Monday, April 28, 2014

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 BFYR
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
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.

I ADORE contemporaries. It’s no secret. And lately, it seems like all these awesome contemporaries are being published. Basically, I am in Heaven. I had been looking forward to Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before for quite some time and I was beyond excited to read. And so surprise, I absolutely loved it.

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song has been in love exactly five times, with five different boys. Every time she’s been in love, she’s written that boy a letter pouring out her heart in an effort to get over them. Once she’s finished, she doesn’t mail the letters, she puts them in a hatbox she keeps in her closet. But one day, Lara Jean arrives at school to find out that someone sent her letters to each of those five boys. Now Lara Jean has to deal with what those letters mean, especially the one that was sent to Josh, the boy next door who also happens to be her sister’s boyfriend. With help from an unlikely source, Lara Jean starts to realize that her imaginary love life is nothing like the one she has now. She discovers that love is often messy and who you fall for is completely out of your control.

Have I mentioned lately that I ADORE contemporary books? In case I haven’t done so enough already, I’ll say it again just for good measure. And Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is exactly why I love contemporaries. Right from the start, I was pulled into the story. Being the curious person that I am, I wanted to know what was in those letters, even who those letters were addressed to in the first place. Most of all, I wanted to know who had sent them. And once I started getting some answers to my questions, I just couldn’t seem to turn the pages fast enough. I loved seeing the relationship between Lara Jean and Peter develop, especially the situations they would get themselves into being that they were only “fake dating.” But the more time they spent together, I could just see that it was becoming less and less fake, even if they didn’t realize it. It was just an overall fun and adorable story about first love and growing up. And if I’m being honest, as much as I love my deep and serious contemporaries, I might love my adorable ones even more. Basically, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is just the kind of story I adore.

I connected with Lara Jean pretty early on in the book. Just like her, I’ve been guilty of writing letters to people (read: boys) just to get stuff off my chest and never sending them. Unlike Lara Jean though, no one’s ever sent those letters behind my back. But even then, I could feel her pain when she discovered that letters that were never meant for anyone’s eyes but her’s had been read by the boys they were addressed to. And I loved seeing her struggle with how to deal with everything. The situations she put herself in often made me smile, especially when she was with Peter. Because though they may not have been particularly fond of each other at first, Lara Jean and Peter were really fun together. I loved how despite the fact that they started this whole thing as a ploy to make other people feel jealous, I could tell that they were starting to care for each other and eventually even go so far to as fall for each other. It was just great to see both of them grow and change, becoming better people. And now that I know there’s a sequel, I have some thoughts on what I want to happen to both Lara Jean and Peter.

Though this probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, I absolutely loved Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, and I loved getting lost in this story and getting to know these characters. I can’t wait to find out more in P.S. I Still Love You

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