To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Brief Thoughts on To All the Boys I've Loved Before
I've never read anything by Jenny Han before, so it was a total impulse buy when I grabbed this from Barnes & Noble the week it was released. I knew I loved the cover, of course, and the summary did intrigue me. I haven't really been interested in reading Han's Summer series, and I'm waiting until the final Burn for Burn book comes out before I even start those books. But my love for this cover was so strong that I just went for it: paid full price for a book that I didn't know much about!
Honestly, I never expected to love To All the Boys I've Loved Before as much as I did. Seriously, I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time I was reading. There were so many elements that I loved, but one of my favorites was the way it explored the complicated relationship between sisters. I have one sister and two brothers, but there's just something different (in my opinion) about the way sisters interact with each other. Lara Jean is the middle child, and I really enjoyed her character. There's this nice balance with her - she's older than her years in some respects and still a young girl in others. I liked the way she seemed a bit naive and had the best intentions but sometimes made a mess of things. I related to those aspects of her!
The cover may speak to the boys, but there's so much more to this story. Family, friendship, fear, finding out who you are... It's all there! But the boys are fun, too. I won't spoil that part of the story because seeing the character growth and watching Lara Jean deal with the repercussions of her letters was one of my favorite parts. I have a favorite boy, for sure, but I suspect that you'll either love him or not see the appeal at all. While the plot could easily seem predictable, it was actually such a delight. It was a sweet, lovely story that just sucked me in. I needed a read that would leave me feeling really happy, and this was it! I didn't realize there was a second book coming until I finished, and I can't wait for more. I need to see this story through! This book was such a surprise, and I'm so glad I gave it a shot. I definitely recommend this read - it was one of the sweetest and most adorable reads of the year so far for me.
“They’re not love letters in the strictest sense of the word. My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for goodbye. Because after I write my letter, I’m no longer consumed by my all-consuming love. I can eat my cereal and not wonder if he likes bananas over his Cheerios too; I can sing along to love songs and not be singing them to him. If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcisms. My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.”