To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Review)

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Series: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Pages: 459
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★☆

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.

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All book reviews I write are spoiler-free!


Rating: 4/5 stars

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the first in a duology. This book is a lighthearted, super cute read.

I really enjoyed the interactions that the protagonist had with other characters. There was a lot of fun banter throughout the book, and the family relationships were heartwarming overall. Sure, some scenes were very frustrating because I felt like I wanted to shake some sense into characters, but I suppose that comes with the territory of reading a book revolving around naïve high school students.

I would say the book was really realistic because I could definitely see myself making similar decisions and feeling similar emotions back when I was a preteen. Although the main character is 16, I felt like her voice sounded younger. I didn’t particularly mind because I still remember the mindset that I had in middle school. The protagonist’s train of thought throughout the book sounded realistic – her thought patterns would somehow bring the reader into short snippets of the past, which weaved together nicely to create a bigger picture.

 

This book is like one of those high school movies where the girl is clueless and trying to figure things out. The drama, romance, and story line were all pretty much what you’d expect. Due to that, I think it would be best if you were in the right mood for this book when you pick it up. I was personally in the mood for this because I’ve been extremely busy with schoolwork, so this book helped take my mind off of that.

On another note, I know that some people have complaints about how the protagonist is naïve and the writing simple, but I think that’s largely the point. This book isn’t meant to be very mentally stimulating. It was a funny and sweet read that made me nostalgic of the mindset I had back in middle school and high school. The premise of the book is absolutely hilarious, and it was a lot of fun being reminded of the things that I thought were totally the end of the world when I was younger. I would find myself smiling through a lot of scenes, recalling what it was like being at that point in time.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a quick, fun read that’s reminiscent of the teenage innocence and over-thinking that most people have experienced at one point or another. That being said, if you absolutely cannot stand it when a main character is naïve, this book may not be the best choice for you. I already own the sequel, so I’m looking forward to reading that soon! It’ll be the ideal book for when I want to wind down and revel in bookish teenage drama.

If you’ve read this book, let me know your thoughts on it! If you haven’t read this book yet, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or simply let me know if you’re planning on reading this book!

50 thoughts on “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Review)

  1. Amelie

    I really enjoyed this book! Though I thought Lara Jean sounded young too, I loved her character! Actually, I pretty much liked every character in this book! But what I think I loved most about this book was how girly it was! I loved reading about the food and fashion, and I also loved getting to know the Korean culture through Lara Jean’s life!

    Great review!

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I agree that so many characters in this book were likable! I think all of them showed a genuinely sweet side, even the characters we’re supposed to dislike. I also loved how girly this book was! It was so adorable. Thank you! 🙂

  2. theclumsybookworm

    Great review! I was actually looking at this book at the bookstore not too long ago, but I thought maybe it would be a bit “young.” I’m thinking my stepdaughter would love it though, and if I get it for her, then I’ll probably still read it because your review makes it sound appealing. 🙂

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Thank you! Yeah, I would recommend still reading it, even if you feel like it sounds young for you based off of the description. Although the characters are fairly young, the story is still adorable and there are a lot of funny moments. Let me know if you do end up reading it! 🙂

  3. cheerleadersrecaps

    I love this book, as well as the sequel. The premise is really interesting as far as the repercussions Lara Jean has to deal with after her love letters get mailed out, and the sequel completes everything in that regard. Jenny Han does a good job of writing interesting, three-dimensional characters.

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I agree that the premise of this book is incredibly interesting – the whole situation with the letters being sent out mistakenly is really fun to read about! Jenny Han really does a great job with her character development. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      I think this would be the perfect book to pick up as your first English read! The writing is pretty straightforward, and there’s fairly easy vocabulary throughout the book. Let me know if you do end up reading this – I’d love to hear what you think! Thank you!

        1. aniloracsbooks

          Hello! I started with the Summer trilogy also by Jenny Han. I found it at a very good price and since I heard she was writing another book for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I decided to wait for that one to read all in one go. The one that I’m reading is going pretty well, it’s very easy to follow so I think I did a good choice! 😀

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      The main characters in this book are on the younger side, but I think adults (like myself) would also enjoy this book – there are definitely portions in the book that are relatable and nostalgic. That being said, I know that there are people who would prefer not to read books with young protagonists, so I would say enjoying this book largely depends on preference.

  4. shiviigoesrawr

    As a high school student, it was nice reading Lara Jean’s thought process, and being able to think “Hey, that’s me right now!” I loved this book and I cannot wait to read your spoiler discussion on this and on P.S. I Still Love You

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      That’s so interesting! It’s really great that this book was relatable to current high school students.

      I probably won’t be writing a spoiler discussion for this book in particular since the second book is out already, but I’m going to post a discussion on the second book / the whole series once I finish P.S. I Still Love You! I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the series once I post that. 🙂

  5. Eve Messenger

    How I wish I had liked this book more. Like you said, it’s meant to be a simple, funny story with a a naive protagonist, and maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for that when I read it.

  6. Briana

    I was kind of indifferent about this one. I agree the voice sounded young. I get the author was probably going for “authentic teenager” but there are reasons I don’t typically read writing by fifteen year olds, right? :p

    1. Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

      Yeah, this book definitely seemed pretty authentic for a young teenager, and I could see why that’s unappealing. Haha, that’s a great point about not wanting to read writing by fifteen year olds! When you put it that way, it makes a lot more sense to me why a lot of people didn’t enjoy the simple writing.

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