To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lara Jean is a slightly romantic high school student. You can't really blame her - she's been dealt a tough hand: her Mom died when she was younger, so it's just Lara Jean, her Dad, her older sister (Margot), and her younger sister, Kitty. And now, Margot-- her surrogate Mom-- is headed off to college, all the way in Scotland. To cope with her romantic heartbreak over the years, Lara Jean writes letters to the boys in question and sticks them in a hat box. But one day, she realizes the letters have somehow been mailed, leading to some awkward confrontations with some of her crushes: including Margot's ex-boyfriend. While dealing with the aftermath, Lara Jean has to grow up a bit and start thinking for herself.
This was one of those books that I must have read about somewhere, added to my library queue, and by the time it was available, completely forgot where I read about it, or why I wanted to read it. It was an incredibly fast read; I blew through it in about 24 hours. Lara Jean is a very engaging main character, who quickly draws you into her world. It's a mostly believable portrayal of the high school experience. My biggest issue with Lara Jean was that she seemed awfully young for her sixteen years at times; her voice (calling her parents Mommy and Daddy, for instance) and actions made her age hard to believe. While we are led to believe Lara Jean has been sheltered a bit by her older sister, it was still a little odd and off-putting at times. Also odd was the feelings she had for Margot's boyfriend (he becomes her ex quickly, but still factors into the story). It seemed strange that Margot would be so oblivious - and said boy, as well.
The book better excels when Lara Jean gets closer to another boy from her school - Peter Kavinksy, a popular kid. Their interactions were the real meat of the story and what kept me reading. Overall, I enjoyed the book, though its abrupt ending was a bit disappointing. However, there is a sequel featuring Lara Jean and several of the others in the story, so that's rather exciting. I shall add that to said library queue and be eager to see where life takes her. All in all, a cute read, even if it does feel like something is missing, or a bit off. A solid 3 stars.
View all my reviews