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.
I honestly have no plans of reading this book. Last year when it came out, I immediately downloaded it’s e-book. I started reading the first chapter and it really bored me so I never had the chance to read this one until now. It’s been the talk of the town lately since it’s sequel – P.S. I Still Love You just came out recently. I’ve heard lots of amazing feedbacks on both books so I thought, hey why not give it a second try, right?
I finished this book in less than a day and ever since I started it, I can’t seem to put it down. The book is pure fluff but fun to read. It got me feeling so giddy the entire time I was reading it.
The story follows Lara Jean Song Covey who is such an innocent but a romantic. In her entire life, she’s fallen in love with 5 boys. But she never really admitted it or told the guys up front. As a part of getting over these guys, she writes them each a “goodbye” letter and seals them in a hat box which her mother gave her when she was younger. It’s nearly the end of the summer and Lara Jean’s eldest sister, Margot, is going to college in Scotland and Lara Jean starts her Junior Year. As she adjusts to these new changes, her box suddenly disappears and she learns that her letters have been sent out. One of them to Peter Kavinsky-her first kiss, and the other one to Josh- Margot’s newly ex-boyfriend. In order to save hers and Josh’s close bond, Lara Jean decided to be in a fake relationship with Peter Kavinsky. Peter agrees with Lara Jean’s contract for he’s also trying to get over his ex-girlfriend of four years.
I know that this book sounds so cliché and predictable but it’s way more than that. It does not only center Lara Jean’s love life, but also her family. I loved the family dynamic between Lara Jean, Margot, Kitty and their dad. Everything just felt so real. They fight sometimes, but they’re always there for one another. It’s always good to read a contemporary romance where the family plays a huge role. I know for a fact that a lot hated Margot, and I did too, but I guess she’s really just a very complex character. I understand where she’s coming from. Being the eldest to her sisters, she stood as a mother figure in their family after their mom has passed away. She’s a very practical character and I really loved how she evolved from being the one who makes decisions for her sisters’ sake and into the one where finally she wants and does something for herself.
Kitty, the youngest sister, was probably my favorite. She’s so sassy and hilarious. I really love it when she tries to be independent most of the time. Also, I loved her relationship with Josh and Peter. It’s just too cute.
I loved the romance on this book so much. Lara Jean and Peter didn’t immediately click since neither of them likes one another. Though I loved the build-up of their relationship. They were both so real to each other. Knowing that they have no interests to one another made them see each other’s flaws. There’s no need to impress the other. There’s kind of a love triangle on this book and I liked how we didn’t know where Jenny Han was going. Peter was still in love with Genevieve, his ex-girlfriend and it really pained me when Lara Jean started falling for him.
This book ended in a cliffhanger and it really didn’t affect me that much because I could read the sequel immediately (Aha! The perks of reading books where the sequels have been released already).
The story was fast paced and I really enjoyed reading it. I rated the book 4/5 stars.
My favorite quotes from the book:
“I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I want to be brave.”
“I think I see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see them up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you.”
“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s part of the risk.”