Book Reviews

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I’m currently reading The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Do you remember how I once wrote a whole post raving about Faulkner and said I wanted to start reading the guy’s books? Yeah, that’s not working out well for me. My first Faulkner read is a disaster. I don’t get the book at all. Send help!

This made me really sad because of how much I was looking forward to reading (and loving) his books. Which is why I picked up this book to get out of my funk. The trailer had just dropped and as Netflix trash, I HAD to finish the book so I can be prepared for the movie.

Goodreads synopsis:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)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.

 

Review:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is exactly the book I needed to snap out of my blogging slump. It was a light, funny read and I thoroughly enjoyed Lara Jean’s story. Lara Jean is your average, awkward teenager. She writes goodbye letters to get over her crushes and I like this as a coping mechanism. But like every other YA storyline, something had to go wrong, and here, the letters get sent out. What follows is a fake relationship, some truths being revealed, light twists, and a happy ending.

One of my favorite parts about this book was the family dynamics–especially the siblinghood. Lara Jean’s older sister moves away for college and she has to be the older sister now to the third Song sister, Kitty. From Lara Jean struggling to fill in her overachiever sister’s shoes to her being mean to Kitty and immediately trying to apologize, this book is one of those rare YA treasures where sisterhood is portrayed realistically.

The book also had a couple of my absolute favorite tropes in fiction–fake couple becomes real and the arrogant guy is not so arrogant after all. I see a lot of Goodreads reviewers praising this book and calling it a “guilty pleasure”. I wouldn’t say that, though. You either like a book or you don’t. Why call it a guilty pleasure and be ashamed of reading it, if you enjoyed reading it? I liked this book, period.

I also didn’t like some things about this book. For example, Lara Jean’s best friend appears just to move the story along. Kavinsky needs to resolve some issues with his ex, but we see nothing of it. And then there’s the obvious written-this-way-to-help-the-plot part where Lara Jean writes the mailing addresses of all her crushes in their letters. Like, who does that?

Despite the negatives, this book was enjoyable and I’d recommend it if you, like yours truly, want to break out of a reading slump.

For now, I shall watch the trailer again and wait for the movie to drop on Netflix.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

~ Shruti

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36 thoughts on “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

  1. Lovely review!
    I’m planning to read this as well. Lately i’m reading quite a few fluffy books, and books about family dynamics, etc. It’s a nice change after all the thrillers 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shruti,
    Lara Jean and her sisters are so cute. I hope you get to experience how they grow up in the next two books of this trilogy. Their dad is also sweet. Oh, wow, I forgot there was a best friend in this book. See, I don’t even remember that friend. I am thrilled to be watching the story on Netflix.
    PS: Faulkner is complicated and sometimes you just need to get some guidance on what the heck he’s talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, I can’t wait to read the next books in the trilogy! And haha, yeah, the best friend was so woefully under-utilised that readers will definitely forget her existence. xD

      And Faulkner. I’ve been posting everywhere, asking people if they’ll patiently explain it to me. 🙈😂

      Also, I just tried commenting on a blog post of yours but wasn’t able too..? I don’t know if it’s a problem from my end. I’ll try again later. ❤️

      Like

  3. I was so afraid to click on this link in Twitter because I didn’t know how much you liked this book because I really liked this book. Anyway, so happy you loved this! And yes, I think we should stop using the word ‘guilty pleasure’. I’m a huge fan of the fake-to-real relationship trope, too! ❤ Also, the address thing on the letters? Yeah, that went straight above my head like why?? Anyway, it was a pretty good read and it took you out of your slump so double yay 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree, this is just such a fun book. It’s nothing special maybe, but it’s incredibly enjoyable, and I love the characters. I’m actually reading the third one right now, and am really enjoying it too! (except the audiobook narrator is awful, so I’m procrastinating…)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you have managed to pull out of your funk – I do recall loving The Sound and the Fury – but it’s so long ago I read it – back in the 1980’s… that I’m afraid I cannot help you as I can’t remember enough of the details – sorry:(. In the meantime, this one sounds like fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m beginning to understand the book. But I’m still a little clueless, haha. I was actually going to DM you about it, what with you being a creative writing professor and all. I just might hit you up sometime, Sarah! Maybe after I finish reading the book. xD

      Liked by 2 people

          1. You’ve actually inspired me to re-visit The Sound and the Fury. I recall really loving it so I got it off of Audible. Let me tell you, listening to it as an audiobook is not the same as reading it! haha Makes it very challenging to follow and understand but I am enjoying it nonetheless; such an outstanding book. I am remembering why I loved it so much!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, I keep revisiting pages I’ve already read just to piece things together. 🙂

              I’ll reach out to you as soon as I finish the book! Or if it gets frustrating while I’m reading it. Thanks so much for offering! ❤️

              Liked by 1 person

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