To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Rating: 5 stars
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Release Date: April 15th 2014
Goodreads Synopsis:I've been meaning to get to this book for forever! Lately, I've been reading and reviewing very serious sci-fi's and fantasy books, and lighthearted contemporaries are something I find very hard to get into. But To All the Boys I've Loved Before did not disappoint!
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.
Our narrator Lara Jean Covey, reminded me so much of my high school self, because she's certainly young and naive about many things. She can be immature and she sometimes doesn't look beyond a person's 'cover', being quick to judge, but who wasn't like that in high school? Throughout the novel, we see her grow from that, as she grows fond of Peter Kavinsky.
Peter Kavinsky himself was a very charming love interest. I usually do not like the popular guy, in books (and in real life haha!), but the more I read, the more I liked him! The banter and interaction between him and Lara Jean was adorable. The pretend relationship was adorable. He was adorable. Peter was funny, and understanding, and caring. He got along so great with Lara Jean's youngest sister, Kitty. He tried hard to be a great pretend boyfriend for Lara Jean. He even got her donuts! We all need a Peter K. in our lives.
And, I'm going to be hypocritical, as I stated in my TTT trope post, that I do not like love triangles, but Jenny Han wrote out this romance so well, I couldn't hate it. I loved it. Was it even a love triangle? You should read to find out! It was hard, in the beginning, to chose who I liked more - Peter K. or Josh. They were both lovable and had their quirks. I eventually ended up choosing Peter K., and it was more so because Josh was better suited with Margot.
The plot made me think that the underlying message is that you miss a thousand of the shots you don't take. But in spite of that, when you do take a chance, something good may or may not come out of it. Lara Jean regretted not telling Josh her feelings, but it worked out in the end for her. Those shots of hers, being the love letters, opened up a whole new world for her. Now I wonder... if I did the same thing, would I have the same results? A girl can only dream.
Han's writing style is simplistically youthful, and contains all the questions we perhaps wondered about love. I dog-ear my pages whenever I find great quotes in books, and looking back, I did end up dog-earing a lot. Here are some top quotes!
"Do you know what it's like to like someone so much you can't stand it and know that they'll never feel the same way?"
Ah, what it's like to be young!
"A hundred years ago eighteen-year-old guys were out there fighting wars with bayonets and holding a man's life in their hands! They lived a lot of life by the time they were our age. What do kids our age know about love and life?"
To All the Boys I've Loved Before was an awesome read! I loved the diversity and Lara Jean's half-Korean heritage, I loved the atypical love triangle, I love the not stereotypical popular love interest, I loved the close family bonds, and I love how fun and fresh and relatable it all was. If you're looking for a contemporary with all of that, this is the book for you!
Now if only I had the sequel...