they always watched. It broke my heart! She still loved him yet he knew it was wrong and that their time had passed. Couldn’t NS given us SOME hope that John would eventually have a happy ending?

"And then I feel as if I'm witnessing a miracle, as ever so slowly she raises her face towards the moon. I watch her drink in the sight, sensing the flood of memories she's unleashed and wanting nothing more than to let her know I'm here. But instead I stay where I am and stare up at the moon as well. And for the briefest instant, it almost feels like we're together again."

*sigh…I wanted to rip the book in half!

My BIGGEST issue with this book was the fact that while Tim was in the hospital John came over for like 2 straight nights and ate dinner etc. Well in that time they almost kissed! AND She had to change at one point and he seen her naked back from another room…she knew he did and she turns around to show him…almost an invitation. I understand NS was trying to show us she was scared and confused but omg that was just WRONG!

I WAS however happy that in the end Savannah asked John could she write to him and see him and he shut her down! Not in a mean way and I know that was the hardest thing he had to do but it was the RIGHT thing. He gave Savannah to Tim :*(

"I finally understood what true love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be."

Sorry this was a pretty much play-by-play of the book but it truly speaks for itself! The writing was great...I mean it is Nicholas Sparks after all. But if youre not wanting your heart ripped out STAY AWAY! Im sure some of you might agree or disagree…but I wanna hear it! What did you think?

And btw next time I try to read NS will someone slap me and remind me about this book please? Everyone is like "oh it was bitter sweet"...I tell them "im just plain bitter"! lol

I give this book a total of...



VampFanGirl said...

You see, this is why I don't read Nicholas Sparks. I need my HEA like I need air to breathe and I just can't read or watch his novels turned movies.

The only one I've seen is THE NOTEBOOK and I thought that it had an HEA. They got to spend their entire lives together and die together so to me, that's good. But it looks like everything else he's written leaves you "just plain bitter". :)

Great review, girl! Maybe the movie version will have an HEA....

:) VFG

February 4, 2010 at 8:47 AM
Fiction Vixen said...

I have a hard time with Nicholas Sparks. I read for escapism and NS always takes me straight to the tragedies. My heart can't take it. LOL. The Book Vixen (who is a HUGE NS fan) gave this one 5 stars. She's doing a guest review on my blog tomorrow. Nice review my dear. :)

February 4, 2010 at 8:50 AM
Monroe Dawson said...


I need that too...I was SO Down after I needed a pick me up! The book Im reading right now is PERFECT for that!

Im REALLY hoping we get a little HEA in the movie! UGH! WE BETTER! If not Im thinking of bringing my book to the movies, tossing it at the screen and pitching a fit...too much?!?! lol

And ya I liked The Notebook (movie and book) ALSO The Wedding was pretty good!

Thanks sweetie! :o)

February 4, 2010 at 8:52 AM
Monroe Dawson said...

Fiction Vixen-
Thanks girl! I guess the diff in ratings goes to show how some people can take this sorta stuff. Ask any of my friends...Im SO tender hearted that a book like this stresses me out and brings me down! lol Im even nervous to go see the movie! I kinda cant wait to get it over with and if it wasnt for it being a girls night I wouldnt be going...oh and Channing Tatum is pretty easy on the eyes! ;o)

Thanks girl! Ill have to check out the review tomorrow!

February 4, 2010 at 8:55 AM
Nicole McLaughlin said...

NO, NO, NO, to Nicholas Sparks. What is this guys problem?? I just cant do sad for the sake of sad. Life is sad enough, i dont need to read about these things!! ugh lol

He always has to drop the tragedy bomb, and I'm with everyone else. I read to feel good! I dont mind some tragedy in a book, but you leave his stuff just thinking...well..."life can really freakin suck". No thanks!

What are you reading now???

February 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM
Nicole McLaughlin said...

OH, and by the way...I'll be the one to slap you around if you pick up one of his books again!! lol

February 4, 2010 at 2:05 PM
Rowena said...

I'm not reading this book but I am going to see the movie so I'm not going to read your review...until after. LOL.

February 4, 2010 at 2:30 PM
Monroe Dawson said...

1st off you KNOW I like being smacked ;o) 2ndly I KNOW RIGHT?!??! I understand hardships in books but to totally rip your heart out and stomp on it...whats the point?!?!? UGH!

Ya come back and read it after the movie! I think Im gonna do a review on Boob Tube tomorrow...we should do the review together! When are you going to see the movie?

Oh and VD tonight is gonna be GOOD! ;o)

February 4, 2010 at 3:14 PM
~ames~ said...


Thanks for telling me what's going on. My mom and aunts want to do a girls night out too and maybe I'll beg off. I liked the Notebook, but any other NS movie I've seen has been a big ol'bummer. NO THANKS.

February 4, 2010 at 5:25 PM
Monroe Dawson said...

Ya I wish I could not go to the movie BUT since being married I savor my girl time! lol Ill let you know how the movie goes!

February 4, 2010 at 5:29 PM
The Book Vixen said...

Great review! I found your blog via Fiction Vixen. Love your avi!!

I can understand why people stay away from NS novels. And those reasons are the reasons that I love them. I will admit that I don't read them back to back (gotta have time to dry the eyes and gain composure) but I do love me a mighty good romance story from the master from time to time.

For the ones who like a HEA, I do recommend The Lucky One, The Rescue and A Bend in the Road. I think you will enjoy the story without worrying about the outcome. There may be a few tears but your heart will survive.

I'm anxious to see what your thoughts are about the movie version. A couple of my girlfriends want to go see this but I'm not sure I want to be seen in public crying like a baby....

February 5, 2010 at 4:25 PM
Monroe Dawson said...

Book Vixen-
Hey girl! Glad you found me and thanks I love my avi!!!

Ok I JUST got back from the movie and...well lets just say Im a happy camper. You know how I was so scared to see it and now that i did I prefer it to the book! lol

I am gonna try the other NS books you recommended b/c I really love his writing its just hard to get past the sad stuff ya know?!?! ;o)

AND surprisingly I didnt cry like I thought I would...the worst part was the stuff about his father! Also Channing was a pretty good John. A bit stiff as an actor but I think it kinda worked for John.

Come back and visit soon! :o)

February 5, 2010 at 8:17 PM
The Book Vixen said...

How close did it stay to the book? Is the outcome the same?

February 6, 2010 at 8:13 AM
Monroe Dawson said...

Emailing you now BV!

February 6, 2010 at 1:04 PM
NicholasSparksFan said...

i disagree about the just bitter thing. it may seem that way but if you take a closer look you can see the sweetness in NS novels. Nicholas Sparks is my favorite author because he knows how to show that true love does exist.
John and Savannah may not have ended up together in the end, but they can go on knowing that they experienced something so amazing...they experienced truelove, a love so true that it changed them both. they will never be the same 2 people again. this is proved by the quote in the review where they both look up at the moon. and in my opinion that would b a gift in itself. its like they say 'its better to have loved ans lost than to have never loved at all'

i think its wrong to write off NS novels in general based on this one ook. there r some books by him such at The Last Song and The Rescue and some others that do have some sadness in the end but for the most part, they end with hope and happiness. so maybe you should look into those. i recommend The Rescue. that was a really good book by NS and when i was finished i was able to close the book with a smile on my face

March 8, 2010 at 8:31 PM