Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Published: 2014, Simon & Schuster, 355 pages
My copy: Paperback, purchased at The Strand Bookstore NYC
My rating: 4.5 stars
Summary: 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. [Goodreads]
My March #hypebusters TBR continues with a fluffy contemporary! I’ve been reading some pretty heavy stuff lately, like Me Before You, Cinder, Carry On, so this was a perfect break from intense stories before Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight arrives this week! It’s entirely possible that I loved this book so much because it was just what I needed (super fun read) but I also loved the writing and the characters. I could pretty much predict what was going to happen from the beginning, not just about who Lara Jean would end up with but also who sent out her letters (I thought it was totally obvious), but there were times where I was totally thrown and surprised! This is the first books of Jenny Han’s that I’ve read, and I’m really happy with it.
If love is like a possession, maybe my letter are like my exorcisms.
First of all, have you SEEN the cover? It’s absolutely gorgeous 🙂 and the font is super cute. Second, I really enjoyed the characters (except for Margot and Josh, but whatever) and my favorites were probably Kitty and Patrick. It was great to see a lot of character development with most of the people in the story, especially Patrick, since he started out pretty rough. Lara Jean is such an awkward person in general, but when she’s thrown into this super awkward situation, she becomes such a clumsy person, so that was fun to read. She could be a little childish, but that didn’t bother me as much as the whole love triangle thing did. It’s becoming a really annoying trope, and it wasn’t necessary in this novel. I could see it coming, but there were so many other important things to be focused on concerning Lara Jean and Patrick without Josh being shoved in my face. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, although I’ve been told that there’s a slight love triangle in that one, too, but I think I’ll be able to deal with it. Since family is a really important part of this book, I am happy to say that I was able to deal with the family! I had to tolerate Margot, Lara Jean’s older sister, but I loved Kitty, her younger sister, and her father wasn’t very present but was still a fun addition to the story.
“Seventeen’s not so young. A hundred years ago people got married when they were practically our age.”
“Yeah, that was before electricity and the Internet. A hundred years ago eighteen-year-old guys were out there fighting wars with bayonets and holding a man’s life in their hands! They lived a lot of life by the time they were our age. What do kids our age know about love and life?”
The plot was slightly all over the place, pretty much like Lara Jean’s love life once her letters get sent out. She’s back and forth over who she thinks she wants to be with, which can get pretty confusing for the reader, but also accurately describes how a teenage girl would react in this situation (which seems highly unlikely that it would happen, but still). The stuff about Margot and Josh seemed like it was just there to fill a void for drama, so it wasn’t really necessary to me. However, aside form those small details, I really liked this book! Jenny Han is such an amazing writer and I was totally sucked in to the story. The book isn’t very inappropriate, with only some swearing and mentions of mature stuff, so don’t worry about that if you want to read it. Good book for anyone needing a light, quick read, or something to help you get out of a slump. Hoping to read the sequel sometime soon!