BOOK REVIEW: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Plot Twist: I, a hardcore anti-romance reader, felt as if my heart had grown three sizes by the time I turned the last page of Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before because I loved it! So much so that I read it from start to finish in one day, and legit feel all swoon-y at the mere mention of Peter Kavinsky. Le sigh. This is the first time I have crushed on a book boy since Michael Moscovitz of Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries, so this. is. huge.

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song Covey is prepped for a year of changes. She's officially an upperclassman {Junior, thank you very much}; has taken on the role of woman of the house, what with her older sister Margot off to college in Scotland; and is finally being forced to become comfortable behind the wheel now that she has her younger sister, Kitty, to care for. One change Lara Jean didn't expect to come her way is that involving...boys.

You see, Lara Jean has been in love a total of 5 times, each relationship forever immortalized in an unsent love letter kept in a special hatbox nestled in her closet. Those relationships, however? 100% one-sided - as in, the guys never knew how Lara Jean felt about them; hence the unsent love letters trope. Then one day, the letters find themselves out in the world - arriving in the hands of all of the boys Lara Jean has loved before, and opening up a can of worms that may be impossible to contain.

Peter Kavinsky, Josh Sanderson, Lucas James, Kenny Donati, and John Ambrose McClaren. Lara Jean's five loves. Though overall harmless {albeit embarrassing} for them to learn how Lara Jean once felt about them, one of those letters can cause huge trouble in her life. Josh Sanderson. Lara Jean knew him first; but he became Margot's boyfriend. For a long time. Him learning that Lara Jean once {okay, still} harbored romantic feelings towards him could ruin everything. And if the news made it back to Margot? Let's just say that she'd be a dead girl walking. So she creates a ruse with one of her letter recipients...Peter Kavinsky himself.

Beautiful, popular, confident...Peter Kavinsky is the guy of every girl's dreams. He's also nursing a broken heart, having just been dumped by his longtime girlfriend, Genevieve 'Gen' Mitchell. In his eyes, if he fakes a relationship with Lara Jean, he'll make Gen so jealous that she'll come crawling back to him. In Lara Jean's eyes, faking a relationship with Peter is just what she needs to sell Josh on the fact that she is so not into him. It's a win-win for them both; but as they become more entangled in one another's lives, scrapbook-making, cupcake baking, suspender-wearing Lara Jean realizes that she may just be falling for the handsome jock. And Peter K? Yeah, it may just be falling right back.

You guys!!! This book is so. cute. NGL here, I never would have given it a shot if not for the Netflix movie {which is adorbs and cast so well!}; but I am so glad that I did! It is not everyday that you find a romance that is simply sweet - that feels wholesome and charming without 21st century vulgarities; but To All the Boys I've Loved Before is just that. It engages you through the characters - the ultra-relatable Lara Jean {seriously, I adore her!}; the oft-times over-the-top Kitty; the more-than-meets-the-eye Peter K; and even Lara Jean's well-meaning father. The one character I could not stand, however, was Margot. In the movie she was fine; in the book she is intolerable: bossy, self-centered, and utterly obnoxious. Nevertheless, her role is not huge, so it's possible to ignore her presence most of the time.

Though dubbed a romance; To All the Boys I've Loved Before goes beyond that, highlighting the importance of family, which is such a beautiful sentiment, and not one highly-represented in YA. Bottom line: I loved it, and cannot wait to read the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You.

Star Rating: ****



ellie said...

Sweet review! Definitely, a summer swoon read. Thank you so much!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

So glad you found this one. Thanks for sharing the joy of this book!

Ivy's Closet said...

So enjoyed your review. Looks like a classic YA in the making!

Ananka said...

Sounds alright :-)

R's Rue said...

Sounds good

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