Can we talk about how AMAZING Jenny Han and duology (soon to be a trilogy) is?!
If you haven’t read these books I do warn you there MIGHT be spoilers because I may be unable to stop myself from gushing over the incredible read this book is!
You’ve been warned!
Turn back now!
You’re about to blow it!!
Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader
Synopsis: 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.
Like many other books before this one I’m not sure why I put reading it off so much. Mainly, I think, it was misconception of what the book was about. For me, contemporaries always seem to be about the same thing. Girl meets boy, boy breaks girls heart, they get back together, possibly sex, big lesson during some other drama, everything works out, and the end.
To me that’s soooooo boring! That and I’m just not into sex being in my books. Don’t think of me as a prude. I have read a few of the Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter books. I have a few favorites, one being the sexy god Acheron! It’s just it tends to get on my nerves if it feels forced or badly written or as if the characters are put in a situation where it shouldn’t have happened right then. Then I feel awkward reading it and don’t want to continue it. If it fades to black, that’s awesome because I feel, unless you’re into erotica, that’s not anything I wanna read.
ANYWAY, that’s usually why I’m not into contemporaries and thus I had a huge misconception of Jenny Han’s book. And Ms Han, I apologize WHOLE HEARTEDLY. I judged a book by it’s cover and title and for my 2017 New Years resolution (one I KNOW I CAN KEEP) I promise never to do that again! I will read a book no matter how it sounds if it even has the slightest hint of interest to me. I won’t let something else turn me off of it. Because, in the past, these books did interest me. I let something dumb turn me off to it.
HOW GREAT ARE THESE BOOKS?! I’m not actually done with book two yet; that review will come as soon as I am! I had to get my thoughts out about this first one, however.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before made me have a lot of thoughts I hadn’t had before with others. I think that’s why Jenny will, and is, become a very strong force in my reading world.
Through Lara Jean, Jenny opened up a lot of my own fears about love, sex, and relationships I’ve struggled with even in my later years in life. On top of that the book also opened my eyes to the fact that change is inevitable. Whether you’re the one changing or the one being left, or feeling like you’re left, behind as everyone else around you is moving forward.
As far as the book itself, I have to say screw everyone that thinks Lara Jean is whiny and juvenile. I’m sorry, did we read the same book as everyone else? I know the mantra is not everyone reads the same book the same way, HOWEVER, Lara Jean IS JUVENILE. She’s, what, Fifteen or Sixteen in the first book? She IS a child. She’s a freaking out child who is flipping out because she’s suddenly discovered the letters she’s kept privately are gone.
Secondly, she’d now the woman of the house as Margot, her eldest sister, is moving to Scotland to attend college. Being the grown up is TERRIFYING. Even with a parent present, knowing you have to take over is the worst feeling in the world. To some it may be liberating and the jump start into responsibility others might need but to most, it can be a scary place.
Lastly, the only other real male influence and relationship reference Lara Jean has had in her life is Josh, (*SPOILER ALERT*) Margot’s, now, ex-boyfriend. Margot and Josh break up so she isn’t doing the Long Distance thing and no one is tied down to each other. Something Margot’s mother drilled into the girls heads and she’s trying to uphold that mentality.
With all of this going on I think Lara Jean is an incredibly well handled female protagonist. There’s even times when I think she’s handling things better than I would. There’s also times I wish I could offer her advice of ‘chill out, you’re making things worse, honey.’ Lol! So her letters are gone, her sister is leaving, her sister and the boyfriend broke up which sort of upsets the dynamic of the family, and in all of this Lara Jean still has to be the one to hold the family together while her dad works long hours at the Hospital.
Now, Peter Kavinsky, ONE of the boys who received a letter, I have to say I -HATED- him, at first. His pretentiousness drove me crazy! Everyone loves him, he’s a jock, he has a pretty boy face, and he has the hottest girlfriend at school. That seems to be a thing every book writer does once, though. They have to have ONE boy in one of their books thats a pretentious jerk that you wanna smack then later lover. Cassandra Clare did it with Jace, David Levithan did it with Dash, I’m sure there’s a million others. We love to hate them.
The one change I did appreciate in Peter that Jenny did was that he came from a wholesome home. Most books I’ve read with a playboy attitude family their home is a wreck. Peter has a little brother, a welcoming and loving mother, a beautiful home, and both sons and mother are close. Which is very important. Despite Peter’s ‘play boy attitude’ he does show that he knows how to take care of a lady. I very much appreciated that side of Peter and it made me grow to like him despite side characters acting, appropriately, to hate him because they don’t know the full personality of him.
I don’t want to go too much further into the main plot of the story because I think it’s just brilliant on it’s own. However, the drama that comes out of mailed letters wasn’t something I saw coming. I was fairly certain things weren’t going to go the way it was meant to go. You just have to READ to figure out what I’m talking about! GO! READ!
Jenny Han wrote this beautiful duology (soon to be a trilogy YAY!) from true perspective of clique’s, high school nightmares, first true love, first heart breaks, and anything else you could want in a contemporary read.
I’m so excited for the third book, I’m trying my hardest to get the ARC if there is one. Other wise I’ve already pre-ordered the hardcover! LOL! And I have a UK hook up I’m hoping to get the version of since I have the first two in UK versions as well.
If you get the chance PLEASE pick up a copy from Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, you’re local indie or any where else you get your books. I promise you won’t regret the read!