Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Audiobook Review: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Here is a summary of Dear John from the Hachette website:

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 captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else.

My Review:
I will start this review I will tell you that I have only read a couple books by Nicholas Sparks and quickly decided that his writing just wasn't my cup of tea.  When a good friend of mine couldn't stop raving about Dear John I decided to give it try...and I'm very glad I did.

This book is narrated by John and he starts out by telling us about his background.  His mother walked out on him and his father shortly after he was born so his father did his best to raise John on his own.  They seemed to live in an area where many families were financially thriving, so John always felt a bit left out around the other kids.  Having to save his money all week to buy a burger on the weekend and spending time working when his friends were enjoying life was just what he became used to. 

As John grew into a teenager he seemed to distance himself from his father.  He couldn't understand it, but for some reason his father never seemed to want to take the initiative to strengthen their relationship.  All his dad seemed to care about were his daily routines and his coin collection.  John becomes so frustrated with his father that it really is not a surprise when one day he decides to join the Army in an attempt to distance himself from his father as much as he possibly can.

John grows up in the Army and probably learns more about being a man that he learned from his father.  He still goes home on his Leaves and finds that with his newfound wisdom he is able to continue a relationship with his father.  It is when John is based in Germany that he comes home on a Leave and meets Savannah, who will leave an impression on his heart forever.

It is easy for John and Savannah to start a relationship because as they spend time together they feel comfortable as if they have known each other for a lifetime.  Before they realize what is going on they find themselves confiding their secrets, dreams, and fears with each other.  Savannah sees a piece of John that no-one has ever had access to, and she also helps him to understand his father in a whole new light.  The development of the father-son relationship is one of my favorite parts of this book.

John and Savannah are caught up in the whirlwind of their romance and understand that they will have to part soon.  John will have to return to Germany and Savannah will have to return to college.  They vow to keep in touch with each other and they do manage to successfully carry on a young relationship for quite some time.  During the difficult time of being apart they both look forward to when John's service is complete so they can spend the rest of their lives together.

I'm not going to share any more about this book as I don't want to give too much away.  Parts of the story were predictable to me and I think that is why I have steered away from Sparks novels in the past.  I probably will continue to not actually 'read' his books, but I will be adding him to my list of audiobook authors that I do enjoy.  I also loved the voice of the narrator of this book-it was like running into a young and polite serviceman on the East coast.  If you are a Sparks fan I think you will enjoy this one.

My Rating: 4/5

Disclosure:  I borrowed this audiobook from my friend  Miranda for my own entertainment.

Check out more great book reviews at Book Review Party Wednesday at Cym Lowell's Blog.


bermudaonion said...

I do enjoy a story like this from time to time. Thanks for a great review!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've not read any Nicholas Sparks, but this sounds like a good first read.

Julie--I am Reading Without Restraint! said...

I have this book on my TBR list. Now I am looking forward to reading it! Thanks for sharing.

The Lawver's said...

So glad you enjoyed this book as much as I did - I also loved the narrators truly made me feel like I was 'there'...too bad I wasn't there with John ;) Great review JoJo!

DCMetroreader said...

I do enjoy Sparks (even though his stuff is so tear jerky) and this is one I want to read. I may take your suggestion about the audiobook format however as it sounds like a great way to enjoy this book.

Anonymous said...

My mom gave me this book, but I haven't read it yet. I haven't read any Sparks. But if you say it's okay I'll have to give it a try :)