To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Book Review

A long overdue review of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Book: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance / Fiction

Age Recommendation: 12+

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: 15th April 2014

★★★★★

“It’s fun to think of the what-if. Scary, but fun. It’s like, I thought this door was closed before, but here it is open just the tiniest crack. What if?”

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was on my to-read list for a long while but I never got around to reading it before Netflix released the film adaptation last year. Usually I like to read a book before the movie but I couldn’t resist. I came home from work on the day of release and watched the film straight away. The rest is, as they say, history. I was completely in love! There was no way the book could live up to my expectations now, right?

So when my other half gifted me the books (there’s 3 in total) for Christmas, I couldn’t dive in right away. In fact, I re-read Harry Potter and didn’t pick up To All the Boys until August.

But it was worth the wait.

TATBILB is written in first person, present tense from Lara Jean Covey’s point of view. She’s a high school junior who likes to keep to herself and spend time with her small circle of friends – her best friend Chris, her neighbour Josh and her 2 sisters. She loves to stay at home scrapbooking, drinking tea and reading romance novels (I have basically just described my life). Lara Jean’s biggest secrets are hidden inside an old hat box in her bedroom. Over the years, Lara Jean has written love letters for each of the boys she’s ever loved as a way to completely express her feelings and subsequently move on. But what would happen if the boys knew how she really felt? TATBILB takes you on an emotional journey with Lara Jean as she steps out of her comfort zone and faces reality.

This book is a very easy read – and definitely in a good way! The language is very conversational so you are immersed in Lara Jean’s mind from page one. There is something so familiar and loveable about her and the people around her I found myself drawn in and eager to go back to her world whenever I put the book down. It’s got that back-to-school feeling of new friendships, excitement and nerves that is all too familiar (despite the fact I left school 8 years?! ago). It’ll make you laugh, give you butterflies and occasionally a little heart ache. I powered through this book in a day and literally scooped up the next book from my shelf as I was reading the last page so that I didn’t have to come back to reality for a second.

There’s no action and there’s little adventure compared to a lot of the books I read. There’s no wizards, warlocks or faerie realm. But TATB is fun, emotional and left my heart feeling so full I couldn’t not give it 5 stars. It reminded me of being 15, coming home from school and reading another instalment of Confessions of Georgia Nicholson too fast so I’d read them all again because I wanted more. I think that’s exactly what I needed in my life and I’m grateful to have the next books lined up to keep that feeling going a little longer!

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