[ARC Review] To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Title: To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC received by publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says 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 fell in love with Jenny Han a lot slower than many of her readers, and that is because I have never read her The Summer I Turned Pretty series, even though I have all of them on my shelf. I fell in love with Jenny Han's writing when I read Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire, it was then that I knew I had a new fav author.

While I was reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before I realized that the plot was very similar to that of Lillia in Fire with Fire. Where she pretend to date a boy for her own benefit. But this time it was mutual instead of a one sided lie. I loved Lillia's character in that series, and I loved Lara Jean as well. I think I liked her because she was real, she had teenager problems but dealt with them as a flawed character and to me that was great to read because not only did her mistakes seem real to me, but the way she handled those infractions was a great way to show character growth.

What I found amazing in this book was that no character felt inconsequential, every character that Lara Jean meets has a purpose and I think I liked those characters even more. I loved her relationship with hr older sister, and the fact that she looked up to her in a way that some might find unhealthy, but it was that relationship which caused Lara Jean to find herself in the end. I loved her rocky relationship with her younger sister and how guilty she felt when she didn't treat her with the respect that her other sister would have. I loved that she kept referencing herself in relation to her older sister, and that that changed as the story moved forward. Lara Jean found herself outside of what her family expected and I loved reading that.

The love story was simplistic but real, but my only issue was that I did not like Peter at all, I thought that as the book went on I would feel differently for him, the same way that Lara Jean did, but I didn't. And I think that put a damper on the book itself, but also my reaction to the end. I wasn't shocked by the end, I would like to know what happens after the last page, but I am not in desperate need of it right now. I will be waiting for the next book in this series because I loved Lara Jeans character and her interactions with all the characters.

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