A description from Mr. Sparks' 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 has 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. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.
Surprisingly, this story kept me from cover to cover. Why do I say that? Well, from a technical aspect, Sparks writes in first person but does a lot of passive writing and telling. There were times that I really wanted to feel more of what his characters experienced (especially Savannah) but didn't get that opportunity. So much of the book is narrated due to the fact that John is telling his story.
One of my favorite parts is how Savannah helps John to see and understand his father for who he is and accept his handicap. Sparks does a great job here and shows how a grown son can rebuild a relationship with his father.
Amazingly, the ending is very satisfying. You get a clear hint from the description that these two won't wind up together, and you almost loathe to read that outcome. Yet once you dig into the circumstances surrounding these two love birds, you see no other way the story could end. Sparks does an excellent job "preparing" the reader for the inevitable.
Truly a story of a sacrificial love, Dear John promises to break your heart and leave you smiling.