Dear John skipped to the front of my reading list. My friend, Susan, and I have a date for when this movie comes out and we both wanted to read the book first. So, over the holiday weekend I finished it up. When I got to David's parents' house I had only read about 50 pages and it only took me another day or so of reading to finish it. Translation: quick and easy read. However, I will say that this book did not end like I thought it would. I know a lot of Nicholas Sparks' novels do not end in the typical love story conclusions. The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember and Nights in Rodanthe all have unorthodox romantic novel plots.
The novel is essentially about a couple that meets by chance and quickly fall in love, like within two weeks quickly. John is a former rebel-type (with tattoos, drunken memories and one-night-stands to prove it) that the military has softened around the edges. Savannah is the quintessential "good girl." In fact, when John and Savannah meet, she is only in town for a couple months with a group that is building houses for less fortunate families. Kind of like Habitat for Humanity. She's a virginal, churchy, sweet, innocent girl that in many ways is very naive.
Once the two fall madly in love within their two weeks that John is on leave, John is back off to Germany to complete his two year contract with the Army. While he is overseas the two write each nonstop and fall more in love with each letter. However, at this point their love begins it's biggest test... September 11, 2001 and all it's horrific events unfold... In addition to this huge calamity, there is no shortness of death, health disorders or cancer in this novel. The couple experience a whirlwind of emotions along with their adversities. I don't want to ruin the novel (or movie) for anyone, but be prepared for a...different...ending. It's not what I would have thought, but it was a very good ending in it's own way. A Nicholas Sparks ending. I recommend this book, but keep a box of tissues handy...oh, and if you're planning on going to see the movie? Yea, definitely bring a few tissues in your purse because if you cried in The Notebook (like I have EVERY TIME I watch it) then yea...you'll need 'em!
Just a side note...The Notebook is definitely one of those movies for me that is like a train wreck. You love it and you know what's going to happen, but when you're flipping through the channels and you see it on TBS, TNT or any of those other movie channels you HAVE TO STOP AND WATCH IT. You know you're going to ball your eyes out, but it is soooooo good that you can't stop yourself. Other movies that have this same effect on me include Stepmom, Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes. Ugh! Tear jerkers! Anyone care to mention their train wreck movies that they can't change the channel from?