Nicholas Sparks is my “go-to” author, when it comes to romance. Or when it comes to not-happy-ever-after and I want to cry. It’s a gamble when I pick one of his books, never knowing whether the couple will stay together. But one thing always happens – I do cry. Every single time. Dear John was nothing different. A love story between a US Army Soldier who comes home for a break and a girl he meets in his hometown, who’s there for a volunteering project over the summer.
Savannah is so different from the other girls, so caring and so generous in everything she does. And when they meet with John, it is love at first sight. They spend an amazing time together, but then 9/11 happens and John feels the responsibility to re-enlist. And this long separation makes Savannah fall in love with someone else.
Dear John is one of those books that always makes me cry, and always leaves me with a pain in my heart, as if I have suffered all the pain. It is very emotional and real to the core. After I finished it this time around, I just wanted to consume all the pain John felt and lessen his burden. There is something about his character that makes me care so much.
“What does it mean to truly love another?”
Dear John covers a lot of important topics that are still relevant, even today.
For example, how re-enlisting in the army is expected, and is considered a duty, rather than a choice. When it seems like it’s a choice, but if you choose “wrongly” it’s frowned upon – I don’t consider that free will. And from experience, leaving the army is probably the biggest labyrinth of administration ever made.
Another topic that I greatly appreciated in Dear John was the subject of autism. John has a very troublesome relationship with her father due to this, and not knowing of his dad’s situation, he reacts in a certain way. And I love how Savannah is there to support him, and bond with his dad as well. I loved his hobby – coin collecting. As a stamp collector, I know how much joy there is in finding something rare, and finally completing a set. I was very sad about the outcome on this particular topic, but it is what it is.
Savannah – I will never understand why she made the decisions that she did. I know that she made the mistake, and I think every reader knows it. Which is why this book hurts the way it does. It pains me to the core, because I know it is true love, but they are just never meant to be. And that last chapter says everything.
And John. Dear John.
My heart goes to him, for everything he goes through. His pain is too much to handle, and I will always remember him as the sad hero that was never able to be with his true love.
“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.”
I want to say that I recommend it to you all, but I know it will make you cry. I’m not recommending this because it will make you sad. I am recommending this for the experience. And for all the never-after loves.
Read my review of Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks.