This book came to me as a surprise. Not in the way that I found it, but in the way that I liked it. I’m not one who overly indulges in YA contemporary fiction or contemporary fiction in general. I don’t know what it is, but it’s usually not something I go to quickly. Maybe I’m just overly dramatic and like the fantasies and the science fictions. Whatever it is, this was a pleasant surprise.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before revolves around Lara Jean, a high school junior (senior?). She writes loves letters to the boys she’s loved and it’s, in a way, a form of catharsis and she uses it to get over her love and move on with her life, but uh-oh, they get sent out one day and the problem is when one of the boys she’s loved is her older sister’s boyfriend.
I’ll be honest the general premise in itself is something I haven’t seen before. I haven’t really read a character before who pours her heart out like that in the form of letters, addresses them, and never sends them. I mean I’ve heard of people who do that in e-mail form but not in actual letter form. Further more, Lara Jean is a precious cinnamon roll and should be protected at all costs. I know I’ve said that about a few characters before, but I’m serious about Lara Jean. Lara Jean is sheltered, naive, and really innocent. She’s the second child of three daughters and since I’m the oldest of two, I felt my older sister instincts take over and I didn’t even realize it.
In terms of characters, I’ve already talked about Lara Jean, she’s quirky, cute, and while some people might find her naive nature annoying–I personally found it rather endearing. As for the rest of the cast, I loved the Song Sisters. They consist of Lara Jean, Margot (older), and Kitty (youngest). Margot plays the typical older sister kind of character where she’s organized and has everything planned out to the T. We don’t really see her much except for the beginning and near the end. Kitty, however, is my favorite–I think. She’s so sassy. She doesn’t spare anyone and sometimes her comments are hysterical. My favorite part of all the girls? They’re half Korean. Cue me jumping up and down in glee. Peter and Josh were really great characters too. I liked how they seemed fleshed out more than I expected them to be. I’m a little upset that Josh didn’t seem as fleshed out as Peter considering his relationship with the Song girls, but I still liked it.
The writing was pretty clear, concise, and really easy to read. I found myself really zooming through the book but not in a way that felt like I was reading it too fast or feeling like things were moving a bit too quickly. The pacing was really well done and so with the writing style it made for a quick read. I read this book within a few days which considering how long it’s been since I’ve touched a book, is not too bad.
Lastly, this is a book I needed. If you’ve noticed, it’s been almost an entire month since I’ve posted anything. I haven’t posted any kind of NaNo report or review. The reason for that is because life got a little crazy. I was doing a show, working, the election happened (*groan*), and some personal shenanigans happened that I’m not going to disclose. So I was in a pretty hard place when I decided to pick up Jenny Han’s book and this really brightened up my spirits. I tried to read The Rose Society and The Name of the Wind but… they seemed a bit too heavy for the mood I was in and I’m glad Lara Jean, Kitty, Margot, and Peter came to my rescue.
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.