Rating: ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ 1/2
**Warning! Although there are no outright plot spoilers in this review, there is a little bit of information about what characters are in this book and what I liked/didn’t like about them. If you consider this a spoiler be warned!**
I don’t know about you, but whenever summer rolls around, I am always in the mood for a cutesy summery contemporary. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was that perfect summery read for me! I think my love of this book was born of a mixture of me being in the mood for it and the fact that it reads like an adorable rom-com. I would highly recommend this as a beach read, a fluffy read, or a read if you are looking to get out a the dreaded reading slump!
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is about sixteen year old Lara Jean who, whenever she wants to get over a crush on a boy, writes them a love letter and shuts it away in her hatbox, never to think of it again. Her love life becomes a little more complicated when somebody mails out all of these letters, and I loved the crazy ride that ensued. Honestly, based on this premise, the book took a different direction than I was expecting, but that was okay because it gave me a story that I loved! Instead of the book being about the fallout from every letter, it focuses more on only two of the letters and the rom-com-like drama that unfolds from there. Complete with a fake relationship plot line (classic), awakenings of old feelings, and a wonderful dynamic with Lara Jean and her family,this book definitely deserves an A+ 🙂
So, details of why I loved this book. Firstly, I loved the sister dynamic in the book. Lara Jean has an older sister, Margot, and a younger sister, Kitty. The age difference between these sisters is actually the same as the one between myself and my sisters, so they reminded me a lot of my own family! Every time Lara Jean would pick on Kitty I couldn’t help but think they were exactly like my two sisters. I also identified with Margot because the nine year age difference between myself and my youngest sister creates a bit of a mother/daughter relationship as well as a sister relationship. I always love it when a book has an emphasis on a family as opposed to the family or parents just disappearing when the protagonist discovers their “destiny.” Families in YA contemporaries are always my favourite and I loved the Song/Coveys just as much as the rest of them!
Okay. Now let’s talk about Peter. I loved what Jenny Han did with this character. I mean, he’s an obvious love interest, but at the beginning I didn’t like him. Peter is one of the first love interests that actually had to grow on me because he didn’t have me wooed right away. Normally the protagonist is in love with the douchey guy right away, however, Lara Jean wasn’t in love with him from the beginning (at least she didn’t know she was ;)) Because of this, she shares tidbits about Peter that make him unlikeable, and I bought it. Peter was the unlikeable guy that I genuinely grew to adore, and I loved that! I loved seeing little sweet gestures shine through and seeing Lara Jean deal with all of her feelings about the whole situation. So, of course I loved Peter by the end, although I still have some questions…
There were a few reasons why I docked half a teacup off my rating, one being the lack of resolution. Although this book could stand alone, I am SO glad there is a second book! There were certain issues regarding some of Peter’s interactions with his ex-girlfriend that left me wondering, and Lara Jean unfortunately suffers from a syndrome that many characters in YA books and TV shows suffer from. That is IGNORING PEOPLE or when something bad happens they REFUSE TO TALK TO THE PERSON they are angry with. I swear this is something that annoys me more than most things. Communication is the key to everything! If there is a misunderstanding, talk to the person about it! Let’s be real, every time a character is upset about something to do with another character, it’s always a misunderstanding that is cleared up through CONVERSATION. Does this bug anyone else? It definitely happens too much for my liking 😛 Other than those few issues, this book is definitely a YA contemporary gem, and as I said, there is a second book and hopefully I will get a little more closure.
Once again, I highly recommend To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before for a lovey summer read! It is super cute, fun, and the plot and characters are wonderful. This is the perfect book to read in the sunshine or lying on the beach. Now that I’ve read and loved this book, I want to look into Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy, and look forward to reading many more Jenny Han books in the future!
P.S. – Can we also talk about how aesthetically pleasing these books are? Seriously, both To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You are gorgeous!
If you want to learn more about Jenny Han and her books visit her website here –> http://jennyhan.com/