Its felt like a while since I’ve dived into a YA and Romance novel. Separately, I’ve read each of those genres and nothing has really stood out in a while however, I’ve heard some good things about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before so I was pretty excited to check this one out and toss those doubts out the window and give this one a chance. I didn’t know that this novel was the first book of a trilogy. The third book will come out this year, so its time to check it out, I’d assume.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
(To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)
By: Jenny Han
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old 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. – Goodreads
There’s something so honest about reading To All The Boys That I’ve Loved Before that pulled me into the story right from the beginning. Its been a while that I haven’t been that immersed into a book. Jenny Han definitely has a nice touch with bringing the Song girls to life and particularly our main character here, Lara Jean. Usually, we get stories about being chased or wanting a guy really badly. This story takes a refreshing new angle of how when the boys she loved before learns about her feelings, particularly one that she shouldn’t be having feeling for and she decides to fake it with another guy she used to love both sides trying to find their own way out that she gets caught up in something she doesn’t really understand anything about.
Its important to realize, and its what makes this story great that love comes in many forms as we grow up. When we do encounter love the first time, it might not be so apparent to realize until an epiphany hits and that can come at any time. Regardless, it takes courage to let go of fear of being hurt to hop into a relationship, no matter how old, and its because of all this, that To All The Boys That I’ve Love Before truly grabbed me. It tugged a little at my heartstrings but also gave a lot of really fun and satisfying moments while also giving enough drama and friction to make it engaging to keep wanting to see where Lara Jean’s choices would lead it.
At the same time, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before also feels a bit like a teen comedy, something like The Edge of Seventeen or The First Time sort of thing, where its not only about the romance but also about Lara Jean’s personal growth as she embraces her feelings. People frequenting here probably hear me talking about that a lot, but thats because I always find the best stories, any kind of stories really, excel when they manage to create characters that change and grow. They learn to be a better form of themselves and the people that are around them contribute to them learning how to not be afraid to dig a little deeper in themselves and take chances which is exactly how Lara Jean’s character is. She’s not only smart and caring, but while she stays in her little space and doesn’t stand out, she learns how to break out of that shell and see her worth and find her confidence.
Overall, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was an absolute page-turner. To tell you how much I loved it, I actually picked up the second book right away and have started reading it as this review goes live. I guess however, that this does take me to a final point which I always talk about in series and thats self-containment. This book literally ends on a cliffhanger, while I’m not a huge fan of that, it feels fairly obvious what her cliffhanger was leaning towards so it was a little easier to forgive. With that said, the book did so many things right and I loved how it was structured and written and the characters that I ended up giving it 5 stars on Goodreads, so I guess that shows how much I do love it.