Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Release date: April 15th 2014
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?
Lara Jean Song 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 pours out her heart and soul and says 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 rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I loved Jenny Han's Summer series, but it's been a while since I read those books, so I tried to keep my expectations low for To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Luckily, though, there was no need, because I was most definitely not disappointed! Just as I remember it being in the Summer series, Jenny Han's writing in To All the Boys I've Loved Before is engaging and addictive, and it reminded me of why I love reading. I absolutely loved this book!

The description of this one is super-vague, and I loved going in without knowing much. Some people might complain that the book doesn't have enough drive and no real central conflict (I know lit-agent-me would probably have to turn this down for that exact reason), but I didn't mind. You have no idea where the story is going because it develops in such a natural way, rather than following any standard formulaic pacing. This might bother some people who prefer plot-driven novels, but as someone who loves character-driven writing, I really appreciated this set-up.

Asides from Jenny Han's addictive writing, the characters are what make this book work. I loved Lara Jean so much! Her voice is so relatable, and she's the perfect balance of vulnerable and strong. (I especially loved reading about her driving anxiety because that made her even more relatable to me.) The secondary characters are great, too: my favorites would have to be Lara Jean's sisters, Margo and Kitty. The relationships between these three are complex and fascinating to read about. Their dad is super-sweet, too - I just loved all of the family dynamics in this one. Chris is Lara Jean's only female friend, really, and she's also tons of fun to read about - she's very unconventional, and I loved it. And then, of course, there's the boys. I don't want to really talk about them because, like I said, I loved going into this without knowing anything, but I'll just say that I really liked reading about all the boys Lara Jean has loved before (and still does?).

I had mixed feelings about the ending. My initial reaction was anger because it's very open-ended in regards to the romance, and I need to know what happens! But in a way, I really appreciated that the ending focuses on the sister relationship rather than the romance. And it's not like it matters anyways, since there's going to be a sequel...

I absolutely loved To All the Boys I've Loved Before. I can see how it's not for everyone, because the plot doesn't really have a clear track or central conflict. But I think that Jenny Han's addictive writing and engaging characters more than made up for it. I can't wait to read PS. I Still Love You!


  1. i recently read The Summer I Turned Pretty and loved it! Cant wait to read more Jenny Han

    check out my latest post?


  2. Can you give some more information on this subject?
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