Saturday, 7 June 2014

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) by Jenny Han


Rating: 2.5 stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

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

My Thoughts:

To All The Boys I've Loved Before was not the book I expected. What has happened to the 2014 contemporary romance genre? I think we a have a crisis similar to the 2011/2012 Dystopian Disaster on our hands! Sigh. So what went wrong with this? Well, just about everything:

1) Our protagonist, Lara Jean.:

Lara Jean was supposed to be sixteen but she acted as if she was twelve. She was immature in every possible way: her thoughts, her actions, her decisions and her sense of humour. She was also incredibly naïve, gullible, easily upset and cried way too much. She was a very dull and dislikeable character.

2) The fake-dating and love triangle:

I didn't understand the point of the "contract" or Peter's need to string along Lara Jean. I get it was to make Gen jealous but seriously? There are others ways to do that. Other ways that are much less cliché and boring, I might add. We all know that fake dating turns into a real life crush so why bother with all the drama? We know it will happen sooner or later.

Also, Josh did not need to be involved in Lara Jean's petty dramas. It would have been nice if
Jenny Han had taken his character and explored the emotional strains of long distances relationships with him and Margot. The love triangle was really not at all necessary.

3) The predictableness:

We could all guess who sent those letters within the first few chapters. It was written as clear as day. There was no way it could have been any other person, so what was the point of making it into a big mystery?

4) The other characters:

Margot: I didn't understand her at all. I understand her tough but savvy attitude after their mother's death was a coping mechanism and that's completely acceptable, but I just couldn't understand her or her relationship with Josh. I needed to see or get to know her more and felt that her character development was really needed to help build the sisterly bond between her and Lara Jean.

Peter: Two-faced much? I never quite figured out if I liked him or not. He could be sweet at times, like when he was with Kitty and how he bought those donuts especially for Lara Jean, but the rest of the time he was a real ass. He was egotistical, stubborn, rude and I just wasn't a fan.

Josh: Waste of a character. I felt like he had no real personality at all. He was there to create drama and that's all really.

Did I enjoy anything about this book? Well, yes I did - surprisingly! I adored the character of Kitty. God, she was such a sweetie! Her determination and toughness was adorable and she was a real delight to read. I also enjoyed some of the sweeter moments with Peter. When he was in his better mood, he really could be really nice and he had a few funny moments.

All that saying, I didn't really enjoy this book and wouldn't recommend it. I might pick up P.S. I Love You so I can see how it ends but I won't be pining for it.

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