To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was an absolutely adorable read. I was in love with Jenny Han’s writing style (in a Goodreads status update I likened it to cake), Lara Jean and her family, and of course, ALL THE FOOD. But sadly, this book also had elements that left a bad taste in my mouth. Since the movie adaption is coming out on Netflix in August, I thought it might be a good time to post my review. =) Here it goes…
My Rating: Two and a Half Love Letters Out of Five
About the Book…
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.
What I Loved…
Jenny Han’s writing style. Oh my word, Jenny Han’s writing style was as addictive and sweet as salty chocolate caramels. I found myself gobbling up every sentence and finishing this book in about two days.
The realistic sibling relationships.
I loved reading about (and sometimes even relating to!) Lara Jean’s interactions with her sisters Margot and Kitty (especially Kitty). I feel like there aren’t enough positive, realistic sibling relationships in YA literature and was so happy to see them portrayed in this novel. I mean, who doesn’t fight with their siblings over stupid things, and what would life be like without younger siblings’ “helpful” advice? Also I’m not the only one who begs my little sister to do my hair, right?
All. The. Food. I love food. I like eating food. I like making food. I like taking pictures of food. THERE WAS A LOT OF FOOD IN THIS BOOK. From cake to cookies to sandwiches to ice cream to hot chocolate to… I need to stop now. I’m getting hungry. xD
All the cuteness.
There were so many cute squeal-worthy moments in this book, from the cupcake making with Peter to the Christmas Cookie Bonanza. =)
The characters. Let’s just say that I absolutely loved Kitty. And Lara Jean. And Peter K. (he and Lara Jean were SO CUTE together). And Lara Jean’s dad. And the rest of the cast of characters was also pretty great BUT…
What I Didn’t Love…
The characters drove me nuts sometimes. I mean, Lara Jean, can you FOR ONCE tell the truth?! And being in love with your sister’s ex IS NOT COOL AT ALL. And Josh. Josh was not my favorite human being. Neither was Margot. Margot seemed as prickly as a cactus. Margot and Josh were probably my least favorite characters, besides Genevieve (the whole mean girl thing is getting way overused, if you ask me). And Peter K.… Well, he drove me nuts by being Peter Kavinsky (read the book to understand, please).
Foul language. A book would be perfectly fine without it. And yet it has to be sprinkled there.
Love triangles are getting old. Am I the only one who thinks this? I mean, we get it. Girl likes boy. Oh, but another boy likes girl. Girl now discovers that she may like other boy. Girl has such a hard time choosing. Girl breaks one boy’s heart and then is unsure about the other. This then continues for a whole series and we readers are screaming “PICK ALREADY IT IS NOT HARD.” The end.
Sex was talked about way too casually and was a big part of the plot. Who was sleeping with who and whatnot was too big of a part of this book. As a Christian, I believe that sex should be saved for marriage, and the characters in this novel definitely didn’t believe that! Please understand, I don’t expect everyone to agree with my beliefs, but this is a young adult novel. I wouldn’t feel comfortable handing this book over to my fourteen year old sister.
Parties and drinking. On the topic of content, there were a couple more “mature” parties and some characters (including Peter, who is underage) drank alcohol during these parties. That’s all I can think of right now.
While To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was at times as fluffy and sweet as a marshmallow, the content, clichés, and some aspects of the plot and characters led to a two and a half star rating from me.
About the Author
Jenny Han is the New York Times bestselling author of Shug, The Summer I Turned Pretty series, co-author of the Burn for Burn series, and most recently, the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. She is a former children’s bookseller and children’s librarian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
I hope to see you next week as I kick off my blog party to celebrate the release of “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” on July 19!
Have you read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? What rating would you give it? Does content lead you to give a book a lower rating?