Book Talk: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Book Talk: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny HanTo All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All The Boys #1
Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers- April 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Other Books From Author: The Summer Series, Burn For Burn series, Shug

 
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I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

A1OH MY GOSH WORST NIGHTMARE EVER. So Lara Jean writes letters to boys she’s loved or really crushed on when she really needs to just let them go. After she writes them she hides them in a hat box and they are safe and secure…until one day they are not. She finds out that all the letters have been mailed to the boys and she’s forced to confront these boys that have been a part of her past and her present all while trying to keep her family together as her older sister has moved across the world for college.

a2OMG I NEED THE SEQUEL (it’s a duology). I don’t want this to end. I need to KNOW THE THINGS.

a4You ever have one of those really delightful reads where you open your mouth to speak about it and you end up doing some high pitched squeal and clapping your hands emphatically? No? Just me? Okay. Well that was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before for me. Let’s talk about WHY!

1. Lara Jean is one of the most fabulous characters I’ve encountered in a while! I just want to park my butt in the kitchen and chat while she bakes cookies and I eat them all. I LOVED being in her head and I just feel like we would have been friends — her fab sense of style right down to HS Jamie’s skiddish-ness about driving. I really connected with her in the absence of her mom and navigating the changes going on her life. I really just slipped right in next to her and watched everything unfold along with her and I didn’t want the experience to be over. She made me laugh quite a bit and I just really loved her to death! She just shines. I haven’t adored a main character like this in a while. My only thing is that at times her voice seemed super young (inner monologue mostly) and then it didn’t.

2. HOLY CRAP I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO TORN ABOUT A FICTIONAL LOVE LIFE EVER: I mean, I know who I WANT her to be with but oh my gawd the tension and the complications and GAH. But seriously…her love life because of these letters coming out was just so absolutely fascinating! I LOVED IT. I don’t want to say much because I want YOU to discover it for yourself but I loved how the letters brought about truths

3. Sisterly bonds for the win: I have sisters and so I tend to really dig books exploring the complex relationships of sisters. I felt like I really got to know each sister through their bond with Lara Jean and I really understood how they worked as a unit. I loved those sisters! And I could feel their resilience and their need to take care of each other all these years after they lost their mom. And I really could feel that strain and the shift of things in their household when Margot leaves. Lara Jean becomes the one who has to take Margot’s place in keeping everything running the household and watching her try to do that just reinforced just how much they had relied on each other as a unit — to take care of each other, their dad and just to keep the household going in general.

4. Diversity FTW! Lara Jean is half Korean (her mom was Korean) and I loved that we get a sense of her culture which I loved but it’s not the only thing about her as a character (because, to me, that’s not how it is in real life. One’s heritage is not your defining THING). I loved how her dad still tried to keep their Korean roots present as best as he could after their mom passed. It was sweet and touching. Also, HELL YES to the cover model actually not being whitewashed!!

a6loved-it

factors+ characters, plot, writing, could not put it down, the romantic tension, how it made me grin a ton but was still very heartfelt
- nothing really (so close to being a BEYOND LOVED)

Re-readability: YES! In fact I would like to already.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? YES. It would definitely be a keeper on my shelf.

a5Fans of Jenny Han (though the voice is way different than Belly’s), maybe even readers who weren’t fans of The Summer I Turned Pretty because of a lack of connection with Belly, contemporary YA fans who want a story that will make them grin like a fool but that is also very heartfelt.

a8To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before exceeded my expectations. I was drawn in by the plot (I mean, all your secret love letters being sent to the boys you wrote them to??) and it absolutely delivered on everything that could have gone with that. Everything was just impeccable in this story — Lara Jean’s voice, the romance, the family dynamics and just the overall FEELING I got from reading it. It embodies youth in the best way possible and was a very charming and heartfelt story. Warm and fuzzies, y’all. It’s one that is a must read for fans of contemporary YA because it’s just so, so great and I think it has all the things that drew us to realistic teen fiction in the first place. A very refreshing read for me!

 

review-on-post-it

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* Did you love Lara Jean like I did?
* And HOLY TENSION AT THE END. Who here is DYING for the resolution??


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I know, right?! This book was seriously so, so cute! And that last line, come on! I was so mad until I realized there was a sequel and then I calmed down a bit. Much like you, I really found nothing to be negative about this book. It is just all kinds of cute and really a different take on high school based contemporary.

    Also, love the new rating style!

  2. I can’t wait for the next book. This was one of the cutest books I read in a long time. Brought back some memories of high school for me.

  3. Great review! I loved this one too for all of the reasons you said. (And loved the Simon Teen publicity team for putting together a cookie club on their Tumblr for when it released!) Now I will go and harass you on twitter about it!

  4. I just recently finished this book and totally agree with you. I loved it! I was kind of disappointed with the ending, so I hope the next book is a continuation of the story and not a companion novel. But I loved it! It was my first Jenny Han experience. :)

  5. I totally cannot wait to read this book. It’s on my list of books to read as I’ve heard so much about it! Btw, love the new rating system you’ve got going! :)

  6. Ashley Norris says:

    I started this book the day it was released, but then I got distracted by another book (and I realized it wasn’t a standalone).

    I’m a little less than halfway through…should I finish or wait for the sequel?

  7. I read about this book earlier in the week and thought it sounded really interesting but after reading this review I think it’s yet another one that’s going to have to go on my TBR list.

    I love the word ‘duology’, never heard it before probably since EVERYYY author has to create a trilogy. I think more authors need to write duologies so we get to say and type that more often.

    Rosie

  8. I loved this book! Jenny Han became one of my faves after I read The Summer I Turned Pretty and I especially loved how the MC was half-Korean. I was able to connect a lot with Lara Jean and I especially loved how Jenny Han delved into the family dynamics and the relationships between the sisters as well.

  9. I loved it too! I got to hear Jenny read the beginning so I even heard the whole book in her voice as I read it.

    Agree, feels! I know who I want, but la la la la la.

  10. Okayy soooo I’ve heard about this book and thought about reading it – but it just never really jumped out at me?! I have the hardest time convincing myself to read contemporary books (for the most part) becuase they normally just do not appeal, even though I have read plenty and I know they can be great!

    And so many people have told me that this one is fantastic and I would love it, including your review! Which, I’m glad you loved it btw! But I LOVE hearing that there’s a focus on the sister relationship and that Lara Jean makes a great main character. Hopefully I can get to this one during the summer!

    Brenna from Esther’s Ever After

  11. I really loved this book too! Lara Jean was definitely one of the main highlights of this book for me. I totally feel you on how she could be your BFF. She’s just so adorable and relatable – I loved her so much I even wrote up a list of why we could be BFFs! I just need more characters like Lara! And OH MY GOD, THE ENDING. TOO SOON. TOO SOON. Just no. I need that second book in my hands ASAP because I need to find out what happens!!

  12. Okay, I’m convinced! I pass this one every time I’m at the bookstore, but pass it again and again. NO MORE! I need cute and heartfelt right now – this sounds like it’s the PERFECT solution to my reading whims :D

  13. I loved this one and agree with you on EVERYTHING! I NEEDED the rest of that letter at the end! I can’t wait for the sequel. Loved Lara Jean, her sisters, and their culture. Seriously, can I be a part of their family? Loved the boys! It really surprised me with who she ended up falling for (and I fell for him right along with her…), I totally went into this expecting it to be someone else for sure. This is in my top 5 of 2014 so far.

  14. I haven’t read any of Han’s books yet but when my friend mentioned her Shug novel, I searched her on Goodreads and came across To All The Boys. AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE TITLE LIKE BIG TIME. I knew I was going to love it (I mean come on, that title, okay???) So I placed a pre-order in our local bookshop. But.

    BUT I HAVEN’T READ IT YET. I’ve been really meaning to with all my goodreads friend giving it good ratings but I’m just afraid I might be disappointed. I AM EXPECTING TO LIKE THIS BOOK A LOT and that would just suck for me if it’s otherwise.

    Anyway, I’m currently on a reading slump right now, so I am going to test if this book if will get me out of it WHICH I REALLY HOPE IT DOES. I think ‘charming, fun and heartfelt’ is just what I’m looking for right now. So yay, crossing my fingers for this!

  15. I need this book in my life. I can’t wait until it’s out in paperback, so I can buy it. Because I’m cheap like that. I haven’t read Jenny Han’s other books yet, but I’m planning to do that soon :)

  16. This book was beyond amazing! I was so in love with it, even before I realize it was book one of two!

    I can’t imagine having my love life play out like that….

    I don’t have sisters, but do have two daughters, so I love the whole sisters theme….

  17. I love the new rating system! This book looks really cute, but I’ve been kinda on the fence about it. Just not sure if it’s for me. But I do have two sisters and I love love love sister relationships in books so that makes me want to give it a try.

  18. Your review of this book completely sold me on it. I have been up in the air about reading it for awhile, but the way you went over everything really got me excited for it. I love your new rating scale too. It’s quite unique! I’m trying to get back in the habit of leaving comments again, I do always read your posts whenever I see you tweet them though! :)

  19. I cannot even handle the cuteness of your review layout!

  20. I JUST finished this and OMG I NEED the sequel NOW. I need to know ALL OF THE THINGS. But I also don’t want the story to end ):

  21. Glad to see that you enjoyed this book Jamie! :) I only found out recently that this was the first part of a duology which is a relief because that ending!!! lol. Looking forward to reading what happens next :)

  22. Sigh I just can’t get into this book. I’ve read about half of it and it just bores me. Maybe I’m missing something. I do like the family aspect but I’m tired of hearing how they are Korean and how that defines every moment of their lives. Plus Lara in my opinion acts a bit younger than her age and it bothers me.

    Thanks for the great review though, I’m glad you really loved it!

  23. I read this book in one sitting. And while preventing myself to smile like crazy. This book is literally that good. What makes it even better though was that it was realistic and it tackles sensitive issues without having to compromise the lightness and easy readability of the story.

  24. I’ve been eye-ing this book since this book came out but until now, I haven’t read it. Wish I can read it very soon!

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