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

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: April 15th, 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page count: 355 (International Paperback)
Genre: YA – Contemporary
Goodreads


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.

  

Wow. I really REALLY LOVED this book! Believe me, it’s been a while since I last sacrificed my sleep to finish a book and NOT an anime series.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before has been on my TBR for a while. Other than its soft yet attention-grabbing cover, its premise which promises a sweet romance drew me in as I thought I needed something to refresh my mind. It came out as a surprise when I read it, as I found out that this book focused more on sibling relationship instead of fluffy romance I imagined it would be. Not that it was a bad thing, but from the synopsis I sort of expected that the letters would immediately get out and we got to know how the protagonist deals with that. As a result, I was quite impatient in the beginning, wondering why it took so slow to get there and if I had been fooled by the synopsis again.

So our protagonist, Lara Jean. (Honestly, I don’t like her name or names – why two? Why can’t we just call her Lara or Jean? But anyway, I guess her name isn’t so bad compared to the more ridiculous ones in other books LOL. Ignore me.) I really liked her voice! There’s something about the simplicity that made me want to get to know her better and push me to keep flipping the book even though it was past midnight. Her story was ordinary but the way it was told made it extraordinary. Extraordinarily engrossing and entertaining and touching and a lot of things at once I’m probably not making any sense right now.

The writing definitely played a part. To be utterly honest, I didn’t quite enjoy Jenny Han’s other series Burn for Burn, which led me to believe that her writing was dull… But To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before changed my mind because as I’ve mentioned before, I couldn’t stop reading at all. I was completely invested in the characters and the events that I couldn’t care less about sleeping. The writing was extremely readable and it made it easy to digest the story and finish the book. Not the mention the chapters were short as well. I think I like shorter chapters better.

It wasn’t long until I started shipping people together… I highly enjoyed the romance, even though it doesn’t seem to be the main focus in this book. They were so sweet with each other!! Totally a swoon-worthy romance!! But there’s another relationship that goes beyond that – the sisters. I liked how Lara Jean’s bond with Margot evolves throughout the book and how they eventually manage to overcome their issues. The spotlight on sister relationship definitely was a bit unexpected considering the synopsis doesn’t even mention it. It was undeniable a good kind of unexpected though.

However, I felt like the ending doesn’t tie everything up. It could have been more conclusive so personally, I want more. Imagine how happy I was when I discover that there will be a sequel!! Oh yeah!! <3 

I admit that this book isn’t totally perfect. I was quite conflicted about the rating — my indecisiveness made me go back and forth between 4 and 5…  However, there were things that I should take into account.  I laughed. I teared up. I cried. I smiled. It’s been a while since I last experienced a reading journey like this. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before made me feel a lot of emotions. Without a doubt, it came highly recommended from me, especially if you’re dying for a light yet feels-inducing contemporary. 

8 comments

  1. I also loved this book! Believe me. I was also surprised how things wrapped up & I’m relieved when I found out that there’s a sequel. I want me some more of that cutie guy, Peter. 😉

    Reply

    1. YES! Peter is so cute I’ve always preferred him than Josh! And Peter was sooo sweet when he tried to get close to Kitty <3

      Reply

  2. Hi, Kezia! Thanks for stopping by, glad you are back 😀 I reallllly need to watch Psycho Pass 2, the suspense is killing me, xD Going to wait until they are all out or at least until Kougami shows up because then I won’t be able to resist 😉 Actually if you have any other anime recs let me know, I’ve been looking for some!

    Anyways! Glad you enjoyed this one, I read another book by this author and it wasn’t for me but this one sounds really promising. Funny that you should mention the open ending because that’s one of the things that bothered me to no end with her other book, ha. Definitely liking the sound of the feels, though!

    Reply

    1. Ahh I will gladly give you some recs, Alise *winks* I’m not sure when Kogami appears but waiting till it’s completed is a good choice as well! Waiting one week for one episode is a bit painful lol.

      Yeah, I didn’t enjoy Han’s other books as well. But Idk for some reason this one just clicked with me if you know what I mean. ;D

      Reply

  3. Sigh I adore that cover! I have a couple of JH books to try but I think this will be my first. Swoon Worthy romance sells it for me!

    Reply

    1. Totally agree! That cover is so pretty attractive 😀 IMO, this one is her best book to date ^^ Thanks for stopping by, Danielle <3 I miss you so much!

      Reply

  4. I REALLY want to read this book, but the mixed reviews are making me hesitate. Then again, it’s Jenny Han, and even though I haven’t read anything by her yet, she’s such a beloved contemporary author for a reason, right? Lolll about the anime series thing, though. I feel ya. Ever since I started getting really into it earlier this year, books have been taking a backseat and I feel sooo guilty. ><

    I’m really curious about this “ordinary story told in an extraordinary way” thing! A lot of the contemporaries I’ve read try to go for the “unique story,” but the execution is just so mediocre the story turns out to be nothing impressive in the end. So I think in that sense this book will be a really refreshing read. Ohhhh boy, totally looking forward to those weird-ass names. (Not!)

    *le gasp* ROMANCE IS NOT THE MAIN FOCUS???

    Can you hear that?

    I’m whooping for joy because MY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED. Oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted a contemporary where the whole damn thing wasn’t just all about kissing and cuddling and having sex. I mean, yeah, there are some books like that out there, but they weren’t very good, you know? But eeep, I’m looking forward to this swoon-worthy romance you mentioned!

    Okay, I think you’ve convinced me to give this book a go now. ;D And now I have an excuse to show off that beautiful cover on my shelf, too. Sweet review, Kezia! AND IT’S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU BLOGGING AGAIN!!!

    Reply

    1. Yeah, at first I thought romance was gonna be very dominant here. But in the end it’s all about the relationship between Lara Jean and her older sister. The scene was quite touching as well. And don’t worry, even though there’s romance it’s very fluffy and light — no sex or too much amount of kissing and cuddling 🙂

      Ahh I’m so happy hearing that you’ll give it a chance! I feel like I’m a successful reviewer haha xD Thanks for stopping by, Meg! I’m slowly getting back but might be away for the whole next week due to tests though .__.

      Reply

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