Tuesday, December 23, 2014

[Review: To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han]

"To All the Boys I've Loved Before"
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Pages: 355
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format Read: Purchased eBook


Lara Jean 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 can pour out her heart and soul and say 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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To To All The Boys I've Loved Before,

Your the cutest! I loved how you reminded me what it was like to be a teenager again. I have to admit that I wrote a letter or two to fellows that I had a crush on back in the day and you reminded me of all of those silly, yet amazing, antics. Basically, I already said it, but I stand by my thoughts that you're one of the cutest Contemporaries I read this year.

-The White Unicorn

This is the first book that I've ever read by Jenny Han and I have to say that I have a feeling that I'll be reading many more. I was instantly impressed with the grasp that Han has on what it's like to be a teenager. Lara Jean isn't your typical, boy crazy, female and yet she still has all of these feelings that she writes down on paper. Oddly enough, I have a feeling that she and I would have been great friends in high school.

I thought that the book would end up being more about the letters, but in the long run, it was more about the things that the letters ended up throwing in Lara Jean's life and the ways that she handled them. See, she likes Josh, but he's been dating her sister Margot for two years. When the letters go out, after he and Margot break up, Lara Jean freaks and starts a fake relationship with Peter, another guy who got a letter. And then the games begin. 

Sure the book is full of swoons and mishaps and cute happenings, but I loved that at it's core, it's about a lot of different kinds of relationships. Lara Jean is navigating her changing family dynamic, which includes a single father and two sisters. As a girl who never had a sister, it's fun to see what that's like and I feel that Han gives a pretty honest look into that. It's also interesting to see Lara Jean determine what the difference between platonic feelings and romantic feelings are. I felt like that part of the story was done really well, as that can be confusing for any teen.

The two main men of the story are Josh and Peter. In all honesty, I couldn't really stand Josh. I thought he was really selfish and had this habit of only thinking about himself. He and Lara Jean's friendship felt like it was all about him, and like it was a little fake. On the other hand Lara Jean and Peter are in a fake relationship that feels real. They have issues, but I liked that Han didn't make their story super easy either. It created all the right kinds of tension. 

As soon as I got to the end of the book, I wanted the next one. I didn't know that it was possible to leave a reader in suspense with the ending of a cute, contemporary, series book, but clearly, you can. Jenny Han, what did you do to me?

If you're looking for a book full of family, relationships and good, old fashioned, letter writing, this is the book for you! Plus, it takes place around Christmas, so it's the perfect Holiday read!

5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!


Benish Khan said...

This is one of the cutest YA books out there - I'm glad you think so too! Following you now :)

Benish | Feminist Reflections

Kimi Barra said...

I have never read a Jenny Han book before but this book really looks so cute and sweet! I'm glad you loved it! Great review.

-Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

Christina / Book Addict said...

Yay! So glad you loved this one….its one of my favorites of the year. You can never go wrong with Jenny Han! :) Happy Holidays!