To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
I haven’t read very many things from Jenny Han but this book is one that I’ve wanted to read for a while because the premise sounded great.
After Lara Jean’s mother died, it was just the three Song sisters and their Dad. Margot, the oldest sister was the boss. She took care of everyone and was the fill in Mom that their youngest sister Kitty needed but when Margot went away to college in Scotland, it was Lara Jean’s turn to step up and handle business. Too bad once Margot left, Lara Jean, the good sister who stayed home and never got into any trouble, got a life that kept getting more and more complicated as the pages turned.
You see, Lara Jean has never had a boyfriend but she’s had a lot of crushes. She’s never told any of her crushes that she liked them but she did write them each letters telling them how she felt and then hid those letters away in a box. When somehow, those letters get sent out and her old crushes (and one crush that never quite went away) start confronting her about what was in their letters, Lara Jean freaks the hell out but over the course of the book, you really see Lara Jean come into her own. She becomes a lot more confident in herself and in life.
I really liked this book. I think the only gripe that I had with this book was the ending. It wasn’t a romance novel kind of ending but it wasn’t the worst ending either, but still…more would have been appreciated.
Lara Jean was the perfect protagonist. I thought she was so normal and loved her quirky personality. My heart hurt for her when I read her letter to Josh, her sister’s ex-boyfriend and one of her best friends. She made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion and I loved seeing her relationship with her younger sister, Kitty grow. They were such normal sisters and I liked the team they made once Margot left the nest.
Also? I knew right from the jump who sent those letters out. I couldn’t believe Lara Jean didn’t know.
Jenny Han tricked me because I thought the love interest was going to be one person and then PLOT TWIST, turns out, he’s someone else. The whole time we’re getting to know the love interest, I’m thinking, “Why are we getting so much of this guy? He’s great but what about the other guy?” and then as the story progressed, I started thinking, “Sorry other guy, you don’t stand a chance against this guy.” I see what you did there, Ms. Han. Good job. The love interest was great. Just fanfreakingtastic. I came to adore the heck out of him. He was much more suited for the person that Lara Jean was now than the other guy.
This book really had it all. I laughed, I got teary eyed and I sighed all over the place. It was great fun and I’m definitely going to be reading more by Jenny Han. This was a great book, even if I wanted a bit more in the end. It was worth the price and the time that I spent on it.
Grade: 4 out of 5