BOOK REVIEW: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1) by Jenny HanTo All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1)
by Jenny Han
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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.

What must it be like, to have a boy like you so much he cries for you?

I’ll be up front and honest about my like/dislike for this book: Everything I disliked is because of the author. It’s as simple as that. I needed to know if it was simply me that didn’t connect to the characters or scenarios in Burn for Burn or if it was, simply put, a dislike for the authors writing. So, I gave this one a chance. If some of you don’t know it, B4B was written by two authors-I didn’t know that at the time. So, and I SWEAR this is a coincidence, I read two different books this weekend that had the same type of feel. I’ve been reading the fake and/or secret high school relationship books, lately, so I wanted books that gave me the same kind of feels that The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend did. You know-funny, lots of banter, hot but committed player boyfriend, yada yada. ANYWAY, back to the coincidence: I ended up reading two books by these two separate authors that wrote Burn for Burn together-Weird, right?? I didn’t even realize!

Needless to say that I figured out who the cheesy author was…and it wasn’t the other-it was Jenny Han. And I think what makes me the saddest about that is she actually has the cutest ideas. Like, the cutest. She creates these wonderful male leads that make you giddy and excited to obsess over. She finds the funniest scenarios to put the characters in. And she creates some pretty admirable jealous scenes that, admittedly, suck you in. There’s no denying that the ideas are there. I believe this author just lacks in execution-well….that’s subjective, isn’t it?? I mean, this book has a broad, widespread love that I couldn’t cut down even if I wanted to. Just because I think it was kind of corny doesn’t mean that everyone else does. It just means that I know this author isn’t necessarily for me.

I think I can see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see them up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you.

And let’s get right to the point….I couldn’t identify with the naivety of the main character, Lara Jean. I found her to be so unbelievably blind that it was almost sickening. It’s not that she didn’t have her cute moments where I could have hugged her….it’s just that she was mostly dumb. Like, a lot dumb. If a boy is hanging out at your house when no one could even possibly know he’s there….he likes you, if only even a little bit. If he kisses you in front of the neighbor when no one is around, just to make said neighbor ‘jealous’, he likes you. Stop making things bigger than what they are and simplify the facts. I’ll say it again….it’s THAT simple. People who have inexperience with boys will make mistakes-I get that. But tucking tail and running to your buddy(ies) every time you think he’s wronged you makes you juvenile and more than a little pathetic. Talk to the person…don’t just assume. I swear to god…Just…Just….so much assuming. Ugh. Gawd.


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But, here is the reason I did like so many parts. Here is the reason I did like Lara Jean, at times: Peter. He was sweet, charming, and he made me laugh more than once. His sweet, possessive streak had me smiling so big, though I can’t say I got the why of it all. He became increasingly interested in her and started hanging out more than was even necessary. It started to become this little tradition in the morning with him, Lara Jean, and Kitty, her kid sister. I don’t know, I just really enjoyed his character. But, another reason this wasn’t a four?? Because of the whole Gen or Gwen or whatever thing. Eh. I didn’t much care for it, near the end. I thought it seemed a tad…odd…on his part. But not at first. So, it’s not to say this whole rating was because of Lara Jean…..just 99.9% percent of it ;).

I let out an aggrieved sigh. Why does Peter not get the concept of picking a favorite thing?
Peter mimics my sigh and laughs. “Fine. I like cinnamon toast. That’s my favorite thing.”
“Cinnamon toast?” I repeat. “You like cinnamon toast better than crab legs? Better than a cheeseburger?”
“Yes.”
“Better than barbecue?”
Peter hesitates. Then he says, “Yes! Now quit picking my choice apart. I stand by my choice.”

-lol very cute

So, you know, I’d take my opinion with a grain of salt on this one. I clearly don’t like how Han executes, even with her ideas being of an adorable variety. If you’re looking for cute, this is your book. If you’re looking for a light, easy read, this is your book. But, if you strive for something a tad bit deeper…you won’t find it here. And as for the cheesiness I so astutely placed on Lara Jean’s shoulders??? It’s not the good kind of cheese…if you were wondering (Jen), she, most assuredly, was the BAD kind.

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