To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
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.
Review: Okay honestly I can’t believe I didn’t read this book sooner. It has been my most anticipated read of the year, hands down, and I guess I kept waiting to see if it would go on sale. I decided to just say fuck it and decided to make it a part of Bout of Books. I am so, SO glad I finally read this one (although I kind of wish I waited a little longer so it would be closer to the release of the second book). To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before easily gets five stars from me. I loved every second of it. I LOVED loved LoVeD the characters. Before I get too carried away – this book is about how Lara Jean’s life is turned upside down when her box of letters is released to their intended recipients. In order to get over a boy she likes, she writes a letter to them and hides it in a hatbox under her bed. One day, the letters are mysteriously sent out and she has to deal with the repercussions. One of the boys is her sister’s ex-boyfriend Josh, who is also their longtime friend/neighbor. Another is the popular boy at school, Peter, who was her first kiss. Lucas, a third boy at her school, becomes her close friend after getting her letter and helps her make sense of everything happening to her. Every character in this book was so fun to get to know. Lara Jean was blessed with an amazing family, including her father, older sister, and younger sister. I was obsessed with her younger sister, Kitty, throughout the book. She was so cute and funny; I could not get enough of her. When her older sister, Margot, goes to college in Scotland, Lara Jean is faced with filling Margot’s shoes. She took over for their mother, who passed away when they were younger, in running the household and making sure everything goes smoothly. Margot breaks up with Josh before college and Lara Jean is confronted with her feelings for him yet again. Aside from Lara Jean’s family, the boys who receive the letters became great main characters too. I felt like the book was missing certain people (like it didn’t give the two other boys who got letters enough attention), but it appears that that will change in the second book! I can’t wait to read what happens next. I also hope her father starts to go out on dates in the next book too, because there was some hinting that he may start dating. I’m so attached to him and the family that I just want him to go out there and be happy! The only character I didn’t care too much about was her best friend (and it seemed like only friend) Chris. She wasn’t that developed and had a fairly small part in the book; she didn’t add much to the plot. This book gets five stars from me because of the awesome characters, the cute plotline, and the humor. A little message from the book is that people are not always what they seem. Josh and Peter both had incorrect perceptions of each other and showed how people make assumptions based on outward appearances and friend groups. I liked this little moral, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly a book that taught a lesson. It was a very light read. I would definitely recommend this to any contemporary YA fans – it has all the right stuff.