To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han



Title: To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 335 pages
Published: 22nd April 2014
Series: First book in a duology

I bought this book back in May, intending to take it on holiday to read. But I was pretty nervous about going away so comfort won and I ended up taking Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and To All The Boys I've Loved Before was tucked away on my bookshelf until about a month ago. I read the first few chapters of this book when I bought it, so just picked up where I left off despite it being several months later. The plot isn't particularly intense or complicated, so it was pretty easy to work things out without having to go back and re-read.
 
I'm just going to say this now: I didn't really like this book. It's about a girl called Lara Jean Song, who owns a hat box filled with letters to all the boys she's ever loved. Whenever she gets feelings for someone, she tries to clarify them and get rid of them by writing the subject of her affection a letter, which she then addresses but doesn't deliver. I'm sure you can guess what happens - someone discovers her letters and delivers them, leaving Lara Jean to deal with the fallout.
The story is narrated in first person by Lara Jean, and I'll admit that she's most of the reason I didn't like the book. I found her really immature and quite 2D. Like she didn't really have any complexity. She also called her dad 'Daddy', not just in dialogue but in narrative too, which just irritated me. She's supposed to be 16 but I found her closer to the ages of 12/13. Because of this, I found the whole book very young and innocent. Except for the fact that there's mentions of sex? It's completely conflicting with everything else, almost as if the author realised how young it all was and felt the need to spice it up a bit.
 
The romance in this book wasn't particularly ground-breaking either. Lara Jean's relationship with Josh (the boy next door and 'big brother' figure) was really clichéd and boring. Her only relationship that held any interest to me was with Peter Kavinsky, and it was frustrating and cute in equal measures. Her relationship with him starts out as a 'fake' that is mutually beneficial for the two of them, but of course they eventually fall in real love.
 
Overall, I feel like this book was just way too young for me. It was very light and easy to read and was a great filler book between bigger, more complicated reads. I won't say I'll never read this again because we all know that I probably will at some point, but it definitely won't make it into my Top 10 Books Of All Time. I think I'd probably recommend this book for fans of Girl Online by Zoella - it felt on the same wavelength, innocence-wise. Aside from the random sex part, anyway.
 
I've given this book 1.5/5 stars. I think I would have given it more if I'd read it when I was 14. (I don't mean that in a patronising way, I genuinely mean it.)
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If you liked To All The Boys I've Loved Before, I'd recommend Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella and Girl Online by Zoe Sugg.
 

4 comments

  1. It's a shame you didn't get on with it. I was the same with Girl Online. It was so cliche and sickeningly sweet. I think 14 year old me would have liked it though! It was a 'nice' read but pretty forgettable, it reminds me of this.

    Roxie x
    The Beautiful Bluebird

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  2. Saw this book online actually, and was wondering what it'd be like! I totally get what you mean about some teen books being rather immature and lacking complexity. I think some authors just don't get 'it'.

    Zoe |
    www.ibelieveinromeo.com

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