To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATBILB, #1) by Jenny Han ~ Spoiler Free Review

Experimenting in my review formats, so please bear with me! I hope you enjoy!

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATBILB, #1)
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 420
Format: Paperback (got it from the library)
Published: 2014
My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she’s ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say 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

I thought I was going to ADORE this book. An Asian MC, cute contemporary with a pretty cover; what book is more me?! For the most part, I did enjoy this novel, but there were a few things that I didn’t absolutely love. In this review, I’ll be listing all of my pros and cons I had with TATBILB in a spoiler free fashion.

Pros

  • I actually had no idea where the plot was headed. And that kept me reading, for sure! For most of the novel, I had no idea who sent out the letters; I had my suspicions, but I didn’t put my money on any of them. The plot is also really basic there isn’t really a lot going on, which made me kind of bored but at the same time interested.
  • I liked most of the characters. Lara Jean was adorable and I related to her a lot. However, she became annoying to read about at times because she was being too naive and clueless, or pondered an obvious decision for WAY too long. But I did like her a lot, and I could see myself being friends with her. Peter was an absolute gem! He wasn’t a big douche (or a “bad boy”) and was so sweet to Lara Jean. I think he was just confused with his relationships, and he’s fine now. I shipped them so hard in this novel! I think Kitty and Dad were my favourites of all! Kitty was so cute and reminded me of my younger cousin. And Dad was a funny and pretty clueless character. I kind of wish he was more involved in the story, but I think he was in it enough to make it seem realistic. Those were some of my favourites, but I’ll be ranting about the others in the cons section.
  • Asian MC rep. I loved the Korean-American representation in this novel! I have a couple Korean friends and I am, myself, Asian (Chinese), and I could relate to some of the things Lara Jean experiences in the novel.
  • The cuteness and whimsical-ness was SO ADORABLE. I can’t even. There were so many cliches, yet it was different and special in its own way!
  • Lara Jean and Josh dressing up as Harry Potter characters. And the truth about us Asian girls having MANY issues dressing up as characters. #relatable.

Cons

  • Margot. Margot was nice at the beginning, but as the story progressed, she became very judgy and just annoying. When she came back from studying abroad, she didn’t notice that things had changed; that Kitty had grown up, that Lara Jean was more mature and that they can function without her. I understand that she felt left out, but you can’t come back from being gone a year and expect everything to be EXACTLY the same. She was also very hypocritical and bossy toward Lara Jean, which I thought was quite low.
  • Josh. My thoughts about Josh changed SO much throughout the novel. At the beginning, he was all cute, sweet and not jealous and controlling over Lara Jean. I actually felt SORRY for him at the beginning. But as the novel continued, he kept whining and feeling sorry for himself and I JUST COULDN’T. Not to mention what happened at the end; which threw me off the edge and completely on Peter’s side!
  • The plot was quite flat. Like I said before, the plot is quite basic and not a lot is going on. I almost DNFed about halfway! The characters were slowly getting on my nerve at that point and nothing majorly exciting was happening. Besides Lara Jean’s letters being sent out and her deal with Peter, nothing else was that memorable or plot twisting.
  • The constant internal dialogue of Lara Jean asking many questions. It might’ve not been as much as I thought it was, but for some reason, I just remember reading parts of the novel and thinking ‘why are you asking all these questions to yourself?’. Maybe that was just me, but it ticked me off.

As you can see, I had many pros and cons (that are spoiler free!), resulting in a 3/5 star rating. I didn’t love To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but I did enjoy it, and after some reflection, I think I might continue on with the series, if I get time!

lets-discuss

Have you read TATBILB? Did you love, like or hate it? Did you continue on in the series? Who was your most and least favourite character? Tell me in the comments below!

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