Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

No offense to Jenny, but I didn't like this book. Not really. It's not the worst thing I've ever read, but it definitely doesn't crack the top 100.

Harsh? Maybe. But:

via pinterest 

Even though I definitely wouldn't call this book a peach.


I'm going to give it a good ol' review anyway though. 
First, let's talk about the synopsis and then go from there:

"What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?
Lara Jean 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."

I feel like I need one of those noise making machines to go "dun dun duuuuun", ha. 

My first thought was "this is going to turn out exactly the way I think it will" - and as the book went on, it mostly did. Laura Jean (hate that name) is the quintessential YA fiction, beach read protagonist. You'll probably hear/see me say beach read a few times to talk about this book, because that's exactly what it is - its just one of those fluffy books that you buy because it doesn't take much to process it and you want a feel good kind of story.


Sorry, rambling. Laura Jean (yuck) has two sisters - one older, Margot and one younger, Katherine (whom everyone calls Kitty..also, gross). The "Song Girls", as everyone refers to them, live with their father in a made up neighborhood that sounds exactly like every other neighborhood in every other fiction book. Safe, secure, and boring. The girls and their father lost their mother a few years ago, so Margot has decided that she needs to become the mother of the house. She's the responsible one. Laura (I refuse to call her Laura Jean anymore, or I might puke) is the flighty one, and Kitty is the hot mess 11 year old. Margot goes away to college in Scotland (because that's what people do) a few chapters in and Laura is suddenly shoved into a role she never had to play: mom.

Laura begins to struggle with the role - and gets herself into a spot of trouble, but eventually it irons itself out. (which makes it sound juicier than it is, but she gets in a car accident, that's it)

I forgot what happens (I was a tad bored), but you're introduced to the real "juicy" part of the story after Kitty (sorry, spoiler alert..but you totally see it coming) sends 5 letters out to "every boy Laura's ever loved" (clever title, yes?) and it causes some drama. One letter (spoiler alert) goes to Margot's ex-boyfriend.

To hurry this along, I'm going to skip some details and go to the point that I found interesting - aka the one quote I liked from the book:

"I think I see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see the up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you."

Through the chaos that has ensued in Laura's life from her letters, she is practically forced into some situations she herself probably wouldn't have gotten into - love, namely. She was always the one in Margot's shadow - the one that really gets overlooked/stays in the background. But it's really not like she ever gets herself out of the background - until the letters. Until she's forced to. Until everyone's giggling behind her back about one boy, and one kisses her - it's like all of these things she wasn't prepared for suddenly come crashing in her life.

But I guess that's life. We write letters, we make mistakes and we are forced into situations we don't like all the time. We fall in love - almost by accident, but we kind of find out who were supposed to be in the process. I'm not sure if Laura ever really finds herself completely (her character story was lacking), but she falls in love and that's the happy ending we all wanted for her. Nothing against happily ever after. I like happily ever after.

via pinterest

So, if you're ever in need of a beach read, I'd recommend it. If you're into the cheese ball, everyone wins in the end kind of story, I would. Otherwise, I wouldn't. 

Be brave, and pray my next pick is better than this one
- C


  1. Good review! Sorry this one didn't quite work out for you. Maybe you should try Stephanie Perkins's books. I can't believe I hadn't thought to recommend them to you! She's pretty great!! I think they might be more to your liking! Let me know, I don't mind letting you borrow them! :)