3/17/14

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han 
Pages: 288 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Format: Paperback (ARC) 
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads): 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. 




Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Lara Jean is a girl who is perfectly happy with her life. She has two amazing sisters, a father who loves her, and her best friend Josh - who happens to be dating her older sister. Her life is quiet, happy, and full of love.

But one thing Lara Jean doesn't have is a boyfriend. She's never been in a relationship, choosing instead to write letters to her crushes and never send them. By writing the letter, she is letting go of the person and allowing herself to move on. She's written five letters in total, and one of which was to Josh. So when the letters get sent out, Lara Jean is a world of trouble. 

Lara Jean thinks her life is over, but as she learns to speak her mind and tell those she cares about just how much they mean to her, she realizes that the best thing to come of the letters was the closure of them being read. 

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the way that this novel's theme transitioned from romance to family. At first glance, it seems like it's going to be a predictable romance, but in reality it turns out to be so much more. Lara Jean's love for her sisters, her father, and her friend - even if she has a little bit trouble figuring out what kind of love she feels for him - made it easy to relate to her on every level. Who hasn't felt conflicted when it comes to looking out for everyone else's best interests over your own? 

I also really liked the supporting characters, and would definitely have liked to read/heard more from Josh and Margot's perspectives - especially about their relationship. The family aspect of the novel was so well done, and it was great to see a strong family bond present in a YA novel - the majority of them are decidedly lacking in happy families.

The writing flowed smoothly, and the main character's voice felt very realistic. The plot was very character-driven, and the tone was perfectly suited to the subject matter.

One last thing: can we just take a look at that cover? It's gorgeous! You definitely get a feel for the atmosphere of the novel just by looking at the cover.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary lit and romance, as well as anyone looking for a light read with some powerful messages.

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