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.
So, there were things I liked about this book, and things I didn’t like so much. I’ll start off by saying that I liked the plot for this book a lot, it was engaging enough for me to read it all in one night! I read this before joining the YA book community, however, so I wasn’t very informed about upcoming releases etc, so I thought I was reading a stand alone, which was disappointing when I got to the end and I still had unanswered questions and no closure!
The way that Jenny Han portrays family relationships is really lovely. You have this close-knit family that all come together to support one another after the death of their mother, and it’s so nice to read about how close The Songbirds are!
But then you have romantic relationships. I’m not going to spoil, but there is a big NO-NO with one of the boys Lara Jean wrote to and loved (if you have read the book, you’ll know who I’m talking about), and I know that you can’t help who you love, but it made me really angry with Lara Jean. Her motivation behind the letters was innocent, however, so I was able to let go of my anger.
“My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for good-bye. Because after I write in my letter, I’m not longer consumed by my all-consuming love…My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.”
I liked the main character, Lara Jean, and I know she’s only 16, but she seems so much younger. The way she thinks and some of the things that she does are rather immature. Despite this, I did connect with her and I think she is a likeable character. You can tell she loves her sisters very much, and she’s flawed like any person would be. Oh, and Harry Potter was referenced, which always gets you points from me!
Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book, and I’m so excited about the film that is being made! There were definitely a few things I didn’t like, but it was interesting enough and I will read the next one in the series when I get around to it. My TBR is unbelievably long at the moment!
I give To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 3 stars.