Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Release Date - April 15, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Imagine a letter that you wrote to someone. One you never expected to send. The letter itself, while addressed to someone else, was actually for you. A means of closure. A way to get something off your mind. Now imagine that letter being sent. Scary right? Jenny Han has used this scenario to create story of love. A story of loves both lost and found, and most importantly the love between sisters.

Jenny Han's writing strength is the attention to detail she gives the reader. It creates the atmosphere, and allows the reader to clearly picture the setting. The clothes, and food described in To All The Boys especially jump off the page. It's no accident that Lara Jean has a flair for fashion, as you can tell it's something Jenny also enjoys. The little details are what make a novel, and they are peppered throughout this one wonderfully.

For a novel that has romance front and centre, I was surprised that it was not the romantic type of love that was allowed to shine the brightest. The relationship between the Song sisters is touchingly sweet, and realistic. They fight, they squabble, they hurt each other, but they always love each other. They would do anything for each other. The pressure to play a certain role in the family, the expectations you put on each other, are found within these pages right along with the unwavering love. It made me think of my own sisters and how, even though they drive me crazy, I would do anything for them.

The inclusion of the letters themselves in the story delighted me. I would have been sad to not to have the chance to read the letters themselves (and the story certainly could have worked without them being included). This inclusion served to both give insight into Lara Jean, and provided a few comedic moments as Lara Jean's words come back to haunt her. They're insightful, sweet, and perfectly capture the essence of both the character, and the book itself.

A novel about love letter wouldn't be complete without some swoon worthy moments. There are plenty of adorable interactions that will leave any YA fan smiling. The message that love appears when and where you least expect it proves true, and only serves to complicate Lara Jean's life further. It's done in a really heart warming way that left me rooting for her happily ever after. There are two boys in Lara Jean's life (don't worry, no love triangle here) and I found myself hoping for a different outcome than I expected I would in terms of who Lara Jean would open her heart to.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before is as endearing as it's main character. A novel that reminds you to take the risk, and say what's in your heart, because you never know where it might lead you. A sequel is already in the works, and all I can say is...p.s. it's a date.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you liked this one. It wasn't all that great to me, and I really didn't like the way it ended. Sort of drove me nuts. I still liked it, but I didn't feel it was all that great. But I loved the love letter aspect of the story, that was what really drew me in.


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