I’m saving up my middle grade reviews for when Shannon Messenger returns in a couple of weeks with MMGM, so today I have another young adult review. As soon as I read the description for TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han, I knew I had to read it!
LARA JEAN 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.
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.
And here are the five things I loved most about this book.
1. The premise – Can you imagine writing something for yourself and then having it go out to the subject? But as horrifying as it is, the timing coincides perfectly with another change in Lara Jean’s life and sets her on a path to grow as a person. I expected this to cause craziness with each of the boys involved, and there is some of that, but the story surprised me by going in another direction.
2. The innocence – I love a snarky, self-aware girl as much as the next reader, but I liked that Lara Jean wasn’t as worldly as many of the characters out there. She has an appealing innocence, and while she loses a bit of it during the story, she still has a refreshing outlook on the world.
3. The sisters – This book is as much about the relationships between the sisters and how that changes when one goes off to college as it is about the letters. It’s about growing up and figuring out your place in the family when the dynamic changes.
4. The romance – This story wasn’t the comedic romance I expected it to be, although there were some moments that made me laugh out loud. I liked the way the romance grew over the course of the story and was based on them getting to know each other without focusing on the physical side of things.
5. The ending – Points to Ms. Han for not tying everything up in a pretty bow at the end but still making it satisfying. I usually like to know exactly how everything turns out, but this ending was perfect for this story.
If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I highly recommend it!
This one sounds interesting! Love the idea of actual paper letters, too!
This sounds really intriguing! I’ve enjoyed some of Han’s other work. Thanks for sharing!
If you have a recommendation for a particular Han book, I’d love to hear it. The only other one I’ve read is SHUG.