How would you feel if you had to live every day in fear of the love of your life being deployed in a war struck country? Dear John by Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite books of all time. Sparks pulls you in and takes you on an emotional roller coaster by making you fall in love with the main character, John Tyree, a United States Military veteran. As you are falling in love with John, he is falling in love with the other main character of the book, Savanah Curtis. All love stories contain heartbreak, but this book in particular has you grabbing multiple boxes of tissues. Sparks pulls in his readers only to leave them in despair in the middle of the novel. John and Savanah’s love is easy and carefree, making this book an easy and pleasurable read for almost all audiences. As a result of the September 11th attacks, John re-enrolls in the military to fulfill his need to serve his country. When John leaves, Savanah has second thoughts about the long distance relationship and sends a letter beginning with “Dear John,”.
What I love about many of Sparks’ novels is that they are very realistic; they don’t always end in a happily ever after. John and Savanah’s relationship was nowhere close to “ideal”. In one scene in the book, Savanah suggests that John’s father might have Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder resembling autism. As one can imagine, John did not take this diagnosis very well and put up a wall for some time, shutting out Savanah. Sparks also uses figurative language throughout his novels. In one instance, Sparks writes, “The initial feelings associated with love were almost like an ocean wave in their intensity, acting as the magnetic force that drew two people together.” If this doesn’t scream romance, I don’t know what does.
If you are looking for a story that has a happy romantic ending, I suggest staying away from this book. But, if you are ready to steer away from the stereotypical romance novel and let your heart be vulnerable, this is the book for you. To find out what happens between John and Savanah, I strongly suggest getting lost in this tear jerking novel.
Reviewed by Madison H ’17 for Literature of the Millennium