“I finally understood what true love meant…love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”
I’ve been slacking off these days on accomplishing my long and growing list of TBR (blame my TV series marathon obsession). A couple of days ago, I happened to chance upon this old book which was given to me by a friend. I was in a kick for some Nicholas Sparks romance then that I gave Dear John a reread.
AUTHOR: Nicholas Sparks
PUBLISHER: Warner Books
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2006
NUMBER OF PAGES: 337
RATING: 4 out 5
SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life–until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart
Dear John is a story about the exchange of letters between a silent, deep, military guy named John Tyree and a conservative, Special Education major named Savannah Lynn Curtis. I was immediately captivated by their love story especially since theirs was an epic example born despite huge differences. It was a love-at-first-sight kind of thing which seldom happen in real life but hey, this is fiction. I smiled and wept at different scenes. I felt the struggle of being in a long distance relationship, specially empathized with the party who got left haunted by thought about the worst things that could possibly happen in a military camp. Something tugged at my heartstrings when the battle between true love and convenience occurred to Savannah. In real life, that’s one tough decision to make.
Not only did Sparks focused on our star-crossed lovers but he also tackled other themes. Family, for one thing. More than the tears I shed for John and Savannah’s fate, it I cried buckets for John’s father. They may not have manifested the best father-son relationship but their silence to each other screamed a great deal of affection. When the “inevitable” happened to John’s father, the scene reminded me so much of my old man who already traversed the afterlife. I wasn’t there during his last breath. Life can be the worst jester sometimes. On another note, this is one of the books that sparked my interest in learning about the fellows having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). John’s dad, according to Savannah, has Asperger’s syndrome, a condition characterized by having extreme difficulty in social interaction and unusual preference for repetitive habits. Alan, Savannah’s neighbor, also has autism. These are the kind who get typically bullied in school and outwitted in real life. So much limelight have been shed about the different kinds of worse and deadly disorders i.e. cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc. and less about this thing. Although people with ASD demand less attention (or none at all) from the mass, I think people should be aware that such cases exist and thus, must not make fun out of their differences. This is actually the first of many Nicholas Sparks books I read so that explains the high rating up there. Yes, I’ve read quite a handful of his works, got bewitched in love, and got my ship sinking in the end. Nicholas Sparks is undeniably an excellent writer. He writes romance as easy as breathing and likewise, the readers can get immersed as easy as breathing. But, reading two Sparks novels sufficiently gives a reader a good guess how another one will end. From The Notebook to The Lucky One to the Nights in Rodanthe and to many others, my level of anticipation went from peak to a plateau, and finally a drop. Eventually, I had an overdose making me impervious to falling in love with his stories. Dear John remains my favorite among all his books.