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to all the boys i've loved before jenny han

REVIEW + DISCUSSION: to all the boys i’ve loved before; jenny hanTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository

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

to all the boys i've loved before jenny han

reading to all the boys i’ve loved before was a struggle. i’d love it one moment, but the next i’d want to throw it across the room and never pick it up again.

lara jean was a character i wanted to simultaneously strangle and hug. (i didn’t even know those types of relationships existed.) sometimes she’d say or do things that would make me roll my eyes to the ends of the universe, but others i would be cheering her on. it left me confused and i didn’t know what to make of her. the main reason i couldn’t stand her was because of her extremely immature and childish characteristics. honestly, lara jean would act like she was seven-year-old. there were times i found it hard to connect with her.

there were strong sister relationships in this novel, but in all honesty, i really didn’t like laura jean’s sister. she was constantly praised, but all of her actions went against what laura jean thought/claimed. it’s constantly reminded throughout the book how laura jean needs to “set a good example” and be more like margot, her older sister, but from what i saw, margot was a terrible sister. she was my least favorite character of the novel and i couldn’t relate to her. although the siblings’ relationship played a huge role in the novel, i didn’t particularly like how it was portrayed.

okay, now i sound like i hated the novel, but i promise that’s not the case! there were lots of cute moments and chapters between lara jean and (unnamed character). thinking about the two of them makes me squeal. the plot was interesting enough to keep me going and was different from most contemporary novels. the ending left me wanting more and i was extremely frustrated at the time, but there’s a second book! yay!

one of my pet peeves in books are annoying characters, so i didn’t enjoy this as much as i’d like. however if you like cute, contemporary stories (and you don’t mind and aggravating character), i’d definitely recommend this!

UPDATE: so i went on the tumblr tag and realized my undying obsession with this duology (specifically triggered by this post and this post. SQUEEEE.). although the plot was a little meh, and the writing was a little meh, EVERYTHING ELSE WAS SO CUTE AND GOOD. i hadn’t really realized how much i love this series until i saw all the beautiful graphics and everything. so good, and so adorable. lara jean song is my aesthetic. <3333 CONCLUSION: i have a love-hate relationship with this series.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.4

*spoiler-filled discussion beginning. please do not read unless you finished the book! enter with caution!!*

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favorite quotes:

“i don’t want to be owned by anyone. or belong to anyone.” – peter, page 190

“‘do you think there’s a difference? between belonging with and belonging to, i mean?’ ‘sure. one implies choice; the other doesn’t’” – lara jean and peter, page 190

“because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. but the little things are what make up life.” – lara jean, page 294

“and i’m certain, i’m suddenly so certain that everything is exact the way it’s supposed to be, that i don’t have to be so afraid of good-bye, because good-bye doesn’t have to be forever.” – lara jean, page 355

– alexandra

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a twenty-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer or practicing yoga. she currently resides in los angeles, california.