Thursday, March 25, 2010
Dear John - Nicholas Sparks - Jan 2010
"Our story has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. And although this is the way all stories unfold, I still can't believe that ours didn't go on forever."
Okay, so Nicholas Spark's books always follow the same formula...Boy meets girl, they fall in love, something tragic happens, & happily ever after. I'm not really one for this type of story, but honestly, I enjoy a light, easy read every now and again.
So, John (the main character -- who is of course insanely beautiful) is in the military. He goes home on leave, and goes to the beach to surf. While he is at the beach he notices some other young adults playing around on the dock. One of the girls, Savannah (who is also, of course, insanely beautiful), loses her purse and becomes extremely angry. Savannah is in town with her church group building a house for Habitat for Humanity. John notices Savannah as the "damsel in distress" and fishes the purse out of the water. So of course, as soon as John saves the purse, Savannah falls in love (gimme a break right!? --if it was that easy, we'd all be "in love"). After spending a little bit of time together, Savannah wants to meet John's family (come on Savannah, give it some time!), but John is reluctant. John's father definitely has some quirks (he doesn't talk much, he has a very strict routine, an obsession with his coin collection, etc.), so John is worried about brining Savannah home with him. When Savannah has dinner with John and his father, she has a great time. She learns about the coins, and watches John's father. Savannah grew up on a ranch with a neighbor she was very close with (the neighbor is actually a part of her church group -- so he is also at the beach). The neighbor's brother was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and Savannah was often around to see and experience what autism was like. After her visit with John's dad, Savannah believes that John's dad is autistic. When she tells John about this, he flips out, and doesn't want to hear it. I could definitely relate, as that would be the last thing I would want to hear, true or not. Anyway, John heads back to Germany after his leave is up, and he makes a promise to Savannah to keep in touch. They decide to write letters back and forth. While John is away, his father gets very sick. He comes home to see his father, and realizes that Savannah was probably right. They continue to write, but the letters from Savannah become less and less frequent. Finally, John gets a letter from Savannah, stating that she has fallen in love with another man, and is engaged to be married. John is distraught, and spends all his time doing as many reckless things as he can to erase the pain he is going through. When John's father passes, he comes back home to take care of his fathers estate. While he is home, he makes a detour to go see Savannah. He doesn't exactly know where to locate her, as they haven't talked for many years, but he goes to her hometown. He finds through the grapevine that she is living in the house next to her parents ranch. It all starts to come together, and he realizes that Savannah left him to marry the friend that she grew up next to. She is now happily married, and taking care of the husbands brother, that has autism. While having dinner with Savannah, John finds out that her husband has skin cancer, and it cannot be treated. There is an experimental procedure at John's Hopkins, but Savannah and her family cannot afford that treatment. John realizes how happy Savannah is, and decides to sell his fathers old coin collection, and donate the money to Savannah's family anonymously so that her husband can get the treatment he needs. Of course, Savannah and her husband live happily ever after.
Okay, so I hate Savannah. Let's just get that out to begin with. Honestly, I think it is ridiculously cheesey that her and John fall in love that quickly, but if you overlook that...the chick is still whacked out. With a love like that, you are going to leave him? I just don't understand. I know that long distance relationships are hard, but really?! I just think that was extremely selfish. Savannah tries to explain to John that the reason she did what she did was that she was "young and scared". UGH, I just don't see it. But, I was also pretty mad at John. Instead of fighting for Savannah, he just lets her slip away.
So -- the movie comes out, and I think - WOW, that would be a great movie to go see. WRONG. WORST. MOVIE. EVER. ((Well, maybe second worst -- after My Sister's Keeper)). I know that when the author sells their story to a movie company they lose all the rights to it, but I really think that the changes in the movie were completely unnecessary and really didn't even make any sense. UGH.
Movie gets 1 out of 5 stars.
Book gets 4 out of 5 stars.