Author: Jenny Han * Pages: 369 * Publisher: Simon & Schuster * Genre: YA, Contemporary * Ratings: 4.5 Stars
Synopsis: 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.
This book has officially captured my heart. I kept thinking to myself that I would have loved to read this book when I was in middle school which makes it sound like it’s childish and trivial but it was pretty good, with a pretty awesome cover. Lara Jean has love letters, not letters from boys but letters she’s written to boys that she’s loved. They’re private letters, goodbye letters to put an end to her love for them but also letters that are just for her eyes, that is until they mysteriously get mailed. The world comes crashing down when her sister’s (who just left for college) ex-boyfriend Josh shows up confused after getting one of Lara Jean’s letters which leads to her having a pretend relationship with Peter another boy gifted with a letter. This relationship comes just in time for Peter being that he just got dumped by his girlfriend. Feelings get mixed up, lines get crossed, hearts get broken, but everyone learns what is means to truly love someone.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I loved the simplicity of their lives. Even without a mother around, I’m sure their father is very happy to have good and well-behaved girls like Lara Jean and her sisters, Margot and Kitty. Margot, even for an eighteen year old, is very intense which she need to be since she’s had to take on the responsibility as the mothering role in her household. She’s not my favorite character, she’s probably my least favorite character but she has done what she’s had to do to help around the house and with her sisters. Kitty, the youngest, is 9 going on 30. She takes no prisoners. She knows what she wants and makes no apologizes about it. Then you have Lara Jean (who I love) who is the ultimate dreamer (which is probably why I love her) and is trying to hold down everything now that she has the role of being the women of the house. She becomes confused on who she should be and not who she is, as a sister and when it comes to the boys in her life.
I’ve read reviews about this book saying that there wasn’t enough romance or that there was no character growth and I strongly disagree. People fail to realize what genre they’re reading. When you pick up a young adult book you have to realize that the characters are teenagers and they’re going to act like it. Lara Jean is 15 and has never had a boyfriend. Starting out as writing letters for closure to falling in love and understanding the depth of her situation is a big step for her. Getting deeper, she finds out why she’s afraid to go for what she wants and what she has to do to actually get it. If that’s not growth I don’t know what is. In the romance department we have Peter. Kavinsky, as they call him, is your typical popular high school jock you everyone loves. His charm is what captures your attention and the little bit of compassion that seeps through every now and again is what captures your heart. Form talking Lara Jean into a fake relationship to actually finding out what he wants and the different between what he thinks he needs and what is good for him.
Overall this book was an awesome read. I loved the cover and was thoroughly surprised to find this book an adorable, cute, and insatiable read. From Dad’s too-salty attempt at Korean food to the Christmas Cookie Bonanza, you will find this to be a very enjoyable book.