Thursday, April 23, 2015

REVIEW - TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han



To All the Boys I Loved Before (To All the Boys I loved Before #1)
by Jenny Han
Publisher - Scholastic
Release Date - August 7th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say 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...





I just finished this and all I can say is why didn't I read this before?! And this if my first, yes I said first, Jenny Han book. She just has a way with words doesn't she, and she brings that bright smile and gooey feeling to the very last page. My heart was going this way, that way between Josh and Peter and it was just...just a gorgeous read. I loved it!

Lara Jean Song, the middle sister to Margo and Kitty Song, also known as the Song girls, likes to write goodbye letters to all the boys she has ever loved. When Margo left to move and study in Scotland, it is now Lara Jean's responsibility to be the big sister to Kitty and fill Margo place in the family. Out of nowhere, Peter Kavinsky, vain, annoying, cheerful ladies man comes up to Lara Jean to say he's received a letter from her...Lara Jean is mortified, how did her letters get sent in the first place? Her next door neighbour, Josh is one of those boys she's loved even before her sister, but she never said anything, so to soften the blow of receiving his letter, Lara Jean starts a fake relationship with Peter K...but maybe it turns out not so fake in feelings...

This novel often reminded me of Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, with it's letters and notes. It adds a certain texture to the book and the story that I just love. It's more authentic and more revealing of the character behind her words. I write letters to my friends overseas bit I've never written a love letter properly, although I really want too. But I find writing a letter your words are more raw and real. It much more heartfelt and emotional. It's just as true as saying them in person but they can be kept forever. As we spread each of the otters that Lara Jean wrote you could see how she grew from each of her loves and how they were only goodbye letters nothing more. She didn't consider the reality of what love could be like. Lara Jean was immune to love and the what ifs of whether one of those boys actually asked her out.
“My letters are for when I don't want to be in love anymore. They're for good-bye. Because after I write in my letter, I'm not longer consumed by my all-consuming love...My letters set me free. Or at least they're supposed to.”
Lara Jean was quite young for her age. She appeared to be immature at times and even her younger sister Kitty was more grown up than her. For me she did have some Mummy/Daddy issues that I didn't quite connect with, I'm not a fan of the use of phrasing for parents in novels. Lara Jean doesn't stray far from the box she is living in. I'm not saying that's a bad thing living in comfort and routine but when those letters are sent out, her first reaction is fear...but maybe it's a good thing, to let other people know she's around like Peter K. Peter K and Lara Jean pretty much hate each other, they used to be friends back in the day, then Peter went out with Genevieve, who certainly likes to stir up trouble. When they broke, Lara Jean and Peter started the fake romance to get Josh of her back. Whilst that's all being well, when he starts to do endearing things towards her, something more than fake feelings is happening here. With Peter, Lara Jeans she'll broke more, whilst it could be conflicting at times, she was brave enough to overcome it. What I find that I quite like with most contemporary stories is that the author creates some sort of flaw in her character and explores that thought the story, Lara Jean grows as a character, her personality and as a person.
“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That's the part of the risk. I don't want to be scared anymore.”
To All The Boys I Loved Before had a great selection secondary characters that make up for the book to give it center stage. I loved seeing and revealing of all the letters throughout the book, one boy was even gay but turned out to be a good friend. One boy in particular I wanted to know more about which was John, I thought there would've been something there. Jenny Han is a fabulous writer and I'm glad that I don't have to wait very long at all for P.S I Still Love You, I haven't read the synopsis but I am rooting for someone that's for sure.

Rating - 5

20 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you loved this, I have seen so many great things about it. It makes me excited to read it!

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    1. Oh you have to read it. I prolonged this one for far too long. Hope you get to read it soon!

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  2. I only read this quite recently too. I'm very excited to get hold of the second book next month!

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    1. Can't wait to read the second book too. :)

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  3. I'm thrilled to see that you ended up loving this one too Emma, I totally fell in love with these characters when I read this book last year and honestly I can't wait to be with them again next month, the long has been killing me, I really hope things end up the way I'm hoping they will! Lovely review! :)

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    1. I hope we get that HEA after all. I'm glad I read it now rather than a year ago, I couldn't wait that long for the next book I'll admit. Can't wait for us to read it! :)

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  4. I haven't read this one. I was wary because I just.. I don't know. It sounded juvenile to me. But guess what? I bought the book when it came out anyway. Lol. I'm so weird.

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    1. Oh you should. I was a little anxious I'll admit, but I got right into it. Lol.

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  5. Aw, I'm so glad you enjoyed this a lot more than I did, Emma! Lara Jean was definitely too immature for me, and often I just wanted to smack her upside the head. D: Fabulous review, though! :)

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    1. I can see where your coming from. I guess she could be immature at times, but it didn't really bother me. Thank you, Aimee. :)

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  6. This was honest and complex, and I loved it :) Glad you did too.

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    1. Exactly, it was just such a raw, honest and emotional storyline and I loved it. :)

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  7. I'm so happy to hear you loved this one, Emma! I did too! And now I cannot wait for the sequel too! I'll be attending the book release party for PS I Still Love You!!
    Great review!

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    1. I can't wait to read PS I Still Love You, and I've pre-ordered it too! :)

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  8. I know Jasprit is a huge fan of Jenny Han, and loves this series as well. Glad to hear you did, too! Hope the next book in the series is a win for you, too. Wonderful review! :)

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    1. I know and I can't wait to read the next book. I hope you might read it soon. Thank you, Rachel :)

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  9. Dang it. I've had this for awhile but haven't got around to reading it yet. Maybe I can slip it in soon.

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    1. Oh you need too. I was the same so I'm glad I read it in the end! :)

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  10. Emma, you make this book sound so endearing and charming! I don't have any plans of reading this to be honest as the premise is just not my thing, but wow, you do know how to make my heart aflutter as I imagine the story with your words. Happy that you loved it!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Oh thank you so much for your kind words, that means a lot that I get that reaction with my reviews. :) Thank you so much, Faye! :)

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