Dear John – Book Review

I have mentioned it a dozen times already, but would like to say again that I’m a big fan of Nicholas Sparks; he is the reason I started writing. In fact, the first time I cried while reading a book was when I read his gem ‘A Walk to Remember’. It might sound awkward to you that I haven’t read all of his books, but I have a reason. I want to enjoy all his work, but since they are quite similar to each other, I enjoy them with a decent break in between. Dear John had been lying in my shelf for too long now and it was time I ripped open the packing.

Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Date Published: February 1st 2010
Language: English
Genre: Romance
ISBN: 9780751544572
My Rating: 5

The setting is usual and beautiful.

The male lead is John who was raised by a quiet and pedantically organized father. He grew up to be a rebel in his teenage but later decided to join the army. He meets Savannah (beautiful name!) during his 2 weeks leave. She is the exact opposite of John, sweet and charming persona and a kind heart.

They instantly hit it off together and fall in love over the weekend. What comes later in Dear John is the insecurities, the complexities of a long distance relationship, unexpected events that test their relationship.

I have always admired how easy it is to fall in love with Spark’s characters!

Right from the beginning, you feel connected with both John and Savannah. You start caring for their relationship and can’t help but embrace the peppy love. People might refer to what he writes as cheesy, but I really don’t mind because he writes of love that hardly exists in real life, but it should. I wonder how beautiful the world will be if everyone could love the way he writes.

Coming back to the point, the struggles that come along with long distance relationship have been narrated beautifully in the book and it all feels so real. Sparks focusses on how even the strangest of bond is shaken up with a distance that seems never ending.

But we also have a father-son relationship to focus on.

I guess I would have dropped down my rating of Dear John without the beautiful portrayal of John and his father. You must have a really strong heart if it does not well up your eyes. (The spoiler free review of Dear John ends here. Proceed only if you have already read the book.)

The way John reacts when Savannah tells him about his father’s Asperger is something you can understand. Having spent his entire life without a clue, he was supposed to react strangely. It also throws a light on the actions we take while we are enraged; it’s something we usually regret afterwards.

The relationship however blossoms and it’s all because of Savannah. You feel emotional how John is able to understand his father better and it continues till the end. I can’t describe how emotionally wrecked I was while reading about the last stages of John’s father’s life.

Dear John preaches love that is rare!

I can understand why many people did not particularly like the climax despite of enjoying the rest of the book. As a human, we want to see everyone happy at the end because that happens seldom in real life; we find satisfaction and solace in it.

However, I particularly loved the climax. In fact, I don’t find it sad. It left me in tears, but it glorified love and sacrifices that are sometimes necessary for the general happiness of everyone connected with you. I don’t know if such an intensity of love is even possible in real life, but the way Sparks has described it is magnificent.

I literally re-read the last page thrice and allowed it to sink in deep in my heart. Dear John offers you one of those climaxes that stays with you forever.

Overall, it is a heartbreaking story, a tear jerker with a beautiful soul; something that is typical with Sparks if you have read a handful of books by him.

I loved the quotes, some of which I’ll be sharing below:

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

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.

I fell in love with her when we were together, then fell deeper in love with her in the years we were apart.

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.

In our time together, you claimed a special place in my heart, one I’ll carry with me forever and that no one can ever replace.

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.

Buy Dear John:

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Anmol Rawat

Anmol Rawat is a writer, which, considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense. His debut solo book ‘ABCs of Horror’ is a collection of 26 terrifying standalone tales. He thinks Game of Thrones and Supernatural are the best TV series ever made and devours on Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, Stephen King & John Green. He would kill for a good cup of Cappuccino, as should all right thinking people.

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