Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dear John - a waste of time!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: A book review!
I've been feeling a little guilty for not posting a book review for so many weeks, and so while I'm fully immersed in rereading The Summer Garden, I decided to devote a couple of hours to write a book review about what book other than: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.

I started reading the first page, I read the few lines in it, and to say I moved to the next page extremely reluctantly, would be an understatement. Something of a male first person book just didn't do it to me. Fortunately, things did get better a few pages later.

John is a soldier in furlough when he meets the beautiful too idyllic Savannah. Within two weeks they fall in love and promise to write letters to each other while John is sent back to Germany.
At the beginning it was still bearable. They had a sweet love, heartwarming moments, it was really all right. And although I wasn't on the floor weeping while reading their love letters, It didn't occur to me to stop reading.
But not John nor Savannah had anticipated 9/11 and it's consequences. Their worlds are turned upside down when John reenlists to the army, extending his service because of his patriotic side. I thought that was very noble and gallant. Apparently Savannah didn't quite agree with me.
That's when things became more strange, more abrupt and I was reading with a doubting raised eyebrow.

There are few masochists out there that do enjoy an extremely tragic ending, I am a masochist myself. I personally live to cry and cry and cry over a tragic book. Somehow, these are the books that penetrate my heart and become part of me. I love tragic endings! Here, I said it.
But I am picky, and I do have some criteria.
A heart breaks when you're reading about something that is so personal and emotional. When you pray for the characters and ask God to give them the happy ending they deserve, although you know in your heart they can't have this ending. Because their problems are just too complicated to be miraculously solved.
And that's when you cry over a tragic ending.
Honestly, I got the impression while reading the ending of Dear John, that Nicholas Sparks, with all due respect I have for him, was laughing viciously while he wrote this unbelievably pointless ending.
Yes. The ending was simply pointless and cruel! How could he write something like that?
Love reaches and ending and people move on?! Are you serious? What the hell am I suppose to do with this message? I want to read about people who fight for their love! People who don't surrender to the cruelty of fate, the heartlessness of life! People larger than life. People you identify with and want to live their story!

Few things that could have made the book a little more delicious:

  • Passion. Is it a love story or what? Isn't John a soldier?! I was expecting a little more love, honestly. Yes they said they love each other, blah, blah, blah. I didn't get their passion and love. Sorry. NEXT!

  • Savannah's point of view. I seriously need to know what's wrong with her that made her do what she did. I ended up hating her very very much.

  • Not such a heartless twist. Yeah, Nicholas Sparks is FAMOUS with his heart wrenching twists. But it really came across as if he wanted a tragic story so desperately he pulled a very random ending.

I'm aware that I'm too judgmental, especially because this book dealt with a love story of a girl and a soldier. God knows I'm very picky when it comes to a love story of that kind (TBH. ehem)

The only thing I was left with after I closed the book for the final time is that I should have brought The Reader instead.
I rest my case.
Have a blossoming day, a good read and a beautiful time,


  1. Hehe, so it was not better than the movie, I see.

    You should definitely read "The Reader" - I had to read the book while still in school about a decade ago, but I loved it. It's not a comfortable book, it's a little different, but I found it worth reading. Actually, maybe I should re-read it.

  2. Believe me, it is worse than the movie. :)

    Really? Someone highly recommended the book to me. I've heard it's a controversial book. Is it?