Review | To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean is a bit All the boysof a romantic; a pragmatic one though. Whenever she likes a boy with whom, for whatever reason it doesn’t work out, she writes them a love note. Lara Jean’s love notes are actually much more than just love notes, they are more of a purging of her love so she can be over and done with it. She writes the letters, gets all of her feelings onto paper and out of her system, then she puts the letters in envelopes, addresses them, and… puts them safely away in a hat box in her closet. This is all fine, good, and safe until her hat box goes missing and she has a handful of boys approaching her and asking her about a letter they just received in the mail.

Why address a letter you don’t want sent, right? That was my only hiccup with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. But, if you can set this question aside or allow yourself to believe that some teens don’t think through silly things like this, then it’s definitely a book I recommend.

Jenny Han does such a fantastic job developing characters and relationships. She adds so many small, but thoughtful and realistic details that drew me in and had me falling in love with Lara Jean, her family, and friends.

In the book, Lara Jean’s mother has passed away. Han does such a good job of putting in snippets of remembrance about Lara Jean’s mom that even though the mother wasn’t present in the book, she was. I found myself really feeling Lara Jean’s longing for her mother.

I appreciated how Han dealt with edgy subjects without dragging readers through the details of edginess. I also appreciated the strong family message that was present throughout the book, and that Lara Jean’s character was a mix of strength, smarts, and quirkiness.

Overall Rating4 of 5 stars false

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: some kissing with a boy and girl, some discussion about teens having sex with one another
  • Language: a few swear words
  • Violence: none
  • Drug Use: Lara Jean talks about some of her friends drinking or using drugs
  • Side Note: In my opinion, this book is appropriate for older teens.

 


To All the Boys I've Loved Before Book Cover To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Jenny Han
Young Adult
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
April 15, 2014
Hardcover
369

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.