To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one YA contemporary book you should put at the top of your 2014 TBR. I will now rush off and read all of Jenny Han’s other books.
Book Review: To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
Title & Author: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
How I Got the Book: ARC from Publisher
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.”
I was so excited to receive a copy of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s actually my FIRST EVER Jenny Han book. *gasp!* I know!
She’s super popular for her Summer series, which I’ve never read. When I read this book description, though, I knew it was my chance to jump on the Han train.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Despite reading a ton of YA, I don’t read many books actually set in high school. What I got in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was a fun, light-hearted story wrapped in straightforward dialogue and tied with a ball of sweet emotion.
Lara Jean is about to start her junior year of high school, and her older sister is moving away to Scotland for college. Her younger sister and her dad will be left to fend for themselves, but she’s not too worried. Lara Jean’s a homebody with only a few friends, and she prefers it that way.
When her special hat box full of letters to her past loves (meant for her eyes only!) actually get mailed to their subjects, Lara Jean is left to deal with the fall out.
Glass Cage of Emotion
I thought from the premise that the majority of the book would be about Lara Jean slowly confronting all the boys who accidentally received her letters. That is actually not the case! That part of the book happens pretty quickly in the beginning, which I actually appreciated very much.
The whole focus and point of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is MORE than just how Lara Jean copes with all these boys knowing her true feelings. It’s about her family and shifting roles, and it’s about her venturing out in the scary unknown and trying new things.
It’s such a sweet coming of age tale, and one I think so many girls/women will be able to relate to.
My favorite part of the book was Lara Jean’s relationship with her family – especially her sisters. The way Han describes the complicated nature of having sisters rang so true. The bickering and the fights and the strong love and devotion. I loved every minute.
And, can I just say, I loved seeing an innocent, naive type girl as the lead. It’s ok if you’re not having sex at 16 years old. It’s ok to be shy and introverted. It was so refreshing to see this other type of high school experience painted. (I think this is a sign I’m becoming more of a mom-aged type than a teen-aged type. Oh dear).
Bonus: There’s one another book in the series that will be coming out tentatively in 2015: P.S. I Still Love You.
If you’re looking for a sweet, simple, romantic story, look no farther. This is one fantastic read that is richly detailed and full of emotion that is so totally relatable and fun. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will make you wish you were young and in love all over again.