Author: Jenny Han
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
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.
*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads
As one of my highly anticipated contemporary YA novels this year, I literally snagged a copy of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before as soon as it’s available at our local bookstore. I read the book in three days and that was so far my fastest reading time. Did I like the book? Read my review to find out:
What fascinated me to read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is its unique concept. I’m a fan of old-fashioned things like love letters. I appreciate handwritten messages because the emotions feel more truthful. Moreover, things like those exhibit the time and effort a person has put into writing the love letter. The fact that you have in your hands the heart and soul of the person—as embedded on that piece of paper—makes it special.
Although I find the story a bit simple, I still enjoyed reading it. The romance, well, I wouldn’t really call it romance because it’s just “for show”. Lara Jean Song and Peter Kavinsky are a couple for reasons that are somewhat shallow and irksome. But interesting things happen halfway through the book as Lara Jean and Peter get to know each other better. They become comfortable in each other’s company, which is a good start in establishing a connection with someone. There are a few moments in the story where Lara Jean and Peter just have fun being silly and doing random stuff. They are so amusing!
Lara Jean’s sparkling wit and genuineness make her a commendable character. Her pleasant and effervescent aura attracts readers right away. I also liked Lara Jean’s great concern toward her Dad and little sis after big sister Margot leaves for college. I was not smitten with Peter Kavinsky at first. His I’m-cool-and-popular attitude made me expect him to be the kind of guy that regularly falls in the “elitist” category of a high school social hierarchy. But Peter scratched off that notion when he and Lara Jean started to be “together”. The way he relates with Lara Jean’s little sister, Kitty, is so endearing! He’s a good friend and is like a big brother to her. And the little things he does for Lara Jean such as giving notes, helping her bake cupcakes, and buying her donuts are totally heart melting. Turns out that Peter K’s a sweetheart after all!
An ideal novel for diversity in young adult literature, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before greatly captures a Korean-American family’s lifestyle. As an Asian, reading something like this makes me proud of who I am. The story illustrated nothing but authenticity of the family’s relationship—their closeness, daily routine, and the proper upbringing of the Song girls. Everything’s believable and purely honest.
Jenny Han’s writing is straightforward—nothing fancy, just real. Her words are thoughtful and the sincere tone resounds until the end of the book. The author’s writing style significantly contributed in shaping the personalities of the characters, making them appear natural and easy to connect with.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a light contemporary YA deliciously glazed with charming cleverness and warm fuzzy feels that leave you craving for more.