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.
This week, I’m rereading a couple of my favorite contemporary novels! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is such a great start. It’s probably one of my top favorite contemporaries. It was just so cute. My original review of this book can be found here, back when I was a junior editor and contributing writer for Talking Bookworm. My views have not changed. I still love the book but this time I got to see more details, since I wasn’t solely focused on the plot. I’ve also read a number of reviews on the book and this time around I was more aware of some of the other readers’ complaints. Even then, I still enjoyed it. I know people who complained about Lara Jean’s immaturity and I’m not defending Lara Jean because, yeah, in the book she does have her immature side. I know a couple of people who just gave up in the beginning because of her immaturity. But the thing is, she’s sixteen. It fits. At that age, that’s what they think about … boys, school, boys, fitting in, boys,outer appearance, and boys. Unfortunately, they don’t stick around long enough to see her growth in the novel. I really like how confident she ends up being.
Lara Jean is very innocent and naïve. She was young when her mother died and her father’s a doctor. It’s not the same without the motherly advice. Her older sister has taken up that role but even then, it doesn’t help; especially when Margot gets the taste of independence. All of a sudden Lara Jean is thrusted into this motherly role for their younger sister, Kitty, and she doesn’t know how to handle it. I think this book can really surprise people. Lara Jean, while she can be a bit extreme, is very relatable. She lives in the shadow of her older sister. She wants to fit in with her peers but she’s shy and has little to no confidence or self-esteem. I loved the words in this book — I feel like that sounds weird. A lot of Lara Jean’s thoughts have mirrored my own and I think that’s why I really enjoyed this book.
I also enjoyed the love story! It was a surprise because I was expecting something else completely. I thought that there would be a heavier emphasis on the love letters and the reactions of those who received them. It was such a great shock that instead it somehow twisted to the start of a relationship. The characters surprise you, as well. Peter sneaks in out of nowhere and just blows your mind! I can’t express just how excited I am that there will be another book. I look forward to the future relationships, as well as more character development.