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
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.