Monday, April 28, 2014

REVIEW: TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN.

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Edition: Hardbound
Publication: April 15, 2014 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Source: Bought from Fullybooked, Fort
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

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.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

I've attacked the social media universe with my undying anticipation of Jenny Han's new contemporary novel, To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Not only the cover is too mesmerizing but the title itself says SO MUCH about the novel. JUST. THE. TITLE. ALONE. It got me right at it. No second thoughts, no double takes. JUST THE TITLE. Since the moment the ARCs have been revealed, I knew I would do anything in my power to possess a copy. Thankfully, our local book store got it in stock several days early before the release date. Imagine how I shrieked like a pig when I learned it was available and how much I tried to control myself from running over the book store to get my copy. My feelings for this book was THAT intense. I also mentioned that I would cry tsunami if this novel disappoints me. This is my first Han novel and I am not crying tsunami at this point. Am just crying super megatron TSUNAMI tears.

Why you ask? There is nothing wrong with the book or the story. There isn't. What is wrong in this review is ME. I was expecting so much from this book. (Mind you, my contemporary standards were set by Hopeless by Colleen Hoover) I was expecting heart-breaking lines, mind-blowing twists, adorable characters and loveable plot. But then I thought my standards were ridiculous so I settled for the heart-breaking lines instead and good plot. And you know what? NOTHING. I got nothing. Halfway through the book I started to become skeptical about it and the rater in me was starting to contemplate between 2 - 3 stars. I wanted to give it 2 stars but then there were aspects of it that I liked so I gave it a chance and pulled it up one star higher. But being disappointed with myself wasn't an easy chore. And am hoping that the sequel would live up to my expectations.

**START OF SPOILER**
Lara Jean is an emotional teenager. She loves her family so much and she values things like no other. Lara Jean liked a few guys and one way of her coping with her feelings and saying good bye is through letters. She wrote letters to the guys about how they made her feel, what she liked most about them and why she's saying goodbye. However, her letters got sent out to the guys. One of them is her school's heartthrob, Peter, whom she kissed in the past. And one is Josh, her sister's ex-boyfriend. Once she realized what happened, embarrassment flooded her and couldn't even look at Josh because she still feels something for him. When Josh confronted her, she pretended that Peter's her boyfriend when it just so happen Peter's around and she kissed him. Peter was trying to make her ex jealous and took the chance to make Lara Jean his pretend-girlfriend. As they go out on dates and spend more time together, Lara Jean started to like Peter. Only Peter's words differ from his actions. Peter's the one she loves all along and not Josh but she felt like he's still in love with his ex. Then she wrote him a letter.
**END OF SPOILER**

I honestly cannot decide between going through the disappointments or the fun stuff first. Okay. Here we go. The disappointments: No depth (like nothing at all. I wish there were more to it than just simply being in love with your first kiss. It would have been better if there were moments a reader could really ponder on.). Title didn't really connect that much to the story (well, I guess it did on the first 50 pages but then it dropped everything. I thought it would be more of a back story of the boys she has loved but then, not really). The story is mostly family issues rather than romance (am not sure if I liked that part but naaah). Unbelievably fickle-minded supporting male character (Josh? How can you be so... I couldn't even believe him!)

Fun stuff: family dynamics (well, their relationship as a family is good and I loved how clingy Lara Jean is to her sisters), self-respect, simplicity of the female protagonist, adorable baby sister, awesome best friend, diversity and ALL THE FOOD. 

Oh. AND THAT ENDING? EPIC.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before is one quick read. It is I believe a good one if you're feeling down or upset about your day. A simple story with a simple plot is sometimes what we need in the middle of our complicated lives and still, I recommend this one to people who love contemporary. My suggestion only is that do not expect too much and you'll definitely enjoy this novel!

"To belong to someone -- I didn't know it, but now that I think about it, it seems like that's all I've ever wanted. To really be somebody's, and to have them be mine."
"This is the moment I realize I don't love him, that I haven't for a while. That maybe I never did. Because he's right there for the taking: I could kiss him again; I could make him mine. But I don't want him. I want someone else. It feels strange to have spent so much time wishing for something, for someone, and then one day, suddenly, to just stop."
"I don't want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody's first choice."

4 comments:

  1. I agree with you about not going into this book with a lot of expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and YAY for my first Jenny Han read! See you in June!

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  2. You slay me with your words! :( And I was even thinking of buying this ASAP in preparation for June. But now, I'm rethinking that aaaand rethinking again. Thanks for the great honest review. I'm mostly looking forward to that epic ending you mentioned!

    Precious Fragments of Life

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    Replies
    1. Thank yoU!!! (I just read your comment 3 years after!)

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