Thursday, May 29, 2014

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

From Back Cover: 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 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. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: In my early days of blogging, I saw quite a few positive reviews for Jenny Han’s Summer series. But since the premise of the series never appealed to me, I haven’t read any of her books until now. Given the synopsis, I was expecting To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to be a very romance-centric novel, but was pleasantly surprised to find out it focused equally on family.

I loved the Covey family and wouldn’t hesitate to be adopted by them! I just felt the family dynamics, particularly the relationship between siblings, was portrayed so realistically. As the eldest child, I have no idea how true to life Lara Jean’s relationship with her older sister, Margot, is; but the relationship she has with her younger sister, Kitty, is definitely very accurate. Like Lara Jean, though I got along with my younger siblings most of the time, we did fight and get great glee out of annoying each other.

Moving on to Lara Jean as a character, I found her to be a bit immature and naïve at times. But at other moments, I could completely relate to her thoughts and experiences. For example, the way Lara Jean describes her driving is pretty much how I feel when I drive, which probably explains why I still only have my G1 license.

The romance was the weakest aspect of the book for me. I just couldn’t support Lara Jean’s feelings for Josh, Margot’s ex, at the beginning of the novel, and later on, thought he acted way too much like a jealous boyfriend. As Lara Jean began to hang out more with Peter to try and get over her feelings for Josh, I ended up slowly liking Peter. The open ending kind of ruined how I felt about him though because when someone – it’s unclear who, but I’m assuming it’s Peter’s ex-girlfriend – spreads rumours about Lara Jean being a slut, Peter doesn’t defend Lara Jean, a fact she somehow forgets. Also, it just seemed like Peter and Lara Jean randomly decided that they had feelings for each other and were over the people they liked, yet their actions suggested otherwise.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was released in April 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 

Comments About the Cover: Since Lara Jean is half-Korean, I’m really glad that the cover features an Asian model. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Simon and Schuster Canada) for free.


  1. I can't wait to read this book and like you it's going to be my first written by Jenny Han. The cover is just super cute, loving the font. And yay! for another YA book focusing on family. Great review.

  2. I've enjoyed Jenny Han's novels- The Summer series was what got me blogging all those years ago. In saying that, I haven't been particularly excited to read this one. I am not sure why- maybe it's because I feel like the story is a bit immature. I am glad to see that the plot is equally focused on family though and not strictly on the romantic aspect. Maybe I won't write this one off right away.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. I much prefer a romance I can really get behind so that part of this one isn't too appealing. Plus, one of my biggest pet peeves is an open ending-I must have a solution with a bow on top ;) Glad you liked it somewhat though!

  4. Hurray for focus on family! Especially when it is as well done as this is. Pretty rare that I come a book that focuses on the family dynamic as much as the romance stuff. Speaking of which, it's too bad that you found the romance weak. That's disappointing. I think I'll add this one to my "maybe" tbr pile for now!

  5. I really other books by Jenny Han so this is already on my tbr pile. I knew ahead of time that it was going to be part of a series so I'm definitely okay with the "unfinished" sense it gave you.

  6. I've read mixed reviews on this one, but it's something I might like as a light read, so I still think I'll pick it up at some point. I actually didn't realize that the cover model was Asian until you pointed it out - yay for diversity!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.