Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Book #1)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Release Date: 14th April 2014
Read Date: 2nd January 2015
Tagged Under: 2015 read, contemporary, book review, 3, YA-fiction, romance
Check It Out @Amazon@TheBookDepository, @Goodreads

Book Summary

Lara Jean 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 can pour out her heart and soul and say 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.

Book Review [Spoiler Free]

Sometimes you're in the mood for an epic fantasy. Sometimes you're in the mood for some dystopian. And sometimes, you just want to curl up with a nice young adult novel and delve into someone else's drama for a few hours.

Which was how I found myself curled up on the sofa with To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. 

First reaction when I finished the book was *sigh* and then argh! I need the next book right now!

Lara Jean was used to her life. She had her family - Dad, Margot and Kitty - and their next door neighbour, and Margot's boyfriend, Josh. Her life was comfortable and she didn't want anything to change. But inevitably things have to. Margot was moving away from college. Margot and Josh broke up. And Lara Jean's stash of love letters to all the boys she previously loved were mysteriously mailed out.

Chaos and romance ensues.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this novel is the different aspects of love. Yes, the vast majority of the book is focused on Lara Jean and her boys but the book also explores the love between sisters and that of familial love - for both the living and the dearly departed. With Margot, the strong and responsible one in the family, away for college, Lara Jean becomes the eldest girl in the family and takes over the reins of looking after everyone. Jenny Han is able to explore the "Song" family dynamics, both the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Han's writing style is also really easy to follow, which made this book a really quick and comfortable read. Humour is scattered throughout the book and for the first half of the book, I just couldn't stop smiling at its cuteness.
I've had the going-to-school-naked dream before. I've had the going-to-school-naked-forgot-to-study-for-an-exam-in-a-class-I-never-signed-up-for combo, the naked-exam-something-trying-to-kill-me combo. This is all that times infinity.
However, while I really love the initial premise of the book, I am slightly (only slightly!) disappointed that the second half of the book goes down a usual clichéd high-school plot (which I won't spoil). And the ending! That is not an ending. That is a prelude to the next book, which is not coming out until middle of this year. *sigh* The wait will be painful.

Overall: 3/5

While I did enjoy this book, there are some elements of the novel that I wish were a bit better developed. For those who haven't yet picked up this book, I would probably recommend you to hold off reading this one until the second one is released. It will make the ending slightly less painful.

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