Book Review · Books

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks [BOOK REVIEW]


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.

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Book Review · Books

Nights in Rodanthe – Nicholas Sparks [BOOK REVIEW]

nights in rodanthe nicholas sparks novel romance books book review blog diary of difference diaryofdifference


Nicholas Sparks is the romance genius. He is able to create stories of people falling in love, like no author I have read a book from yet. He puts so much emotion and feeling into the pages, that after one of his books, reading another romance seems boring.

Having read almost all of his books, I decided to finish all the ones I haven’t read, and when I suddenly encountered this one in the library, I told myself – ‘’Hey, why not?’’

The synopsis was intriguing, as all of his books are, but unlike the others, Nights in Rodanthe left me disappointed. With his books – this was the first time I ever felt like that. And that is why I need to mention this.

First of all, the story is very predictable. Too predictable – even. I knew what was going to happen from the very first chapters, and I was expecting at least a little bit of a plot twist, but nothing really happened.

Secondly, the romance was fake. The falling in love part? I didn’t see it. I just can’t imagine people falling in love in three days. I am sorry – but it is impossible. Crush, interest, lust, someone paying attention to you, and you feeling goosebumps – I can understand it all. But in three days, I can’t imagine anyone falling so deeply for one another, that you can’t look at another person ever again, and they are all you think about, all day.

Honestly – how well can you get to know a person in three days? Will you get to know the real person? When you’ve never seen them sad, angry, how they behave in company, how they behave when drunk, when upset, when they are doing daily chores, like going at work (note – this all happened while they were sort-of on vacation).

I can remember how many summers I have spent going on vacation for ten days, and thinking I was in love with someone. I am sure you have gone through the same.

So, knowing all this above, I just couldn’t feel for these people as I used to feel with many from Sparks’s characters in other books. And don’t judge me, that this would be the sole reason why I rate this book the way I do. After all, it’s a romance novel.

On the other side though – it is an emotional novel. If you, for a moment forget how fast this romance happened and how unreal it is, the story is going to deeply hurt your soul, and crush you into pieces. Fake romance or not, you are going to shed a few tears for sure.

To wrap this up – I didn’t like it. I am not into fake, impossible romance. But this book seems to be a hit or miss, so if you like Nicholas Sparks – I still encourage you to read it. You never know, it might be your favourite book from him so far.

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