21 Jun 2012


Please forgive me BUT as the film adaptation was premiered here on terrestrial tv just days after I had finished the book I felt it presented the ideal opportunity to review both.


When John meets Savannah, he realises he is ready to make some changes. Always the angry rebel at school, he has enlisted in the army, not knowing what else to do with his life. Now he's ready to turn over a new leaf for the woman who has captured his heart.

What neither realises is that the events of 9/11 will change everything, John is prompted to re-enlist and fulfil what he feels is his duty to his country. But the lovers are young and their separation is long. Can they survive the distance?
....... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): What does it truly mean to love another?

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 221): If our relationship was a battery, my time overseas was continually draining it, and we both needed time to recharge.

MY THOUGHTS: A real tear-jerker of a read, I enjoyed Dear John much more than I expected.

On one level an age old story of lovers separated by war, on another level with the events of Kosovo, Afghanistan and 9/11 as a backdrop it is a very modern story.

But it isn't the relationship between main characters, John and Savannah, that I found so endearing, it was that between John and his somewhat remote, coin collecting father that I found so touching.

A truly engaging read, I loved the journey of discovery that we went on with John though once again it was the unfolding relationship with his father, his growing understanding and respect of the man, that I found so very, very moving.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: A gift from a friend. As it was the unknown that played such a huge role in my enjoyment of this now that I know what happens I'll be passing this one on to another friend.

And so onto the FILM ...

Sunday night normally sees me and Husband dearest sitting down to enjoy a weekly quiz at our local club BUT this particular night saw me sitting, chocolates and tissues in hand, waiting to watch Dear John.

What a disappointment. 

Barring one major difference and several minor ones the film was fairly true to the book its just that by the time it was what I called 'Hollywoodised' it just all felt a bit flat and without emotion and because of the change in ending not nearly as moving as the book.


Betty Manousos said...

i'm sorry the book didn't meet your expectations.

brilliant review as usual.

big hugs!

NRIGirl said...

Another one on my must-watch list. Now I must scrap it off the list and add it to my must-read list.

Thank you Tracey! Keep it coming!

Kelly said...

This is really not my preferred type of reading (or watching). How convenient you were able to see the film so quickly after reading the book in order to make comparisons!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I haven't read any of his books but wow, he has a lot of fans! I DID see the film and thought it was ok but not great - and rather predictable.

Jeannie said...

I watched the movie - or most of it - I don't recall how it ended. Maybe I fell asleep. I do that.

ashok said...

good review

GMR said...

Ooh...sounds like the movie certainly took a bad turn. See I have a problem with Mr. Sparks works...it's almost like he's afraid to give his characters a happy ending. Someone always dies, or runs away or gets caught in a mud slide....except in the recent film version of THE LUCKY ONE. Now of course I have to read the book to see if Hollywood changed it or if Mr. Sparks just chose a different path this time around. Thanks for sharing!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I heard the movie wasn't good, so I never wanted to see it, but I AM glad that the book was good in a lot of ways though. I think I've only read A Walk to Remember by Sparks but I loved the book and the film.


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Ah... sometimes the ending the movie gives is better and sometimes not. Too bad this wasn't the case. I don't know why I haven't wanted to read or watch this one, but I haven't. Doesn't seem that I'm missing out on much.

Alyce said...

I've come to expect that his books are going to be emotionally manipulative (tearjerkers) so I don't read them anymore. I'm glad you enjoyed the book though!

The Golden Eagle said...

I've never read a book by Nicholas Sparks--I've kind of avoided them, actually, assuming they'd be overblown. Thanks for the reviews!

Blond Duck said...

I love the name Savannah, but I hate that its a sad book!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Sorry to hear the movie fell flat, but great to hear the book was so well done. :) Thank you!

Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

I thought Dear John was ok, but I agree the movie just didn't do it for me.

naida said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I havent seen the film, but this was my first time reading Sparks and it made me an instant fan of his.

So many books, so little time said...

I read this in February and gave it 4 of 5 stars, glad you liked it. I have never seen the movie but hate when they do that!

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Mamakucingbooks said...

I love Nicholas Sparks books. His books are always very emotional. Love this Dear John book. Have not seen the movie yet.

Have you read "The Last Song"? That is one real emotional book. Not sure whether it's being made into a movie or not.

To me, very seldom movie follow what's written in the book. Or maybe as we read the book, each of us have different imagination and when we watch the movie...when it differ from what we had imagined, it disappoints us.

Arti said...

Hi Tracy,

As always this book review is fantastic! I think I would love Dear John. I love stories that can move and have an impact days after we have put it down. So this sounds great. Although its sad that the movie could not do justice to the book.

PS: Excuse me for writing this in your comments section but... Many thanks for dropping by the other day, it was so good to hear from you. I am doing fine and have come back from my Japan trip and am busy writing some posts for Expedia, the company that sponsored my trip.

They will be published on their blogs and FB pages in a day or two. Please do have a look at them on their blog (expediaindiablog.wordpress.com) and FB pages (expedia.co.in) when you have some time. I will be up and kicking on my blog very soon. Thank you for your concern and motivations. I feel really blessed to have blogger friends like you. :-)

Fairday Morrow said...

I read this one and cried, too. I felt the same way about John's relationship with his dad. I haven't seen the movie- but I am sorry to hear it wasn't as good as the book- even though they didn't change much.


Julio Sporer said...

I understand how you feel Petty. Sadly, the film didn't focus on the whole story of Nicholas Sparks' ""Dear John"". Personally, the film's fine, though it's not what most of us expected. If I were to rate it from one to five, it’ll probably be 3.

In accordance with GMR's comment: Not only Nicholas Sparks, but most writers nowadays do not prefer happy endings - even directors, actually. In my own point of view, I think that is because majority of us were raised with fairy tales and fairy tales always come with happy endings. Hence, most teenagers and adults are fed up with happy endings. They hunger for a new trend. Moreover, sad endings are more unforgettable. I guess, today’s generation probably sees happily ever after as a rarity. "