Books, Contemporary, Young Adult

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Commentary: spoilers

I found this book to be very okay. I really love the cover and this book is always recommended to me. I finally picked it up and I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would have.

The story really picks up when Lara finds out that the letters she has written have been mailed to the five guys that she has loved. Josh is one of the recipients of the letters. He is Margot’s ex-boyfriend, and the typical boy next door. He receives a letter from “Lara Jean”, and his friendship with Lara Jean becomes rocky and confusing. Though Josh tries to figure out the reasoning behind the letter, Lara Jean pretends to be in a relationship with Peter, the most popular boy at school.  If I were in her shoes, I would have been very traumatized by that situation and would probably have to move to another city. Instead, Lara Jean kinda brushes that incident aside, and doesn’t really try to figure out who would send the letters.

Lara Jean was a really likable protagonist, she really felt realistic to me. Most people don’t like her as a protagonist, but I really liked her. Lara Jean reminds me of myself growing up. She is sheltered and naive, and a bit socially awkward. She likes spending her free time at home with her sisters, and loves to bake and knit. She’s not the type of girl most guys would go for. She writes letters to the boys she has loved to show she is over them. Those letters are for her eyes only, and the letters aren’t meant to be read. She tries to be mature now that her older sister has gone off to college. Lara Jean is very considerate of her family, especially her father. You can really tell that she loves her family.

Peter and Lara Jean pretend to be in a relationship, and they both start off not liking each other. Lara Jean used to love Peter before he got popular and started dating Genevieve. Peter and Lara Jean have a love-hate relationship. He’s cocky and always gets his way. He’s also a bit of a  As time progresses, there are many sides of Peter that get exposed. He’s a hard worker, and is devoted to Lara Jean even though she doesn’t realize it till the very end. I didn’t really like Peter, and I liked Josh more than Peter. Do I prefer Josh with Lara Jean? Oh heck no. I like Lara Jean and Josh as friends, besides it would be like backstabbing your own family if she got with Josh. This book isn’t about Josh and Lara, even though there is a “love triangle”. This book is about Lara Jean finally falling in love with Peter. Based on the title of the book, I thought each of the guys Lara Jean loved were going to play a huge role in the story, but they don’t. The title is a bit deceiving, but that’s just me. I really enjoyed Lara and Peter’s fake relationship, it was hilarious. But, I still don’t think Peter is a good person. For example, he would meet up with Genevieve when he was still in a fake relationship with Lara. Why would he do that? Like really?! The book never did resolve that issue with Peter. Even though, Peter has another side of him that no one gets to see, he is a bit of a jerk, and not even a likable jerk.

Now as for Lara Jean’s family, I really liked Katherine, aka Kitty. She is the lovable younger sister that is sometimes a trouble maker. She is the baby of the family, and I love the relationship she has with both sisters. Margot, on the other hand, I did not like. Lara Jean looks up to her older sister so much. Lara Jean always thinks about her older sister and how responsible Margot is. I found Margot to be bitter and condescending at times. I really didn’t like how she treated Lara when she returned back home. I get that Margot is so responsible and motherly, but I feel that she had more affection towards Kitty than Lara. Also when Margot told her father that Lara Jean had sex…that was a cold move. It was very hypocritical of Margot.

Overall, I really thought that the book was okay. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending…that is until I found out there was a sequel to the book! I will continue this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. Hopefully, Peter becomes more likable.

Quotes: 

“You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

“I want to say yes, but I don’t want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody else’s first choice”

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.

Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️  (3.5)

8 thoughts on “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han”

  1. I loved this book so much! I also liked Lara Jean. I can’t say that for Margot. I didn’t like her at all.
    At first, I wanted that Lara Jean and Josh would be together because Peter was such a jerk. But later I started to like him. Maybe you should read the second book. Some answers are hiding there.
    And I really like your review.

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