Thursday, April 17, 2014
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014
Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
The title of this book sounds super romantic-like it would be filled with romantic confessions to all the boys she's loved before. Happily though this book is about so much more with insight into the whole crazy growing up process and, to my special delight, a focus on the sister-sister relationship in a healthy family setting.
Lara Jean has written five love letters to the boys who have variously claimed her heart. These letters are extremely personal, never meant to be read by any of the boys. However in a cruel twist the letters are mailed out to the boys, throwing her life into turmoil.
Frighteningly one of those letters goes to Josh, the ex-boyfriend of her beloved older sister Margot who has left for college abroad, putting Lara Jean and younger sister Kitty to take care of each other and their widowed father. Another letter goes to the very popular Peter who agrees to masquerade in a fake relationship with Lara Jean to make his ex jealous.
Though my summary of this book leans heavily on the boys part of the title, I was so pleased that family/sisters ends up taking up so much page time. Plus Lara Jean even has a few friends and interactions with classmates. What I mean is that there is a lot to grab your attention if you're looking for more in your contemporary than just romance (which I almost always am; yes, sometimes you just need to read about two people falling in love but in general I want a lot more plot threads.)
The romantic parts are really sweet though. Lara Jean really has to wrestle with her feelings for Josh and Peter as well as even a few other boys. I was pretty sure what was going to happen but was committed to the ride. My one disappointment with this book was how the ending felt so unresolved. Turns out there is a good reason for that-this is the first in a duology and presumably the second book will wrap up everything and leave me feeling satisfied.