Monday, February 22, 2010

February WoWO Book Club Meeting and Dear John by Nicholas Sparks Review

For our Second WoWO Book Club Meeting we read and discussed Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. Before the book discussion we got together and watched the movie and that was a fun time in itself. Between Tricia's yelling out during the movie what was different in the book and my very first Appletini in a movie theater (Lori corrupting me). We had a really fun time at the movies. Later in this review I'll speak of what we liked and disliked about the movie compared to the book. But for now, I'll stick with the book review first.

Group Rating - Book: 4/5 Stars
Group Rating - Movie: 3/5 Stars

Dear John is the story of John Tyree and two very key relationships in his life. The relationship between him and Savannah, who he meets while home on leave from the Army. They have a whirlwind romance for a few fabulous weeks and then he must go back to Germany, where he is stationed. They write letters and their relationship takes ups and downs as any long distance relationship would. The other key relationship in John's life is the one with his father. John was raised by only his father after his mother left when he was young. They had a relationship that was built around collecting coins and not much else. John couldn't connect with his father on an emotional level and it led to his rebelling and to a strained relationship with his father.

Everyone in the group enjoyed the story. In this one we were split on most parts of the book. A few of the girls wished it would have ended differently but several of us thought that it was a realistic ending. We debated on whether John and Savannah were really in love or in some form of infatuation. I was one of the peope who thought that it was infatuation, especially on Savannah's part. For the most part we felt that without the story of John and Dad there wouldn't be much meat to this story. Sparks did a very good job with the Character development of John and the father. Their relationship was intriguing and touching. As favorite characters go - John received 8 votes and his father received 1 vote.

Some our favorite parts in the book were:
  • The connection that they had with watching the moon at night.
  • When John starts to take nightly walks with his father
  • When John's dad was ill
  • When Savannah gives John the book
  • When Savannah explains why she wants John to write instead of emailing or calling.
  • and for good measure - p.209 ;-)
As for the Movie, there were so many changes that I won't list them all but the ones that stood out as good or bad were:
  • Tim is the father of Alan instead of the brother - not good
  • Tim was scruffier and different that expected - not good
  • John didn't have his tattoo's - not good (I was so looking forward to these!)
  • Savannah doesn't give John the book - not good (important story line)
  • The September 11th tragedy was much better felt in the movie than the book - good change
  • John's father was played by Richard Jenkins - good good good!
  • I would like to add that Channing Tatum is HOT.. and although I wasn't convinced of him by the previews.. he convinced most of us by the end of the movie.
So, which was better, the Movie or the Book? 7 of us thought the book was better and 2 of us thought the Movie was better. The two that liked the movie better stated that it was mostly for the ending, which was slightly different. I personally liked the book more after seeing the movie, it made me appreciate scenes and developments that occurred in the book that did not happen in the movie.

I'd like to say a special thanks to my co-worker Chris for making the WoWO Logo at the top of the page and to Linda for making these fabulous book markers for all the girls!

Next Up for the Women of Washington Oaks is The Help by Kathryn Stockett on March 24th, so look out for the next post of the WoWO Book Club.

On a personal note Dear John filled the following Categories and Challenges for me:

  • The Romance Reading Challenge
  • RYOB Challenge
  • PBT February Tag: Relationships
  • Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge
  • New Authors Challenge

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