(To All The Boys I've Loved Before, #1)
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 368 pages
Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.
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.
I know from the synopsis some may think this book is a bit heavy. But it really isn't! There were times in which I was grinning so hard from Lara Jean's quirky and quick-witted attitude. She's the exact type of girl that I want to read about in contemporary books. I know sometimes in YA contemporary books females get criticized for not being "strong enough". I personally think that that's nonsense, and anyone who says that clearly hasn't read many YA contemporary books.
For a little back story on Lara Jean. She's a 16 year old biracial teenage girl (Her father is white, her mother was Korean) with two sisters. Her older sister is Margot, and her younger sister Kitty. Their mother died when they were younger, so their father has been the one to raise them. Immediately I took notice that all three girls call their father daddy, and any reference to their mother as mommy. I know that may seem like such a small thing. But I am almost 30 years old and I still call my mother mommy. In fact, many of my friends still call their parents mommy and daddy. But for some reason I don't really see many characters in books call their parents mommy and daddy. In some books, I've even seen children call their parents by their first names, and I think that is just odd. So yeah, this small thing was extremely significant to me. The family dynamic between the sisters and their father is just so endearing. They all really take care of each other, and it was really sweet to read.
The love letters that Lara Jean writes, while a very important part of the plot, isn't really the major focus of the book. Two of the boys who received letters both have completely different reactions, and from there the story really takes off. Now, I am going to say this. Lately I've had a distaste for love triangles. The YA market is so saturated with them. I try to stay as far away from them as I possibly can. And if I find out that a book I want to read has a love triangle, it usually gets thrown to the bottom of my to be read pile. I wouldn't really call this a love triangle. Yes, there are two potential love interest. But it's not like any of the characters were being lead on. Lara Jean doesn't bounce back and forth between the two holding a leash over both of their heads.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before was such a great read. I can't possibly gush about this book anymore. I pretty much read it all in one day. I even cancelled plans I had because I was so into this book. The best part is, there is a sequel! This series is a duology! I can't wait for the second book, P.S. I Still Love You.