Sparks novel insightful, yet poorly written

Sam Thomas and Samantha Thomas

Author of “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember,” writes another New York Times bestseller, but that’s not to say that the novel is deserving of this bestseller title.  Nicholas Sparks tells a romantic plot in a predictable and unrealistic fashion.

“Dear John” tells the story of a rebellious high school graduate, John Tyree. The story is told in first person narrative, and John depicts his time in the army and his instant love for angelic Savannah Lynn Curtis.  Neither foresees the attacks of 9/11 which will put their future together on hold, and John’s time in the army will eventually begin to weigh on their relationship.

Though “Dear John” consists of an insightful theme and likable characters, the plot behind the novel is extremely predictable.  Aside from the surprising twist at the end of the novel, I could predict what would happen in every chapter; for example, John goes looking for Savannah on his second leave, even when their relationship is through.

The book seems somewhat unrealistic because John and Savannah fall in love within the two weeks he’s on leave from a German Army Tour.  They think that will be enough to keep them together through the war; this additionally seems unrealistic because their letters and calls to one another eventually become non-existent, even though they claim their love remains.

Though this quick read does seem sappy at times, Nicholas Sparks succeeds in writing interesting and more realistic sub-plots––such as the relationship between John and his reserved father.  Throughout John’s life he has never gotten along with his father, and Savannah teaches him lessons about the importance of relationships aside from the one John shares with her.

The other interesting sub-plot of “Dear John” is the insight into the life of a soldier who is counting the days until he can return to his home in North Carolina.  Throughout his time in the war, John shares the horrors and sights of what he experiences as a soldier.

The book was made into a major motion picture to come out in theaters on February 5, 2010, and my advice is to wait for the movie.  The film will cast actors Channing Tatum (John) and Amanda Seyfried (Savannah) who will hopefully bring more life and depth into the characters.

Though this mediocre book lacks excitement and intrigue, it gives a good presentation of how war can transform love and also change the people who are in it. The themes of this book are insightful and intriguing; however, the way they are written leaves something to be desired.