Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, So, I’m a Mom Now… will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I finished To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han last night. I am just plowing through my reading goal for this year. As of today, I’ve already read 4 books, only 20 more to go!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was written by Jenny Han and is a contemporary YA (Young Adult) novel. I just had to read this book because a blogger I love recommended this book to me and it has received a few nominations, including the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults in 2016, Lincoln Award Nominee in 2018, and Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction in 2014. With these nominees, I knew I had to read it.
The book is set in Charlottesville, Virginia where Lara Jean and her sisters Kitty, and Margot (Margo) live with their Doctor dad. After their mother died years earlier Margo took on the role of big sister and mother. But life for the Song girls is about to change drastically because Margo is heading off to college in Scottland.
Lara Jean knows she will never be able to live up to Margo, and this feels especially true after Lara Jean crashes Margo’s car just a few hours after she leaves. Then to top it off a few days later Lara Jean’s love letters have been mailed out. Lara Jean has written to the five boys she’s liked over the years and now their (un)intended recipients know she liked them. Lara Jean is mortified because these letters have been stowed away and never been shown to anyone…
The worst part of these letters getting mailed out is that one of the letters is to Josh, Margo’s boyfriend for the last two years, their neighbor, and one of Lara Jean’s closest friends.
Lara Jean is desperate to not ruin her friendship with Josh and to keep Mago from every finding out. So Lara Jean decides to pretend date Peter Kavinsky, another recipient of a love letter and Lara Jean’s first kiss. Peter Kavinsky just happened to be broken up with his long-time girlfriend so he is 100-percent willing to follow along in this scheme to save face and make his ex-girlfriend jealous.
As you can imagine, life as a teenager is complicated enough, but add in secret love letters, a super handsome pretend boyfriend who you don’t actually like, keeping your feelings for a boy you do like as normal as possible all while not betraying your sister. That is teenage drama at it’s finest.
I would definitely call this a wholesome YA book. The family is well put together and there aren’t any major family issues. Lara Jean is a virgin and in general, very innocent. Which is really a nice change because I feel like our society is so over-sexualized nowadays.
When I first started this book it was a little dry and hard to get into, the characters were well developed but hard to relate to. However, after about chapter 16, once the letters got sent out and things start to unfold, it gets much better! And I really started to relate to Lara Jean more and more.
Jenny Han did an excellent job with this book. The writing was so nice (of course I listened to it on audio, so it just flowed so nicely.) After the first few chapters, the characters really started to become more real and well-rounded. Not to mention the dialogue was pretty funny. I really loved Lara Jean’s crazy moments too.
She would do the craziest things or have the craziest inner monologues. An example after Josh receives his letter he confronts Lara Jean at school. She has a lapse in judgment and tells Josh not to worry about the letter because it didn’t mean anything, it was a long time ago, she is dating Peter Kavinsky. (Which she wasn’t even pretending to date him yet.) Then she sees Peter down the hall, runs, jumps, and kisses him.
Like I said, she is very innocent, she is a shy, homebody who likes to spend the weekends with her sister Kitty and her dad. When she starts fake dating Peter Kavinsky he really pulls her out of her shell. They have to keep up appearances so she attends a couple parties, hangs out with the lacrosse team, etc. Plus, Peter is almost the complete opposite of Lara Jean, he is popular, handsome, and confident. So, Lara Jean gets to see a different side of the high school experience.
I really enjoyed it To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It was definitely an innocent, wholesome, high school teenage drama. But the story really hooks you in. To All the Boys I’ve Loved now has 2 more books in the series.
The second book is called P.S. I Still Love You and the third book is called Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I am definitely excited to read them. In fact, as soon as I finished To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved I instantly rented the audiobook for P.S. I Still Love You. I have high hopes. I will let you know what I think.