It’s been too long since I sank into some solid young adult fiction. And with my limited attention span these days? Well, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before really hit the spot.
The middle of three daughters, Lara Jean Song is used to hovering behind her successful older sister — often feeling a bit adrift behind Margot’s perfection. But with her sister heading off to college abroad (and breaking off her relationship with Josh, once Lara Jean’s own crush), this Song girl is ready to shine.
When a secret box of Lara Jean’s letters disappears, she is suddenly forced to confront her crushes — past and present — as her notes land in mailboxes around town. Lara Jean has always taken to letter-writing as a way to release her feelings for the boys she has loved: her first kiss, her summer camp love . . . even Josh, her sister’s ex-boyfriend.
As her crushes receive her notes and press her on her feelings, Lara Jean is forced to own up to her emotions — even as a faux-relationship with Peter, a popular boy on the rebound, begins to actually blossom. On the home front, Lara Jean is charged with caring for Kitty, her sassy younger sister, as well as her warmhearted but busy, bumbling father.
Though she’s initially mortified by the letters, are they actually the key to moving forward?
Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a sweet story with plenty of family dynamics, high school loves and entertaining escapades to delight its audience. Though it’s described as the tale of Lara Jean confronting her crushes, it’s also about family and self-acceptance.
Have you ever written a letter you never intended to send? As a teen, I frequently drafted notes to crushes and ex-boyfriends as a way to “get out” whatever angsty, complicated, 16-year-old drama I had stored up without fear of embarrassment or reproach. In fact, I had a floppy disk (a floppy disk! You too will get old someday, kids) full of such missives.
Had someone found my super-private collection of letters to the adorable guy in my math class or my first kiss or first love and actually sent them, I’m pretty sure you would have had to pry me out the dark cave I would have made my new home. But Lara Jean? She’s a pretty resilient, courageous cat. As a narrator, she’s entertaining and matter-of-fact — the sort of person who doesn’t realize she’s funny, which is the best kind.
Though I enjoyed Lara Jean’s burgeoning friendship/relationship with Peter, the charming boy-about-town, the real highlight here was the Song sisters’ dynamic. Especially tight-knit since their mother’s death, I found their closeness heartwarming and realistic. I loved that Lara Jean appreciated Margot even more after she was off in Scotland, and young Kitty is a wise-beyond-her-years and fun character pivotal to the story.
A breezy and enjoyable novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before demands little of readers except their rapt attention . . . which you’ll happily hand over. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need!
4 out of 5
Pub: 2015 • Goodreads • LibraryThing • Amazon • Author Website
Personal copy purchased by Meg
14 thoughts on “Book chat: ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han”
This sounds like an interesting read!
That sounds really good!
I bet you could relate to the letter writing aspect of this one. It sounds sweet!
This one was on my list for Summer reads, so I’m glad to hear it’s worth it!! I’ll move it up in the rotation.
I’m going to give it a try, since it’s something I can totally relate to. What a great premise! I think your floppy disk is now safe. Someone would have to find a device to actually load it:) Good times!
I just finished it. Its amazing.
I loved this book! I’m currently waiting for my best friend to finish the sequel so she can pass it along to me… 🙂
I Love the Reveiw that you have Written! Myself and Wandering Words are actually Reading this book this month as part of the Online Bookclub that we have just set up I’m really looking forwards to reading it – I’m storming through it already I can’t wait to discuss it with others (if your Intreasted you can take a peek here http://www.thegeekundergraduate.com/words-and-geeks-to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-before/ )
I love your book review. Lara Jean Song sounds like a compelling protagonist.
This is a great review! And it makes me want to move the book from my to-read shelf to my currently reading one 🙂
I feel like this is perfect for a light summer read!
Love the review and sounds like such a great book to read, I think it will go on my list
This sounds amazing, I’ll definitely add it to my summer booklist
I read this last summer and I was surprisingly really entertained by it – much more than I expected! I’m glad you did too. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel this summer.
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