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Dear John

A book by Nicholas Sparks

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Nicholas Sparks - Dear John

  • Feb 6, 2010
Pros: easy read, fairly interesting

Cons: where's the He-men?

The Bottom Line:
"I was overseas in battle when the postman came to me
He handed me a letter and I was just as happy as I could be"
~Davis, Bare

I recently finished Dear John, the latest by Nicholas Sparks. I do like Sparks writing style, it is free-wheeling and easy to read. However, read one Sparks and you’ve just about read them all. My other small snip on his stories, the men always seem so lovelorn while the women seem more reserved. Maybe I just knew the wrong guys all along, but they never acted so wimpy and swept off their feet like a Sparks man does.

The novel is about John Tyree, 23, who dropped out of high school. He is a rather lost soul, aimless, and joins the Army to be all that he can be, to put it mildly. He seems to be a proficient Army man, Sergeant, which doesn’t hold true to his character in his previous life as a rebel and not one to follow rules. His mother has been gone for some time from his life and he grew up with his father, a man that seems rather removed and cares only for his precious coin collection.

While home on leave John meets Savannah. She is bright and fresh, a college student who is in town working for Habitat for Humanity. She lives in a large beach house with the rest of the crew, ruled by Tim, her mentor from her home town. You would never find two more unlikely beings than John and Savannah and you certainly wouldn’t expect them to hit it off so quickly. Savannah seems almost childlike and naive when it comes to some social skills.

When John leaves to return to Germany, they promise to rekindle their love in the brief 18 months until his time is up … then 9/11 hits and John reenlists. To top this off, his brief time spent back in the States is taken up with his father, who has fallen ill.

As Sparks tends to do, he draws his love stories out, sometimes taking too long to reach conclusion. His books, however, are not bulky and blowsy, I just get impatient sometimes. This book, at 288 pages, was a fairly quick read once you got into it and the title gives you a foregone conclusion to the ending, unfortunately.

Sparks does give his character background and fleshes them out, making them seem fairly human. Even if the swooning male characters often seem unrealistic. He never fails to give you a conclusion to the story, you are never left wondering what happens to certain characters in the book. It is a fairly enjoyable read, even a quick read once you get started. For a departure from his normal writing style, try his Three Weeks With My Brother.


Publisher: Warner Books
ISBN-10: 0446528056


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More Dear John (book) reviews
review by . July 12, 2010
Nicholas Sparks has always been a safe writer.  One who decides it's best to stick to the familiar and what people know rather than trying too hard to challenge them.  There are times when Sparks approach leads to some simple yet incredibly good stories (The Notebook or even A Walk to Remember) and other times it leads to relatively boring books (such as The Choice).  For the most part Sparks has a fairly good track record.  It can get annoying to read some of his stories, …
review by . June 16, 2010
Nicholas Sparks is famous for making women cry when they read his novels. The depth of emotion and eloquence with which he describes the emotions tearing at his characters' souls makes him one of my favorite authors on my bookshelf. This was one of the most moving novels I have read in a long time.      This is the story of John, a high-school dropout, troublemaker turned Army hotshot. His father was never able to help him break his behavior due …
review by . June 02, 2010
This is a Nicholas Sparks book, so be sure to have tissue close by.  I think this book truly captured my heart and soul because of the age of the characters, the setting, and other topics in this books that I have a particular interest in.  I actually picked up this book at a random garage sale for a .25.  Little did I know it would end up being one of my most favorite books, lent out to many of my friends, but always making sure to get it back.  I think that is how the …
review by . June 17, 2010
     I picked up this book thinking/hoping it would be in the same style as every Nicholas Sparks book. While that may sound boring, I have grown to love his classic, romantic style and the slight predictability of his writing. I was unpleasantly surprised with this novel. Usually reading Sparks' books gives me pleasure and that 'can't put it down' compulsion until I've devoured every word. Again, not this time. The book started off at a good pace, telling …
review by . June 23, 2010
This book was depressing. Right from the first page, you know it it not going to end well. This writing technique puts a pall over the entire book. I read the book before I saw the movie. More about that later.   So, the girl in the story is a little high maintenance. She didn't love John as much as he loved her. She found it too difficult to be away from him while he was away from home fighting for our country; he re-upped after 9/11 - had to or he wouldn't have been the good …
review by . July 07, 2010
As always, the book was far better than the movie. The leads seemed like they would have done a fabulous job and in fact I thought the movie looked like it was going to be extremely good but /I have to say the book was way better. Not to mention, the movie was hardly accurate. Anyways...   the book is about a girl and a boy who meet, fall in love, etc etc. Fairly familiar plot but the boy is in the army and so to keep things interesting, they write letters back and forth …
review by . June 17, 2010
What I love about this book, is the essence of reality.  It really explores the lives of two individuals who fit the mold for the average Joe as well as revealing the ugly traits that are connected with long distance relationships.  The truth shines through in every word throughout this story.       One cannot begin to imagine what life holds for those who are fighting for the life we so inadvertently take for granted.  And even more than that, there is no …
review by . July 07, 2010
   Semi Spoiler if you have NO idea what this books about....            I very much enjoyed this book. I had a very hard getting through the first half. I let all the things I had heard about get into my head. Everyone told to expect disapointment. But I have to say, it was perfect. A true love story. A real one. Yes, sad. My heart ached, I cried. But overall, it was simply marvelous. Life doesnt always have the sweet happy endings people like …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
This book was much better than I expected. For me, Nicholas Sparks novels are a hit or miss. I don't like several of them and am only fond of a few. This is one that I will read again.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
A good book. Much better than the movie. The ending of the book was not what I wanted it to be, but most things in life aren't! Sparks is always realistic in his books, and I like that.
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About this book


Dear John is a novel that was published in 2006 and written by American author Nicholas Sparks. Set in Wilmington, North Carolina and Lenoir, North Carolina from 2000 to 2006, the three-part novel begins with 23-year-old John Tyree, an army veteran who is on leave while staying with his father in his home town, and explores the common romance theme of love after loss, involving a couple who meet at a beach one summer and eventually become separated by war. The pair individually endure family health issues and social obstacles, all the while struggling to reconcile their love for each other. A film adaptation of the novel, directed by Lasse Hallström, was released in 2010.
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ISBN-10: 0446528056
ISBN-13: 978-0446528054
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: History
Publisher: Warner Books
Date Published: November 24, 2009
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