Review: TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han

Jenny Han’s TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE reads like a letter from Lara Jean herself – sweet, romantic, and all about love.

Book Summary from Amazon:

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

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.

It took me a long time to get around to reading this book. When I finished, it was bittersweet. The only bitterness came from my own regret that I hadn’t read it sooner. But the sweet part was I finished it the day before P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU was released.

When it comes to books that are heavy on romance, I need there to be some stakes involved. Those stakes don’t need to involve anything life-threatening, but there needs to be something that keeps me reading. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE definitely had some stakes involved. For one thing, Lara Jean is in love with her neighbor, who also happens to be her older sister’s boyfriend. The drama surrounding this kept me frantically turning pages to find out what happened.

I had so many questions while I was reading, which is always a sure sign that I’m loving a book. I wanted to know who she would end up with: Peter, a boy who receives one of Lara Jean’s letters and who she pretends to date, or the kind and caring neighbor, Josh. I wanted to know who sent the letters. I wanted to know if Lara Jean’s big sister, Margot, would ever find out about Lara Jean’s feelings for Josh, and what her reaction would be if she did.

On top of the stakes, the characters themselves are loveable (with the exception of Lara Jean’s former best friend) and seem like real people. I grew attached to them quickly, and had an empty feeling in my chest when the book ended. I didn’t want to let them go.

I had heard so many good things about TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE that I was doubtful it could live up to the hype. I had high expectations, and this book not only met those expectations, but exceeded them. If it’s any indication, I was quick to buy some more of Jenny Han’s books, including P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU. I highly recommend TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE to anyone looking for a sweet story with some twists and turns.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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