Cara's Reviews > Dear John

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
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's review
Apr 30, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010, books-made-into-movies, male-protagonist, realistic-fiction, recommended-to-me
Read from April 30 to May 02, 2010

This book needs to have a different title like maybe The Rehash or The Tragic Tragedy . Seriously how many times do we have to hear about the same scenes?!?!

Ok so I didn't hate it, but really it was a bit of an overload. I had it coming though, I mean what did I expect by picking up a Nicholas Sparks novel? Sparks is a popular author for a reason. His writing draws you in but not forcefully. The words gently tug you along and before you know it you have to finish the book. I will give him props for that because I'm not one of those people who has to see a book to the end, if it's not holding my interest I chuck it.

After I finished reading I literally was exhausted. It's like Sparks was sitting at his computer and thought about all the ways to make it romantically tragic. I can just see him now, "Aha! That will definitely be a tear jerker, I'm a genius!" Way overdone. I cannot say that enough. Don't get me wrong there a scenes where you are like that was good, but he tries to stick in too many. He is a master puppeteer when it comes to pulling your heart strings, basically merciless this guy.

The premise was interesting because I grew up as a military kid and I wanted see the perspective of a soldier without children. John is good in the beginning but then he changes pretty dramatically. In the first half of the book he keeps saying and my love grew stronger at least 4 or 5 times. Really John how much stronger can it get? There was this thing that really bothered me. He kept saying base but in the Army they call it a post, the Air Force calls military installations bases. The terms are of course are interchangeable and people use them both, but for the time John is in the Army he would have known that.

I would have rather read a story focused on John's relationship with his father and have Savannah as a side note. That would have been better. Kind of a let down and don't even feel like watching the movie anymore. Basically I'm saying to pick up something else if you are not into sappy, sad, melodramatic stories.
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Reading Progress

04/30/2010 page 175
63.41% "Hmmm... I'm not liking it as much as I hoped."
06/04/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Ash (new)

Ash We'll probably watch the movie anyways. Maybe it'll be one of those mettled Hollywood things that they make the ending happy. Maybe.

message 2: by Cara (last edited May 02, 2010 05:07PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cara Sigh. Yeah I know we'll probably get dragged into watching it. I REALLY hope they don't follow the book to closely. I wouldn't mind if Hollywood really messes it up:D

message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Funny!:D

message 4: by Cac (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cac I totally agree! I would have loved it if he had left the love story to a minimum and explored more with the father. I had no interest in watching the movie at all!

message 5: by Cara (last edited Nov 17, 2010 03:23PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cara I know I hadn't either for awhile but now I have actually watched it and I can say I liked the movie better than the book! I can't say that about a lot of books, but this is certainly the exception. Thanks for the comment:D

Thomas Aw, I just read this one and liked it, although I can definitely see where you're coming from. It is a bit melodramatic.

Cara It might have been because my friend raved and raved about it and since she hardly reads I thought it was going to be excellent since it hooked a reluctant reader. I guess since we are avid readers we expect more probably. I had liked A Walk to Remember but this one just fell flat for me.

Leena Almashat I totally agree with you.

Monica I loved this book. I agree the ending was kind of a let down, but I think Sparks does a good job by just making your mind go crazy. I believe love can continue to grow, and John was never really loved, which is why I believe he felt so strongly about Savannah.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with your review. I was way more interested in john and his dad than john and savannah

message 11: by Imke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Imke i can see why you don't like it but what did you expected when reading a Nicholas Sparks novel? if you just know a little about his background then i think you know where his inspiration comes from. I love this book even the end. I think you need to give the movie a shot. like every Sparks book that's made into a movie the makers don't stricktly use the book only the storyline and basics. I think you like the movie better not saying you like the movie but it's better then the book.

message 12: by Cara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cara I'm sorry guys that I haven't seen these comments till now! Thanks everyone for the comments.

@Leena- I was starting feel like I was the only who didn't enjoy this book fully. Now I don't feel so insane:)
@Monica- I'm glad you could enjoy the book and you could understand John's character.
@Courtney- I actually haven't seen too many books that focus on a relationships like that. I'll have to be out on the hunt for them now!
@Imke- I actually did go watch the movie eventually. I didn't love it, but like you mentioned the ending wasn't so devasting in the movie. I have read one other book by him, A Walk to Remember, and I did enjoy it. This one just didn't do it for me but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

dyanne ha i'm reading it right now and feel like this book was written just to make people depressed and give another cliche, sappy love story for people to read. still, I give credit to Mr. Sparks that he has a nice writing style. If only this book wasn't so tragic and cliche...

message 14: by Cara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cara I know I think that really got to me. It's not that I'm opposed to some tragicness or even some things that may be cliché but this seems overboard. And it seems this is this author "thing". I guess for me you can only do that so many times before it gets tiresome. Thanks for the comment Dyanne:)

message 15: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Schuler My mom continues to push him on me. I read this one and Nights in Rodanthe because I stayed next door to that house before it was moved. He is very good at wringing out every possible melodramatic scenario. I just feel like my English major will be revoked if any of my professors ever found out I caved.

message 16: by Cara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cara Haha:D I just think his style isn't for everybody and the biggest peeve I have about it that it seems so repetitive. I read A Walk to Remember and liked it. But when I got to this I don't know what happened. I guess I noticed how melodramatic his writing style is and that seems to be the MO for Sparks.
I have a friend who loves anything this author writes too;)

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