Of all the Nicholas Sparks I've read, this one, by far, was my favorite. I rarely re-read, why re-read if you can read something new, right? But if I do, that book must have really made an impression on me, and boy, this book did.
If a book made me cry like a baby, then it's considered a good book to me. The first time I've read this, I never really thought that I will cry that much over a Nicholas Sparks novel, since I have this bias perception that mostly his books are sappy and quite predictable in the end--the hero/heroine will die because of a terminal disease, natural cause or they will be together in the end--you know, the works, but I sure am surprised on how 'Dear John' ended. I have never predicted the bittersweet, heart wrenching ending because in my mind, since it's a Sparks' novel, they will eventually have their happy ending, but heck, they didn't. For me, this was the saddest Sparks' novel that I've read. I actually cried harder when John's dad died, that was, for me, the saddest part of the novel. Sure, John and Savannah's break up was the starting point of John turmoil, but heck, his dad's death was the heartbreaking part, and Savannah-being-married-with-another-man-though-they-still-love-each-other was just an accessory information that adds to the sadness of the novel. (I read this around January 2010 and a month later, its movie adaptation was shown--though I don't particularly like the whole movie, I have appreciated the ending. Though it's still quite vague if they really got together in the end--hey, at least they've met in a coffee shop, smiled and hugged each other)
I've re-read it 10 months later, though I never really cried just like the first time I've read it, the heart-pinching sensation is still there and remember why I liked it at the first place. This book was a goodread. :))