Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Published by Simon & Schuster (4.15.2014)
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: Paperback, 355 pages
Source: I own it
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.
For being erieso short, I found this one to be rather slow. I was super bored in the beginning, waiting for something to happen. The letters don’t come until quite a long way into the book. While I did enjoy the sense of family that Lara Jean had, I found I didn’t really care about the mundane happenings in her life that took up nearly half of the novel. This is why I don’t really care to read contemp very often – I don’t want to read about things that I do on a daily basis. Booorrrrriiing. But what saves a contemp for me is the writing – I need my contemps to have outstanding, engaging writing. This one did not. For the fact that everyone raves about Jenny Han, I found her writing to be very bland and overall dull. Which made it very hard for me to connect to the story and just added to the boredom.
The love triangle (pentagon?? lol) killed it a bit for me. I felt like the whole Josh thing was an unnecessary plot device to add more drama and angst. Lara Jean liking him was one thing, but I didn’t like that he suddenly developed feelings for her too (when he had just broken up with her SISTER like wtf man) – it just added another side to the otherwise complicated love triangle/square/whatever the hell shape it even was. The fact that she still had feelings didn’t bother me, but the kiss did. Unnecessary.
I did really like the love-to-hate romance (my favorite kind!) between Lara Jean and Peter, and that they slowly developed real feelings for each other. The romance was super cute!
There’s not really any moral to this story, and it’s most definitely not anywhere close to being a deep contemporary. Just pure fluff, a cute and fun read when you need something light. And sometimes I need those! While I do see how this book has garnered so much hype, I’m afraid I was the black sheep again on this one. It was cute, yeah, but nothing special in my opinion. I don’t really have any desire to continue the series.
I watched the movie, too, and was also the black sheep XD It was about the same as the book to me – meh.
Writing style: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5
I recommend not reading the others, I didn’t care for them. I liked this one the best. I also HATED her older sister.
I appreciate your honest review of this book that has received so much hype. I also don’t enjoy drama (too much in real life to want more), love triangles, or just boring fluff. The romance (hate-to-love trope) sounds well done if it’s slow to develop and believable.