First in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before DuologyGenre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published: 15th April 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Length: 422 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Brought from Book Depository
Tell me more, tell me more...
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.
(I've given up rephrasing blurbs for books I review. From now on all blurbs in Italics are from Goodreads.)
Why did I read this?
I brought this book halfway through last year while I was agonizing over the wait for Ashes to Ashes - the conclusion to Han's and Siobhan Vivian's co-authored trilogy - to release. I'd spent months reading about book bloggers praising Han's latest book so I decided to belatedly join the hype train.
What I liked:
Lara Jean's and Peter's relationship: Without spoilering too much, it was sweet seeing these two characters evolve from ex friends to allies to something more. I liked that these changes weren't too sudden and seemed natural.
Lara Jean's Family: Bascially I'm all set to pack my bags and move in to Lara Jean's household. Her dad is pretty easy going and I've always wanted sisters. I could help Kitty plot how to get a dog (I'm still trying with my parents) and hang out with Margot when she's there and be big sistered. I liked that Han showed the good and bad times with Lara Jean's family so it didn't seem unrealistically perfect.
A Diverse Main Character: Lara Jean and her sisters are Korean-American. Their biracial culture is casually entwined in the story, with details such as their American dad cooking Korean food and shoes being taken off inside their house. I also love that the model on the cover represents this.
The Cute Premise: I could totally see the whole writing love letters to boys but never sending them situation happening in real life. However...
What didn't work so much for me:
Why did Lara Jean put the boys' addresses on the envelope?!? I might just be overly paranoid here, but if you were in our heroine's shoes, would you really do that? Wouldn't you be worried someone might come into your room and find one day and post them for you?
(I know this detail was needed to make the plot work and is a very minor complaint in the grand scheme of things. It just mildly irritated me.)
Who might like this?
Those wanting a light contemporary read with an intriguing premise that focuses on a slowly evolving romantic relationship as well as the protagonist's family life.
I can't believe I took so long to pick up this book! To All The Boys I've Loved Before was a delightful, fluffy read; I can't wait for the sequel - P.S. I Love You - to release this May.
What contemporary books have you recently enjoyed? Any recommendations?