Fiction

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before BookSeptember was full of contemporary YA novels. I found myself craving something to read that would relax me, bring me a bit of romance and take my mind away from work and doctor appointments.

Jenny Han’s books were a perfect fit. Side note: I read six of them in September. Clearly I was on a roll! 😊

I watched the movie version of ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ on Netflix in August (I talked about it a bit here) and become interested to learn more about Lara Jean.

What it this book about? According to Goodreads:

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.

The book version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before did not disappoint. Despite thinking the movie was super cute, I preferred the book to its movie version as there is more of Lara Jean in it.

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

There is something about this book that made me happy. It might have been that that bittersweet struggle of being a teenager again, that uncertainty of who I was becoming, that obsession about certain boys and worrying about them not finding about my secret crushes… and that horror that my secret letters may have been posted to certain someone… it was a perfect emotional read.

What I liked:

Emotions!!!  Dear emotions, you are cordially invited to come to this party. 😊😊😊 There are plenty of those in this book. They range from laughter, joy, love, embarrassment, anxiety, sadness… it’s all there.

John Lennon once famously sang: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. Lara Jean’s dreaming nature is something I definitely related to. I am a dreamer. I enjoy day dreaming, visualising, pretending.. you name it. And I really appreciated that side of Lara Jean’s character.😊

What I wasn’t so sure about:

There was a certain character maturity flag that I just cannot shake off. I felt Lara Jean’s character didn’t grow as much as I would have liked her to. That especially started irritating me during the second book and completely annoyed me by the end of the third book. I think this book would have been probably the best suited for a standalone book as somehow, those two follow up books didn’t resonate with me – mind you that’s my opinion only, others may wholeheartedly disagree! 😊

I also felt there was a certain lack of female friendships – I know that Lara Jean has an extremely close relationship with her sisters and has a female best friend called Chris but somehow, that relationship felt a bit off.

Overall, it was a fun and quick read and I would recommend it.

I enjoyed the emotional aspect of it and despite Lara Jean something acting quite childish for her age; I could relate to her and ended up reading the entire trilogy. 😊


Now over to you!

Have you read this book?

  • If so, what do you think?
  • If not, do you want to read it?

20 thoughts on “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han”

  1. Big wave from Quebec, good to have you back online and posting. I haven’t heard of this author, but then, that’s not surprising. I don’t read much YA and maybe one romance a year, if that. They are not books I’m usually drawn to. But I do like a story with heart and a range of emotions from the characters. Which is why I loved A MAN CALLED OVE. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I normally don’t read that much YA or romance either but somehow ended up reading quite a bit of it when my digestive issues started. I think I just wanted to dream and feel better and it helped. 😊

      I really, really want to read A Man Called Ove! It’s been on my to do list for a while, heard so many brilliant things about it. So good to know you loved it! 😊

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      1. True, that when we are not feeling great, it’s nice to read something light and frothy, the same way we want to curl up in bed. I do the same thing, read something that makes me feel happy or laugh, or both.

        Oh, yes, you have to read it, I found it heartwarming and funny in places. I now want to see the movie too, though not the Tom Hanks version. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember loving the first one. (I really relate to Lara Jean as well.) But hearing iffy things about the next two I haven’t gotten around to them yet. Maybe this is one that should have been a stand alone.
    Hope your feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feeling much better, thanks. Still no concrete diagnosis in sight but at least things are being ruled out. 😊❤️

      I did not enjoy those follow up books as much as I did the first one. The second one was ok but the third one really wasn’t my thing. Which was annoying after such a great start. I still finished them though and I’m extremely good at DNF-ing… 😂😂🙈

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  3. Another book blogger said that the boy who Laua Jean ends up with at the end is much more annoying yet realistic in the book. I saw the Netflix movie, and all the characters just seems so unbelievably mature to me. I knew kids like them in high school, but they were very rare, and most of them were already taking college classes. There’s a university nearby my high school, so a lot of people would dual enroll. Trying to look cool around college students certainly makes you more mature when you’re in your high school. The one character I found really immature in the movie was Laua Jean’s older sister, who felt like she could dump her boyfriend and still lay claim to him. I don’t know, I just felt like that was weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so interesting hearing your thoughts Melanie, especially given your background and having quite a lot of experience with this age group! Thanks for sharing that with me.

      I guess I sometimes forget that teenagers does not equal twenty something! 😂 And perhaps I
      also like to think of myself being much more mature “back then” than what I actually was he he.

      Good insight re. Lara Jean’s sister, her claim on Josh annoyed me a bit too and that whole breakup was a bit strange.

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    1. Thanks Kelly, being away helped heaps and I am much better despite still not having a diagnosis. ❤️

      Crossing my fingers yay enjoy the book as well, it was definitely my favourite out of Jenny Han’s books I read. 💕

      Like

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