Title: Dear John.
Author: Nicholas Sparks.
Genre: Fiction, romance.
Publication Date: October 30, 2006.
Summary: An angry rebel, John drops out of school and enlists 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 love and leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour. But 9/11 makes John feel it is his duty to re-enlist. Returning home, John must come to grips with the hardest decision of his life.
My rating: 6.5/10.
♥ My point is, I don't know how to describe the stress and boredom and confusion of those next nine months, except to say that there was a lot of sand. Yeah, I know it's a desert, and yeah, I spent a lot of time at the beach so I should have been used to it, but the sand was different over there. It got in your clothes, in your gun, in locked boxes, in your food, in your ears and up your nose and between your teeth, and when I spat, I always felt the grit in my mouth. People can at least relate to that, and I've learned that they don't want to hear the real truth, which is that most of the time Iraq wasn't so bad but sometimes it was worse than hell. Did people really want to hear that I watched a guy in my unit accidentally shoot a little kid who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or that I'd seen soldiers get torn into pieces when they hit an IED - improvised explosive device - on roads near Baghdad? Or that I'd seen blood pooling in the streets like rain, flowing past body parts? No, people would rather hear about the sand, because it kept the war at a safe distance.
♥ I had always imagined the words would be hard to say, but they weren't. In all my life, I'd never been as sure of anything, and as much as I hoped to one day hear Savannah say these words to me, what mattered most was knowing that love was mine to give, without strings or expectations.
♥ Dinner with my dad was quieter than usual. I didn't have the energy to attempt a conversation, and even my dad realized it. I sat at the table as he cooked, but instead of focusing on the preparation, he glanced my way every now and then with muted concern in his eyes. I was startled with he turned off the burner and approached me.
When close, he put a hand on my back. He said nothing but he didn't have to. I knew he understood that I was hurting, and he stood without moving, as if trying to absorb my pain in the hope of taking it from me and making it his own.
♥ Though I knew she loved and cared for me, I suddenly understood that even love and caring weren't always enough. They were the concrete bricks of our relationship, but unstable without the mortar of time spent together, time without the threat of imminent separation hanging over us. Although I didn't want to admit it, there was much about her I didn't know. I hadn't realized how my leaving last year had affected her, and despite anxious hours thinking about it, I wasn't sure how it would affect her now. Our relationship, I felt with heaviness in my chest, was beginning to feel like the spinning movement of a child's top. When we were together, we had the power to keep it spinning, and the result was beauty and magic and an almost childlike sense of wonder; when we separated, the spinning became wobbly and unstable, and I knew I had to find a way to keep us from toppling over.