Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book Review - Dear John

While I was home for Thanksgiving I borrowed Dear John by Nicholas Sparks from my sister. This book was sooooo good. I read it two days! I'm a sucker for an intense love story and this book definitely fit the bill. I don't want to give anything away in the book so I will share two editorial reviews I found on Amazon.

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.

From The Washington Post
In the days following Sept. 11, 2001, hardly anyone, not even the late night comedians, knew what to say. Now, more than five years later, the roster of books and films addressing 9/11 and its consequences has grown long. There are explorations of religion and foreign policy, memoirs of life on the 21st-century battlefield, depictions of global culture, investigations, predictions and elegies. With Nicholas Sparks's contribution to the list, Dear John, we see our political climate in yet another light: candlelight, maybe. Or moonlight.

Narrator John Tyree is a wayward son of Wilmington, N.C., reformed first by the service (he seems to shed most of his rebelliousness at boot camp) and later by love. John meets Savannah Lynn Curtis while home on leave, in June of 2000. Savannah, a rising senior at UNC, is spending her summer building houses for those without. The couple share two fleeting weeks -- including an innocent scene under a half-built roof that's as big-screen-ready as they come -- before John must return to his post in Germany. For more than a year, he pines and she endures, counting the days until he will be honorably discharged.

Then the Twin Towers fall. Rather than returning to his love, John reenlists. In January 2003, his unit is sent into Turkey, then transferred to Kuwait. In March, he takes part in the invasion of Iraq. While John's days play out in the desert (when asked about his time there, all he mentions is the sand), Savannah must face her own unlucky destiny. Finally, with the death of John's father, whose somewhat unbelievable tale provides the main subplot of the book, the two are reunited and left to sort things out amid their tears and ours.

It isn't hard to picture John Tyree. We can simply imagine his predecessors, men in uniform staring pensively from earlier wartime romances. Apart from the occasional detail -- e-mail, cellphone, Outback Steakhouse -- Dear John could take place in any modern American era. For Sparks, weighty matters of the day remain set pieces, furniture upon which to hang timeless tales of chaste longing and harsh fate. Only in a novel such as this could we find our political buzzwords -- peacekeeping, IEDs, hurricane relief -- interspersed with these sentiments: "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."

This book has been made into a movie which will be in theaters in February. The movie stars Channing Tatum (soo cute) and Amanda Seyfried (she's from my hometown and also starred in Mama Mia). I'm so excited for this movie to come out! Check out the trailer (I love the song they use in the background).


Honeybunches of Roses said...

I saw this book, but not with the original cover but with the movie cover and it didn't look appealing to me. Thank you for the I want to go back and pick it up especially if I can knock it out in a couple of days and feel good inside :)

J said...

oh i want to see the movie! love the actors. i should def check out the book since i have more free time to read now!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...