Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Book Review + Talk → To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han


TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN
Book 1 in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy

Young Adult Fiction // Categories: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover // 355 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Links: Purchase from The Book Depository or AmazonAdd to Goodreads

WHAT TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE IS ABOUT
"Sixteen-year-old 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."

FAMILY OVER EVERYTHING
Right from the start, we see how close Lara Jean and her sisters are. Maybe it's because of their mother's passing, but the three of them hold tightly to each other despite some annoyances. Lara Jean would do anything for her older sister, Margot, and is devastated that she's flying to Scotland for school. But when she leaves, Lara Jean knows she needs to step into her shoes to be the older sister figure and take care of her younger sister, Kitty. I love that this wasn't a book that just focused on the main character and her love interest—her family was involved and played significant roles.

LARA JEAN'S VOICE
I started to read To All the Boys I've Loved Before in May 2015 but put it down after 30 pages because of two reasons: 1) it didn't capture my attention as well as I had hoped (in the moment) and 2) I thought Lara Jean sounded too childish. But this time around, I felt like I was reading with a different lens. Her stream of consciousness really highlighted her personality and made the story a little more light-hearted and entertaining. Who am I to say how she should be acting and talking at her age? Maybe there are circumstances in her life that cause her to be that way. And I don't doubt that there are some sixteen-year-olds who can relate to Lara Jean. Looking back, I see a lot of myself in her. I, too, preferred staying home, I didn't go out to parties, and I DEFINITELY did not have experience with boys.

LAST NON-SPOILER THOUGHTS
This is the first book in a long time (or ever?) that made me want to start over from the beginning after I finished the last page. To All the Boys I've Loved Before was more than just a romance—it included so much about familial love and just navigating the realities of high school. It was fun, and the characters were perfectly imperfect. Boys are not always gonna be as swoon-worthy and precious as we hope. And I forgot to mention all the Korean traditions and cultural elements! I love that it's included in this story but it's not the focus of it. Lara Jean must face the consequences of her exposed love letters and she just happens to be half-Korean.

If you couldn't tell by now, I absolutely loved To All the Boys I've Loved Before. What an excellent rom-com!!!

🖤🖤🖤

Other books/series by Jenny Han: The Burn for Burn trilogy, ShugThe Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy


Okay friends, everything I talk about
under this warning will be filled with spoilers!
If you haven't read To All the Boys I've Loved Before yet,
please stop looking any further and go pick up the book!



















QUOTES I LOVED

I've never known Margot to chicken out before, but I suppose in matters of the heart, there's no predicting how a person will or won't behave. (p. 11)

"Okay, okay. You know I didn't mean it like that. I just mean that you should give people a chance to know you." Josh points the remote control at me and says, "If people knew you, they would love you." He sounds so matter-of-fact. Josh, you break my heart. And you're a liar. Because you know me, you know me better than almost anybody, and you don't love me. (p. 223)

He's expecting me to say yes. I want to say yes, but I don't want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody's first choice. (p. 311)

Around three a.m. I throw away Peter's notes. I delete the picture of him from my phone; I delete his number. I think that if I just delete him enough, it will be like none of it ever happened and my heart won't hurt so badly. (p. 328)


FAVORITE MOMENTS + THOUGHTS FROM TATBILB

LARA JEAN AND PETER'S HALLWAY KISS
AHHHHHH. I totally cringed while I was reading this scene but also it was kind of entertaining?! Lara Jean was completely out of her element. I really wanted to see this play out on screen, but alas ... ALSO I can't believe she said "thank you" AND PETER SAID "YOU'RE WELCOME." AND THEN IT BECOMES A THING. CUE "START OF SOMETHING NEW" FROM HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.

PETER DITCHES HIS AUDI TO DRIVE A MINIVAN FOR KITTY
I LOVE the relationship between Peter and Kitty. Almost more than I love Lara Jean and Peter together, to be honest. I love that he calls her Katherine!!! And I love that their love for each other is suffocating at times 😂

MORE THOUGHTS ON PETER KAVINSKY
I had mixed feelings about Peter throughout the entire book—I'm pretty sure I only liked him when he was interacting with Kitty lol. He didn't really treat Lara Jean that well, but I GET IT because he's been explicit from the beginning on how he feels about Gen. It's not a secret to anyone and he's being honest, but I still felt terrible for Lara Jean ... no girl wants to be second place. But when they're together and Peter's not talking about Gen, I love the dynamics between them. They work so well together! Peter is used to girls swooning over him and in comes Lara Jean, someone who will not and does not take his crap.

A THEORY
PETER KAVINSKY WILL 100% GIFT LARA JEAN THAT GOLD HEART LOCKET FROM HIS MOM'S ANTIQUE SHOP BY THE END OF P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU.

THE ANTIQUE SHOPPING SCENE
Yes to this whole thing. He woke up early and brought her donuts!!! He negotiated with the man so Lara Jean could have the one reindeer ornament!!! It was such a sweet and carefree moment.

I CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE CAUSE I WAS READING THE LAST CHUNK SO QUICK
I also really loved everything that happened on Halloween and that whole scene with the dancing and Christmas cookies but it all blurs together in my mind so I cannot put my feels into words. AND THEN THAT ENDING HAPPENED ...

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