Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Pages: 368
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Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.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.

thoughtMost of the time when I come across a contemporary romance, I think “I might get to this one day” and generally move on without a second thought. The title usually ends up in the TBR pile, never to be seen from again. Until my little cousin comes over looking to snatch books. I have to say when she snatched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I was a little surprised. Like me, she isn’t the biggest contemporary reader. I figured she liked the cover or something, and sadly, the book would probably end up sitting in her room collecting dust. But that didn’t happen. A few days later, not weeks (she is not a huge reader), she came back to me clamoring over how much she loved it. Loved the characters. Wanting to know if  there was going to be sequel. When I said I didn’t know, she huffed and puffed about how there better be. After I got over the shock of this interaction, she moved on to how I had better put everything down I was reading and READ. IT. RIGHT. NOW. Interested to see what it was about this book that got her so excited, I had to give it a try.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before started off a little slow for me. I knew the premise. I knew to expect romance. So early on, I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen. It never did. At this point, I was ready to confess to the younger one that despite her feelings, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was not going to be a book for me. But right before I was ready to do that, it hit. The letters. The romance. The family dynamic. All of it, it just clicked.

Lara Jean has loved five boys in her life. Once she has decided to move on, she pours her heart out into a goodbye love letter and never looks back. Until the day she discovers that her secret letters are not so secret any more.

While there are five letters sent, the majority of the conflict centers around Peter and Josh. Josh is the sweet boy next door. The boy who fits in like he is another piece to the family puzzle. Peter, on the other hand, is the boy who could have been like the boy next door, and was for a little while, but grew out of it. He is the popular, too handsome boy, who seems to think way too highly of himself. In the beginning, it was all Josh for me. He is sweet, geeky, and just seemed like he fit. Peter, while not a bad guy per se, really got on my nerves. I knew who the younger one was rooting for, but I was going in the opposite direction. 

What was truly great about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was the pacing. The events take place right before school starts into Christmas break, and it felt like it. Sometimes it felt like I was getting just day to day stuff happening, sometimes bigger things occurred, but nothing felt rushed. It was a book that I could savor, and enjoyed doing so. The family dynamic was perfect. It often added a layer of tension while the romance was taking a backseat, and then it would switch as needed. I adored Lara Jean’s family. Especially Kitty. She added just the right amount of humor to take To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before from bland to interesting.

Verdict:

Whole lotta awesome, wrapped in a slow-burning package.

Kate

Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.

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