Lara Jean writes love letters to fall out of love. When her five letters are mysteriously sent after her older sister moves to college, Lara Jean has to awkwardly deal with the aftermath.
Why this book?: I’ve joined The Book Bound Society this month, and this was their BOTM! Also, everyone won’t stop talking about the Netflix movie.
I wanted to start spreading my horizons a little bit, so I figured a romcom would be the best place to start. After hearing so many good things about Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I felt that this would be a really good choice for my first romcom. And I have to admit–it was a good choice.
Han characterizes the Covey family brilliantly by showing their interactions immediately. You can see how the family basically relies on Margo’s guidance, and the fact that she’s leaving really throws a wrench in their schedules. You can also see how they loved their mother, but that they’re used to her being gone. And then you get to see what type of people they are when Josh comes into the mix. They give him shelter when he needs it, and welcomes him into their home with open arms. Han effortlessly gives most of the characters featured in this book a whole backstory and personality with little space used. I felt like I knew these characters personally before the story even started.
When the letters are finally sent, chaos ensues in the most dramatic way. I really related to Lara Jean, especially when she ran a mile home when Peter K approached her with the letter. I was DYING. I was actually laughing out loud, and I wasn’t sure if I would because since when have I ever read a romcom?? But when stuff happened, I found myself either laughing or crying, and it was an odd range of emotions for one book.
As for the story itself, while I thought it was a little slow at first, I ended up really enjoying it! I enjoyed watching the characters struggles with each other, and you could tell these characters were really well fleshed out despite everything. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending, because it really left you hanging with how the relationships would pan out. That was kind of frustrating, because it felt drawn out for the sake of a series rather than for developing already developed relationships. I just really didn’t see a point to the series aspect.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
While I really loved the story in general, loved it to the point of being a five-star read, I really couldn’t get over the fact that the story felt lengthened out for no reason. Why does this story need to be a trilogy? It felt like Han left the ending hanging like that solely for the purpose of the sequels. Why couldn’t it just be a stand alone?
Would I Recommend?
Definitely for fans of romcoms. I really didn’t understand the point of some of the romance, but that’s just me being me, so I didn’t factor that into my rating. However, I wouldn’t read this book unless you’re looking forward to reading a trilogy to find out who ends up with who.
Published: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 355
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Synopsis: via 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.
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3 thoughts on “Review #191 // To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1) – Jenny Han”
I’ve started to think more and more about why so many stories have to be in series. I wish there were more stories that were standalone, or stories in series that functioned as standalones.
Same here. A lot don’t even need the sequels, they’re just there to lengthen out the story.
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