September 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?