Sunday, 20 April 2014

To all the boys I've loved before by Jenny Han #1

Genre: Young Adult
Language: English
Pages: 368
Publisher: Simon and Schuster books (April 15, 2014)

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letter in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letter 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 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.

The whole point of the book is not if all the guys she likes fall to her feet when they receive her letters or not. Or if she ends up with four options to choose from.

It’s more about her growing up, judging people right, not hiding away from her emotions and her sisters and taking responsibility for her actions. She has to do a lot of things on her own when her elder sister takes off to Scotland for further studies. The responsibility to care for a sister seven years younger, drive around, make sure there’s breakfast, lunch, dinner every day on the table, do laundry, be strong and ideal older sister whilst handling her personal chaotic life falls upon her.

The bond between the Song sisters is what stands out in the entire book. Every sister has a distinct personality.

Kitty (Katherine, the youngest sister) is more of a brat, who doesn’t like when someone orders her around and will bite if you rub her the wrong way. She’s an eye for an eye kind of a person. I could almost picture her growing up to be a strong, dignified woman with a successful career and good fashion sense. It might turn to arrogance or rudeness if she doesn’t watch it though.

Margot (eldest) is more of a mother figure. She ensures everybody in the family is well fed and happy yet maintaining her own personality. At work, she’ll be sincere, helping and indispensable kind. She’s that person whose absence is felt more than her presence.

Lara Jean (I always found this name weird. And weirder when nobody ever abbreviated it to, say, Lara or Jeany) is the narrator. She is sixteen years old and feels most real and close to a girl that age than most sixteen year olds portrayed in many other novels. She is more on the goofier, naive side. She can’t get everything right, but she tries her best. It’s hilarious to watch her hide and run when the letters are sent out and one by one the boys approach her with confused looks demanding explanation.

Even though the letter gets sent to five boys, only two of them play a major role in her life.

There are a lot of incidences where I couldn’t help laugh out real loud. Her reactions when she learns the letters got sent out and how she tries to tackle the situation. Or when she drives to grocery store with Kitty on passenger seat being her ‘another pair of eyes’, I pitied her driving skills.

At the end, I was left wanting for more. Not only because the book is good, which it is, but also because the ending was abrupt. I wanted to know what happens to Lara Jean when school starts, how people react to the whole scene, what happens to Gen and Peter, Margot and Josh. Lara Jean and Josh. Lara Jean and Peter.

It ends with Lara Jean starting to write yet another letter.

And then I Google a bit and learn there's a sequel after all called 'Ps. I still love you' . *sigh of relief*

...Coming out in 2015 *cries*

Random Thoughts:
The book  vaguely reminded me of Taylor Swift at one point. Her diary is open for all to see and (sadly) judge. The only difference is Taylor chose to come clean, while our heroine just stumbled into the whole thing.

Also, it reminds me of ‘Can you keep a secret’ by Sophie Kinsella which walks on the same lines of accidental spilled beans and open secrets. Though the stories are both different and addictive.

And Jenny Han is a great writer. Reading her is like watching a movie. Imagining is as effortless as breathing.

And the cover. *sigh*

Suitable for: All teenagers and girls. And boys if they want a sneak peek into a sixteen year old girl's mind.

Rating: 5/5

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