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

SYNOPSIS:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

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REVIEW

date read: Apr 19th, 2014

I have this theory, that a person could like any book in the world – if the mood is right.
I wonder how differently I could have seen this story; if maybe on another time I would have found it just as entertaining as other book-friends had.

I really love reading and I always want to love the books I read. It makes me sad when that is not the case, because maybe it’s not the book, maybe it’s just me.. But how can one tell the difference?

to-all-the-boys-imagery

If I’m generous I might give this book 3 stars. I am not sure I should be though.
*sigh*

To be honest, I’ve had a lot of fun in the beginning, but after a few chapters it seemed like this story was really all over the place (I wasn’t sure what was supposed to happen and what did happen left me with this ‘meh’ kind of feeling), the characters made no sense to me whatsoever and the ending .. I had to read the last paragraph 3 times to see if I got it right the first time around, LOL. It was that abrupt.. it gave me no closure and it left me quite a bit disappointed.

I read about the boys in some reviews, how swoony they were.. Well, only 2 made significant appearances, only one was supposed to steal our heart.. I didn’t like either of them (one had this over-confidence that made me roll my eyes too many times to count, the other one was way too overprotective based on how little paper-time he got). Anyways, if you ask me I would have chosen (view spoiler) though he’s not one of the two, obviously, but at least he seemed to keep his head on the shoulders and his actions seemed sincere as he had no hidden interests.

Still, the idea behind the story was indeed cute – writing love letters to all the past loves… it made me think a bit and, more than that, it made me laugh imagining how that would play out in my life these days.

love_lettersI did it once, you know?
I secretly wrote a letter to a past love of mine (a letter I was never to send), not sure if I got over it at that precise moment (like it’s supposed to happen in the book – not that it actually is), most probably not, I am not sure if it helped in any way either – though I definitely had less trouble with it (only my ego got bruised by my embarrassment). It’s fun to be young though.. and reckless, isn’t it? I miss that sometimes :D

Back to the point, this could have been a cute book – it had all the right ingredients, but the characters were not that likeable at times (view spoiler) , their actions seemed absolutely random to me, and I never ‘trusted’ them (did these guys really like her? if so, why is that? if not, why the trouble?), so it’s no wonder I had to triple check the ending.

Maybe some of you will like it better.
I did like the family dynamics though and the writing is OK (light, open, humoristic – just how I like it), but other than that I could not connect with anyone and I felt pretty much detached and (sadly) unimpressed.

I knew from the beginning who the ‘sender’ was, so not even that took me by surprise, and I didn’t understand Lara Jean’s need to fake a boyfriend and pretend in front of the others. It didn’t add much to the story, except for confusion and unnecessary (teenage) drama, as the relationship dynamics did not improve, but on the contrary. And then there was the big sister and the ex-boyfriend, and the misunderstandings and some more confusion and.. wait for it.. some more drama. *double sigh*

Too bad, as I had high hopes for a quick and funny read.
But.. If you are curious about it you can read an excerpt here.
Let me know if you have better luck with it ;) I do hope so.

Happy midnight reading!

Music of choice:

But, don't let me do all the talking. I want to know what you think of this as well.

  • Diana

    As you usually say… We can’t love them all ;) I’ll give it a try when I have the chance, hopefully I will like it a bit more :D

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that. Have fun with it! ;)

  • Lis @ The reader lines

    And now I’m checking your reviews for the music in them as well…
    So sad this didn’t work for you. I don’t read much contemporary but this one looked good, too bad it wasn’t like that.

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      There are not too many reviews with music in them, some have book trailers or book excerpts. Though every now and then I hear a song that reminds me of a story, and so I have to link them together ;))

      As for “To all the boys I loved before”, it wasn’t a bad book, it was just a bad choice for me. People seem to like it so maybe I am the black sheep :)))

  • Kate

    I actually loved the book! And yeah, we’re entitled to our own opinions. For me, the book was paced in sync with my groove. If you catch my drift. ;) There will be a book 2 and I’m looking forward to it because there have been so many questions that haven’t been wrapped up. I guess ending the book with “Dear Peter..” is the icing on the cake. Pretty sure we’ll get to see the characters evolve more as the book progresses. Also..there’s still another issue with Lara Jean and that other dude which I’m pretty sure will be in Book 2 (Ha! Can’t wait.) But overall, it was a fun read. I’ll always love Jenny Han and her books. Now, If you haven’t read The Summer I Turned Pretty, well, you better!

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      I don’t doubt many people will enjoy it, unfortunately it wasn’t a book for me *sigh* But there’s plenty fish in the water, right? So I hope to have better luck with the next book I pick up ;)
      As for the next book in this series, who knows, maybe I’ll give it a try (if I hear good things about it).

  • Tj

    Hi! I’m about to buy this book tomorrow and now you ruined it. LOL JOKE! Actually I’m curious about this book because every writer that I’m following on my tumblr acct. actually recommended this one. But because of your review, there’s no “high expectation” anymore! haha

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      Well, high expectations are overrated anyways :P
      I truly hope that you will enjoy it better. In fact I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, no matter what. *fingers crossed for you*

      • Tj

        Okay maybe after a few days I’m going to create a five-sentence paragraph about this book and I’ll share it to you :) Haha thanks!!!

  • Tj

    I already bought and read this book weeks ago and ugh. you were write about almost everything but I don’t regret buying the book though. But actually I was really disappointed especially about the plot and the flow of story. It’s so plain and simple and that’s why I’m not a huge fan of contemporary books.

    • http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/ Ari

      There are good contemporary stories out there too. Only.. maybe not this one ;)) But I bet it does look great on your shelf, right? :D

      • Tj

        yeah it really does have a good cover XD