I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.To All The Boys I\'ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Also by this author: Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, We'll Always Have Summer
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2014-04-15
Genres: Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once? Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
All hail Queen Jenny (can you tell I’ve been watching obnoxious amounts of Gossip Girl?). Friends, I kind of want to give Jenny Han the contemporary young adult queen crown after reading her upcoming book, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I also want to wave my arms around and shout, LOOK AT THIS BOOK! Han basically hits all of my must haves with To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Main character Lara Jean is awesome. There’s sister bonds. There’s a great romantic plot line. The concept is creative. The writing is superb. The pacing is perfect. There are quirks. Essentially, I began reading this new book by Jenny Han the day after it came in the mail, I had all these hopes for it, and goodness did it deliver. Now, go forth and add this to your TBR list, come back and listen to me tell you why it is the best ever.
Lara Jean has this quirk. When she has a massive all consuming crush on a boy, she writes him a love letter. The letter acts as an exorcism and after she’s done, she is over it. She then seals the letter in an envelope, addresses it, stamps it, and hand delivers it to this vintage teal hat box that her mother gave her. One day, the letters mysteriously all get mailed and Lara Jean’s love life kind of explodes. That’s just the premise of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, there’s more to Han’s plot though. Lara Jean is the middle sister, part of a unit called the Song girls, as she and her sisters share the same middle name, Song, for the maiden name of their deceased mother. The three are tightly knit. There’s Margo, the oldest, and Kitty, youngest. Here’s Lara Jean’s life situation, her dad is always busy at the hospital, as he is an OBGYN. Her sister Margo is about to move away to Scotland for college and Lara Jean will have to adjust, as Margo is the family manager. Lara Jean believes she is in love with Margo’s boyfriend, Josh. OH YEAH and she fakes a relationship with this guy, Peter Kavinsky, to make his ex Gen jealous and also to make Josh jealous. AND THERE IS STILL MORE, but there’s no sense in me telling you when I know you want to read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before yourself and discover each gem.
Reader friends, I think that Lara Jean is the quintessential middle child. She’s a bit vulnerable and unsure of herself. She is quiet and kind of shy. She has few friends, but those friends she does have are awesome (ahem, Chris). Lara Jean is not confident enough to go after Josh, and thus she misses her chance with him. What I am saying is that at the beginning of the book, Jenny Han gives her a lot of space to grow and grow she does. I won’t tell you how Lara Jean changes, but just know that I liked how she was developed. Aside from this, cool things about Lara Jean: she loves baking, she has a quirky sense of fashion, she is incredibly close with her two sisters.
More special than the romance is the family relationships portrayed in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Listen, if you are a sucker for sister books, you will LOVE THIS, just LOVE THIS. In fact, if you have a sister, buy her this book when it comes out. She’ll thank you for it because she better be awesome if she’s related to you. Lara Jean’s role within her family and with her sisters is front and center with this book. I loved seeing Lara Jean fight with Kitty and then try to make it up to her with Snickerdoodles. I loved seeing Lara Jean miss Margo desperately. I loved seeing her try to keep the family functioning in Margo’s absence, even when she forgets to cook and designates a new pizza night, ha ha. I just really felt the closeness between the three sisters to be quite special to read about. Also, when you read this you are going to find yourself rooting for Kitty to get a puppy, FYI. Just going to put that out there so you are ready.
ALSO SO YOU ARE READY, THERE WILL BE SWOONS. Like, not over the top big love gesture swoons. Not even close, but the kind of average, ordinary, aww what a sweet moment swoon. The kind that is perfect for contemporary books. My favorite ship in this book came totally unexpectedly. I am not going to lie to you all, I was prepared to ship Lara Jean with Josh, even though he is her sister’s boyfriend, awful I know. BUT THEN. Lara Jean has this fake relationship with Peter Kavinsky and you guys. He’s classically good looking, he’s a jock, he’s not bookish in the least, he’s arrogant. He’s exactly the kind of character who you would think would be the douchebag boyfriend. Turns out there’s something beneath the surface and as he gets to know Lara and as their scheme plays out,I couldn’t help but hope it would take a turn in a more REAL, romantic direction. I won’t tell you what happens, just, ahhhhh know that I am on pins and needles for you to read, so that we can discuss our feels of course.