Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. 

My Review

Author: Jenny Han
Pages: 288
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 15 2014
Source: Library

This is a very good book. You should trust me on this because I rarely read contemporary, muchtheless romance, high school, sweet contemporary. I gave this one a try because of the hype, and that I liked the surprising depth to Jenny Han's writing I saw in The Summer I Turned Pretty. This one was even better.

Let's get over one thing; I want a Margot-goes-to-college story. I want Margot's perspective on leaving her family, on her life, on her challenges, etc. I started the story really identifying with Margot because I just finished my first year of college and I understood how Margot felt. The whole college thing was really well explained and very accurate, in my opinion. The awkward moments when you leave, when you're on the phone, when you return, all of those things are true.

Jenny Han wrote a story that was very true to me. I also have a younger nine year old sister (although no Lara Jean middle child) that I feel very responsible for. I also live with a single parent, and although I'm not Korean, I could relate to Lara Jean's perspective on culture. This story was great, because these are not really typical in the contemporaries I read, and all together they helped create a fresh reading experience.

The writing was really nice, and the relationships shined. Lara Jean is very fancy, and sweet. She is deeply loyal to those she cares most (and loyalty is one of my favourite character traits). She doesn't always get things right but she tried. And she's scared of driving, like me. I'm pretty sure this book is going to eventually motivate me into driving a car again. She's someone I would be friends with, and someone I can clearly imagine. She has a unique perspective on life, and I love it.

Throughout this book, Lara Jean learns a lot and experiences a lot. I won't spoil the fun of it, but once her letters are gone, Lara Jean has some stuff she needs to figure out. The best part is that Lara Jean's relationships with everyone shape her so clearly. Her sisterly bond with Margot and Kitty was powerful; her bond with her dad was sweet; her loyalty to Chris, her best friend. And of course the connections she formed to every one of the boys she loved.

Basically, I'm ready for the sequel! And I'm so up for a Margot book. Jenny Han, please make that happen?!

-P.E. 

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