Thursday, June 19, 2014
Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Published: April 15, 2014
Publisher: S&S Books for Young Readers
Age Demographic: YA Contemporary Romance
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.
(Note: I received an ARC of this book through ATW ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review.)
Apparently the month of April was a Jenny Han month for me, because I had pretty much binged on most of her books. I ended up reading the whole Summer trilogy one right after the other, then read Fire With Fire, and finally received a gorgeous ARC of To All the Boys I've Loved Before in my mailbox right afterwards. To say that I love Jenny Han's writing style and her ability to tell a story in such a realistic and relatable way, is probably an understatement. The truth is, that within the last few years I've been reading quite a bit more contemporary books than I normally would have considered before I started my book blog and I've actually been really enjoying them. To All the Boys I've Loved Before, was absolutely sweet, funny, charming, and definitely emotionally charged. I had an absolute fantastic time reading it and found that I didn't want to put it down until I was finished with it.
The family dynamic was masterfully written and definitely managed to pull at my heart strings a bit. I loved how close the three sister's were, with their father and how they all interacted with one another. If something was happening with one of them, then it was happening with all of them. Each of them have wonderful appeal and different personalities that shined through the pages of this book in so many ways. Laura Jean, was beautifully fleshed out and such a wide-eyed optimistic hopeless romantic. I loved the fact that she sort of lived in her own little romance story and wrote all of these letter's to all the boys that she loved, but only kept them for herself as a way of letting them go when her heart felt like it was time for her to move on.
It's not a surprise that it was a complete mess when all of those letter's that had been written, had been accidentally mailed to all of those boys. The humor and wit that was conveyed this this story was balanced really well with Laura Jean having to deal with the consequences from the fall out of those letter's having gotten out when they were never really supposed to have been seen at all by anyone, let alone the boys they were written to. Seeing the way that Laura Jean handled the situation was refreshing, because she acted just as any panicky teenage girl would in this situation, and I enjoyed that Jenny Han had written her reactions and feelings in such a realistic way. Jenny Han has such a wonderful way of building up amazing dynamic in her books, as well as allowing her characters to grow and evolved realistically from beginning to end. It's one of the reasons that I enjoy picking up her books and delving into the stories she creates.
It was so much fun reading about the two main crushes, Peter and Josh, because you never really knew which one was going to end up being the potential one to kick-start a real relationship off with Laura Jean. I know the one that I wanted her to be with, but I won't divulge that here, because I don't want to give too much away. Both of the guys were pretty amazing in their own ways. The romance part of this novel was so much fun, so if you're looking for an emotionally charged read that has some pretty good wit and humor peppered throughout it, then To All the Boys I've Loved Before will be right up your contemporary alley. It's that one book that you know you'll want to cram into your beach bag and take along with you for a relaxing day of fun summer light reading and sun.
Jenny Han was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and she went on to graduate school at the New School in New York City, where she received her MFA in Writing for Children. She lives in Brooklyn. Her first novel was The Summer I Turned Pretty and her upcoming sequel to To All The Boys I've Loved Before is P.S. I Still Love You and will be releasing in 2015.