Book Talk: To All The Boys I loved Before by Jenny Han



I came across To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han from Lauren Conrad's website, and instantly HAD to have the book. Other than the fact that it has a beautiful cover, the synopsis really tugged strings inside of me because I, too, used to write love letters--or shall I say "goodbye letters"--to boys whom I have loved through my teenage years as closure to finally move on. Within an hour of hearing about the book, I had already bought the audio book on Audible, and within the next 12 hours, I was also the owner of the hardcover copy, as well. Least to say, this book did not disappoint. I absolutely loved it, from start to finish. 

Cover Rating
Performance Rating [for audio books only]:
Plot Rating
Overall Rating

[SPOILERS BELOW]

Cover


The cover is just absolutely beautiful to me! It looks so effortlessly done, but so much more pulled together than most covers that just have words on a colored background. The photograph itself, of a Korean teen writing on her bed basically sums up the general plot of the book. The book is literally about a Korean teen who writes letters to boys she has has loved. The hand-written looking title for the cover just adds so much to its symbolism of hand written letters. It was just so beautifully done that if I were in the bookstore, right now, it would immediately catch my eye. Loved it!

Performance Rating 

As Performed by: Laura Knight Keating 

I feel like Laura Knight Keating did a great job in performing this book on Audible. She really helped add life to these characters. While following along, I couldn't help but giggle or smile to myself through out the book because with her voices she made for each character and the way she said certain things, these characters in the book came alive. They felt like real people with real individual personalities.

Plot

Without giving out too much about the plot, I'd have to say it was okay. The plot itself was just okay. When I read the synopsis, I thought it was going to be about Lara Jean losing the love letters she wrote, trying to figure out who sent them out, and the impact the love letters generally had on her life after they were mailed. Instead, it is more so about how her sent love letters created a double love triangle in her life and it getting really messy. Don't get me wrong, I really loved this book and probably binge read it within 24 hours, but there wasn't really one main plot. It was more-so a bunch of side plots--her love triangles, her family life/drama, and school drama. I guess you could say the story was broken up into three ways the letters impacted her life, but I think if had love letters being sent out, without my approval, I'd want to go crazy trying to find out who sent them out. Instead, Lara Jean was upset for about a day, then suddenly in a daze of her "love life". It was more-so the story of Lara Jean's everyday life, in specific to her love life and family, than it was about the impact of the letters in  general.

Also, it was kind of predictable. I kind of knew from the moment the letters went missing who sent them out. I just assumed. Then at the end of the book, after forgetting all about her grief over the letters being sent, it was revealed who sent them. I literally sat there and was like "Oh yeah.. I knew that Kitty did it!" 

I'd like to mention, a lot of people are ranting about how Lara Jean is really naive and immature, but I think that's the point. She's a 15 year old girl who has never felt love before. Of course she's immature in these relationships. Not to mention, she hasn't really had to carry any responsibility because her older sister basically has babied her and her sister all of their lives--since their mother passed away--and their father is always at the Hospital working. What do you expect out of a 15 year old girl? I thought Jenny Han did a great way of portraying Lara Jean because 15 year old girls aren't supposed to be mature. They are at the stage of their life where they are still trying to figure out who they are and that is what Lara Jean was doing. Through experimenting through all the boys through the book, she was trying to step out of her comfort zone and find where she belongs in the world. I really liked that about the book. I think that is one thing many people missed when ranting about Lara Jean's immaturity. 

Nevertheless, I absolutely loved this book. I swooned every time Peter would "pretend" to flirt with Lara Jean, because I just knew he actually liked her! I was furious when Margot and Lara Jean were fighting with each other, and could feel the heat, because I know what it is like to fight with my own sister. And I could not help but laugh every time Kitty said something hilariously adorable! I just could not get enough of this book. And at the end of the book, when she started her new love letter, I felt butterflies in my tummy, so happy that she finally opened her eyes and realized who she was meant to be with!

I really liked how Lara Jean was Korean, too. It is very rare to see books that have the main character as a diverse ethnicity. Usually they are American. It was nice to see Lara Jean's life as a Korean American growing up in a suburban town, because I can totally relate. Being an Asian minority in an American dominated neighborhood can sometimes be tough, because of ethnic differences, but she totally rocked it. I especially loved her Halloween rant about how she can't go as anything other than Asian Characters, Animals, inanimate objects, or a concept of some kind because people will just confuse her as an anime character. I couldn't help to crack up because I know that struggle. Just genius!

I think every girl can relate to this book because we've all be scared of falling in love, having crushes, and catty girl drama. We all know what it is like to want closure, but still wonder, years from now, how the people we left behind are doing. It is only natural to be nostalgic, and Lara Jean is just like any other 15 year old girl, trying to figure her way through all the drama and confusion of high school. 

I'm super excited to start the next book PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han!

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