Monday, July 7, 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release: April 15, 2014
Hardcover:  355 Pages
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I have to admit I wasn't too sure how much I would like this book at the beginning.  I liked the premise fairly well.  I couldn't even imagine how mortifying it would have been to have my personal thoughts sent out like that.  But I was initially put off because Lara Jean is a very young 16 year old.  She is innocent and naive.  She reads more like a 12 year old than a 16 year old.  And she did the one thing that drives me nuts with female protagonists:  instead of being honest, she lies.  When she is confronted by Josh about her letter, she lies to him and says she is dating someone else.  This leads her to concoct a false relationship with popular boy Peter Kacvinsky.  I'm not even really sure why this whole subtefuge was necessary.  *insert eyeroll here*  But after awhile, I found myself more and more on board with this book.  And by the end, I ended up adoring this book instead. Lara Jean is still pretty annoying in her naivety and immaturity, but I loved her and Peter's "relationship".  I thought they were really fun together, especially when they challenged each other.

I also love the family dynamic. Lara Jean lost her mother when she was nine.  Her father, now a single dad, relied heavily on Lara Jean and her older sister, Margot. But yet, their father is far from absent.  In fact, all the sisters (including youngest sister Kitty) really rely on each other.  I thought their relationships were authentic and endearing.  You can tell they really care for each other, but still fight and squabble like any other siblings do.

Even though most of Lara Jean's problems could have been solved with some simple communication, I still really enjoyed myself.  I am anxious to see what happens in the sequel and whether Lara Jean can convince the boy she is in love with that she really cares about him. 


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