Sunday, 24 October 2010

Dear John

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Modern Fiction, Chick Lit
Pages: 335
First Line: "What does it mean to truly love another?"

Synopsis: John is an angry young man who has had a hard life. When he suddenly meets Savannah Lynn Curtis during a furlough from the army John realizes he's ready to make changes in his life. They spend a week together and fall hopelessly in love. When John has to return to the army Savannah vows to wait until John is done his tour of duty. Unfortunately 9/11 occurs pushing off the time when the lovers will reunite. When John and Savannah finally meet up again will their love have endured?

My Thoughts: The first line of this book is "What does it mean to truly love another?". Personally, I'd answer that question with: don't let someone you love read this book. It's drivel, plain and simple. I've lost 2 evenings I'll never get back. *sigh*

Why is it that 80% of the time I read a highly acclaimed book I don't like it ... not one bit?!? Is the book overhyped? Am I overly critical? Who knows. All I know is that I did not like this book in the least and wonder why those Hollywood bigwigs saw fit to make this book (out of all the books out there) into a movie. Boggles the mind.

Anyway .... I forced myself to finish this book. There are several reasons why I didn't like this book.

Reason #1: The storyline was shallow and extremely slow (if it existed at all) with a love story that just didn't seem real to me. The reader is expected to believe in love at first sight. To believe that from spending a few evenings together on a beach chatting and eating shrimp these two highly different people fall madly and hopelessly in love. From what I read I just didn't buy it. My problem is that from the beginning I thought Tim (a friend of Savannah's) and Savannah would make a better couple than her and John! Not a good way to start a love story!

Reason #2: The main characters were one-dimensional cliches. John was a macho, unfeeling tough guy not looking for love and always in 'relationships' that were doomed from the start. Savannah was the pretty Southern belle who was overly naive.

Reason #3: The storyline was very slow with a couple of minor storylines (involving coin collecting and autism) that didn't seem to fit well with the main storyline. The autism storyline seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought just because it's a hot topic, not because it was important to the story. It felt disrespectful to the issue of autism.

Reason #4: The ending. It was sooooo predictable. Sometimes that's not a negative as long as the rest of the book has been great. You almost look forward to everything falling into place. That was not the case here. The ending was filled with excessive sentimentality to make the reader cry (well, not THIS reader but others I assume cried). What happened to the characters in the end of the book didn't seem to fit with who the characters were portrayed to be. I couldn't see a naive, strongly Christian woman betraying the man she loves in the way that Savannah did.

Needless to say I don't recommend this book.

My Rating: 1/5 stars

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