19 May 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before # 1
Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age
Publisher: Simon and Shuster books for Young Readers
Released: 15 April 2014
Summary: 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.
Review:  Dear Jenny Han,
Thank you for writing a book that was literally me in high school.  I actually have a box of letters I wrote to the boys who didn’t know I existed, but I loved anyway (though unfortunately not a hat box, just an old Keds shoebox).  I haven’t identified as much with a character like I did with Lara Jean in years.  As a matter of fact, this book made me go and read all of your other books to.  They all made me cry (although this one didn’t) and I loved them.  Really really loved them.  But I have to say, something about Lara Jean, and the Song sisters.  I just adored them the most.
So thanks, Jenny Han.  Don’t stop writing, ever.


The positives: The story, but more than the story: the letters.  The letters are what makes this book amazing, I actually ended up taking a photocopy of the Peter K letter and tucking it into my bag so whenever I’m feeling down I can read it and then laugh my butt of.  Imagine my surprise when that was what Jenny Han chose to read when I went to one of her author events a few weeks ago.  It was amazing to hear her talk about her inspiration for Lara Jean, and the Song girls, and it made the story that much more special.
I also loved the relationship that Lara Jean has with her sisters, where this book could have come off as the stereotypical YA Romance, there was a lot more depth.  Lara Jean has to grow up, and is trying so hard to take her place as the resident oldest kid in the house, the letters are just a way to move her into that.  I loved reading her grow, it was done in such a subtle beautiful way that only Jenny Han can.
And finally the comedy, this is, in my opinion, Jenny Han’s funniest novel yet.  There were so many small jokes and insights that show just how much Jenny Han knows about being a sister.   I loved the dialogue between Lara Jean and Kitty, and Lara Jean and Peter K.  Although Lara did act a little young for her age I felt like it fit perfectly with how she grew up, and how she was treated for most of her life by her sister, and the people around her.
The negatives: There are none.

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