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

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny HanTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Jenny Han
Simon & Schuster
Published on April 15, 2014

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
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.

My Review

I can’t believe how long it took me to finally read this book! I really wanted to read the book before I watched the Netflix adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I’m glad I did. More on the book to movie adaptation in a minute.

Reading the book was so much fun. I love stories about sisters. I have two sisters, too, so it reminded me a lot of my relationships with both my sisters (though I’m the oldest in my family.).

At first I thought I had the romance plot pegged, and I worried that would make the story boring. But actually, a lot of things happened that I didn’t predict, and so much of it was either sweet or funny or packed with emotion that I found myself super invested in what would happen to Lara Jean as she confronted her real reasons for writing the letters and the unresolved issues between her and her older sister.

Also, can I just say that Lara Jean’s youngest sister Kitty is my favorite. I love her quirkiness and the comic relief she provides. Her commitment to a grudge also kept her from being one of those too-perfect little kid characters.
If I’m totally honest, I wasn’t planning on reading this whole series, because I don’t often read contemporary romance. But after reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I really want to know where the story goes next. So I will probably try to read Lara Jean’s other adventures, too.

Thoughts on the Book to Movie Transformation
After reading the book, I sat down and watched the Netflix movie version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. There were a lot of differences between the book and movie. Some things I totally understood because they simplified the plot (like skipping Lara Jean’s car accident) and other things seemed like they changed the story (like Kitty’s relationship with Lara Jean). I missed Kitty’s capriciousness, I think.

Also, am I the only one who found it super weird that the groom from My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the dad in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? I don’t know why that threw me for a loop, but I kept doing a double-take for every scene he was in. He did a great job. I just had to adjust to it being him. All in all, I liked the movie. If my daughter was into contemporary romance, it’s the kind of movie I’d want to watch together.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on AmazonRecommended for Ages 14 up.

Cultural Elements
Lara Jean’s mom was Korean and her dad is white. (Her mom died years before the story begins.)

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently. Lara Jean herself doesn’t like cursing (though she does briefly swear at one point).

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Rumors about and references to characters having sex but no details, and nothing more than kissing happens on scene.

Spiritual Content
None.
Violent Content
None.

Drug Content
Lara Jean goes to a party where some other kids are drinking alcohol. She doesn’t drink.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Goodreads

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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