Brooke Reviews: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once? 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.

First of all, this book has an adorable premise. As a writer, I love that Lara Jean copes with her emotions by writing brutally honest letters she never plans to send.

Lara Jean is quirky but endearing. She and her two sisters have a very strong relationship, in large part due to the loss of their mother. I thought this book was stronger because of the sibling dynamic, and because of the struggles the girls face as they grow up and come to terms with all the “inner demons” they’ve been ignoring in order to stay strong for one another. So it wasn’t all about the romance, as books like this sometimes are.

Two other aspects of this book I really appreciated: Lara Jean learns it isn’t right to judge others. This theme didn’t come across as preachy or blatantly obvious, but was rather subtle and realistic for a teenage girl who has both judged and been judged. Also, there is no insta-love. Lara Jean builds a solid friendship with her love interest FIRST, and that was definitely refreshing!

I’ve read several reviews of this book, and I’d have to agree with the readers who have pointed out that the book is more about Lara Jean’s fake relationship with Peter than it is about her letters. And that’s totally okay, but the description of the book is just a little misleading.

Overall, this book was incredibly funny and enjoyable. I recommend it. 🙂

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Have you read this book? Share your thoughts!

5 thoughts on “Brooke Reviews: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

  1. Taylor Lynn

    I read this as well and had kind of mixed feelings about certain aspects, though I did enjoy it for the most part. One of the things I really liked about it, though, was that Lara Jean actually liked her family and didn’t mind spending time with them or at home, which seems to be kind of a rare thing in YA books. (Although the whole MC-who-actually-likes-her-family thing does seem to be gaining popularity, which is awesome.) And, yes, the lack of instalove is certainly a plus! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    1. brooke Post author

      The first couple of chapters were a bit iffy for me, and so I wasn’t as pleased with the beginning. But as it continued to get better, I grew more invested. And I definitely agree – I think so many teen protagonists are portrayed so unrealistically when they’re anti-family. It was really refreshing to read about a girl who realized that, in the end, family is always there for you. (Of course, there are some exceptions, but I often feel as though the real-life exceptions have become the norm in YA. Maybe because it makes for more conflict?? Not that Lara Jean and her family were without conflict!) Interesting topic of discussion, though. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Taylor!

      1. Taylor Lynn

        I think a lot of the time the whole teens-disliking-their-families thing IS added to books as a conflict, but it just gets a little old sometimes, you know? I grew up incredibly close with my family, and so I find it hard to relate when protagonists are always bemoaning their families. :/ Maybe it’s just me, but still, I love reading about functional families in YA!

        1. brooke Post author

          It definitely gets old. I’m really close with my family, too, and it can be difficult to relate to characters who don’t have that support system. And on the rare occasion we meet a protagonist who loves/respects his/her parents, the parents are USUALLY DEAD. (??)


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