Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dear John


Oh, I get it now. Nicholas Sparks writes sad books. Why did it take me so long to pick up on this?! I just finished Dear John, my third Sparks novel, and said "Sad ending." My friend said, "Don't you say that after all of them?" Ahhh, light dawns on marblehead harbor!
Dear John tells the story of army grunt John Tyree's love affair with Savannah Curtis, a southern do-gooder who loves horses. The unlikely pair meet on a North Carolina beach and fall in love, then spend the rest of their relationship corresponding by letters, until the inevitable "Dear John" letter arrives. The story is pretty predictable, except for the scenes with John's socially awkward father.

Something that has bothered me about the Nicholas Sparks novels that I have read is that the female characters are unrealistic. I know that he writes them to be role models for teenagers, but I think that they should have some flaws. Savannah, for example, doesn't drink or have sex, organizes house-building projects for the underprivileged, gets advanced degrees, is gorgeous, is gifted with horses, loves her family, etc. The list goes on and never really discusses any insecurities or major imperfections she has. I admire the idea of creating moral characters, but not when they are at a standard that few people could ever reach. Dear John will probably be the last Sparks book I read; I'd rather be re-reading The Hunger Games!

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