Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this novel, particularly because Lara Jean was different from a regular teenage character. It was refreshing. I think people who don’t work with teens on a daily basis tend to forget how very different they are in all aspects of life from attitudes to maturity levels to social abilities/interests to self-awareness. It’s the fact that she’s not the expected teen girl character that draws me in.

I particularly enjoyed how the letter concept plays into the story. I also thought it was a rather sweet romance, though a bit non-traditional in progression. I enjoyed watching the two characters grow towards each other, even when they were both unaware of it.

It seems to be a theme for Han to write about siblings with an interest in the same romantic partners. That definitely creates some family conflict, but when you look at the background of the characters, it’s not that surprising.

Lara Jean’s family members are interesting and really add to the depth of the novel. Peter is fantastic (possibly my favorite character) and shows a lot of growth. Josh reminds me of a boy I knew who came from a house full of turmoil and was always looking for his happy place.

The ending worked for me. I do admit that initially I tried to turn the page to find more, but it was partly because I enjoyed the story so much. I hated for it to end. However, after some reflection, I realized that it didn’t matter what came next. Getting to that end point showed the growth and how everything came full circle, regardless of what might have happened next with any of the characters.

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