To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before By Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Published April 22nd 2014
Summary: 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.
I laughed, I cried and I was completely enthralled from start to finish.
To All the Boys sounds like a simple contemporary about a girl and her crushes — but it’s not. Jenny Han wrote an incredibly beautiful story about a girl’s coming of age, relationships and sisterhood. To All the Boys is more complex than you’d typically expect. Jenny Han explores the topic of death, loss and coping and it’s handled in such a way that is realistic yet incredibly poignant. The thing about To All the Boys is it’s intricacy, lacing so many different topics together, which makes every page turn exciting.
One of the first few things you learn about Lara Jean is her family; her background of having a single father and the Song sisters. You learn that she’s only ever loved five boys in her entire life and wrote letters to them when her love for them is over. As an older sister (and the oldest of us three siblings), the Song sisterhood is something that I could relate to and one that I’ll hold close to my heart. Jenny Han explores the importance of sisterhood; not just its difficulties, but how the bond is eternal. The Song sisterhood is a breath of fresh air; its rare to find a family that is mentally and physically there (in YA books, these days). The Song sisters stick together, not because they have to, but they want to and that’s what made me love them.
Lara Jean’s character growth was also something I could relate to. As she and Peter begins becoming friends, she asks a lot about love and he responds telling her that she’s starry-eyed. And it’s such an apt way of describing who Lara Jean is. Lara Jean doesn’t know a lot about love, and lacked friends; to which she confided in Margot (her older sister) and when Margot leaves, she’s lost. In the process of detangling the mess she’s made, Lara Jean learns a lot about love, what it is and along the way she learns a lot about herself.
Learning about Josh and Peter made me swoon. I really loved Josh and Peter and they’re so different yet similar. I can’t decide who I want Lara Jean to end up with yet but either way they’re both great guys! I’m quite curious to learn more about the guy who moved away and the summer camp guy — I hope Lara Jean gets to meet them in the second book.
I enjoyed the Korean aspects of the story as well. Being someone who is heavily invested in anything Korean, it made me a little overexcited to learn more about Lara Jean’s background and how they go about their ways.
To All the Boys is one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. I know I’m going to remember this story for a long time. I highly recommend this to everybody; To All the Boys is beyond your typical contemporary book and will keep you turning pages.