YA Book Review

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Plus movie review)

The Book:

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Book Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Book Author: Jenny Han

Genre: YA Contemporary/ Romance

Publishing Date: Aprl 15th, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date Read: August 12, 2018

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

Sixteen-year-old 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.


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The Review:

Ah, to be young and in high school again. This book took me back to the days of “he said she said”, young love, hormonal chaos, and “he loves me, he loves me not.” It was refreshing, heart fluttering, and oh so cute!

I loved how nostalgic this book made me for my younger days. I loved that even though it was predictable, it was still unique and unpredictable. What I really loved, though, was that the story stressed the importance of family and sisterly love during those teenage years.

I loved Lara Jean and her quirkiness. I loved Margot and her strength, and I loved Kitty and her frankness. The Song Girls stole my heart and they were each beautiful, strong, and unique!
This book was super sweet and full of comedy and emotion. I enjoyed how much Dr. Covey cared about his daughters so much and how he really tried to fill the void of their mother. I also really loved how their mother was still present even though she was no longer with them.

The story, though predictable and cliché at times, was powerful and entertaining! I loved the idea behind Lara Jean writing her “goodbye love” letters to her crushes. I loved the hilarity behind the fact that they accidentally made their way to their “recipients”, and I loved how Lara Jean changed and grew from the experience. It was a one sitting kind of book and I’m dying for the next one! 4.5 stars!

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Movie Review:

I absolutely ADORED the movie! It was super cute, VERY close to the book, and gave me all the feels! I loved everything about it and I can’t count how many times I laughed! It was amazing how the movie managed to capture the nostalgia of high school for someone like me who graduated in 2005, but also added little nods to the 80’s and 90’s to capture the hearts of a wider crowd. Even the diner scene spoke to some of the older generation.

The casting choices were perfect. I could not have picked a better Lara Jean. She was phenomenal and very love-able and quirky! Peter was so swoon worthy, and had just the right amount of charm. Kitty was incredibly feisty and adorable. I so wanted Margot to be my big sister, and I loved the choice for Dr. Covey!

The aesthetics in the movie were quite eye pleasing. Whoever designed Lara Jean’s room got it perfect. It felt like Lara Jean, whether it was clean or messy, lol! I loved the style of the houses and the way the school felt, and they nailed that ski trip and diner!

And, can we talk about the music for a minute? I may need to find out how I can get the soundtrack to the movie because the music was ON POINT! Each song fit the scene so incredibly well, and they even added in one of my all time favorite 80’s songs!

When I say that it was very close to the book, I mean VERY CLOSE. Probably the closest I’ve ever seen an adaptation get, and not just because it followed the story, but because it had the same exact feeling as the book did. Yes, there were changes (of course there were changes because books are more open to interpretation), and I’m actually not going to mention what was different, because the changes seemed like they fit as far as adapting from book to screen, and the changes did not affect the overall impact. What was important was that it felt like I had just re-read the book and became nostalgic.

As I’m writing this review I’m feeling the urge to watch the movie again. I am glad that they kept it true to the book, didn’t over sexualize anything, and still made enough changes to capture a wider audience and keep the interest of the older age group while being age appropriate for teenagers. It was perfection and I’m really hoping they decide to adapt the next two books!

Mermaids 5 2

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24 thoughts on “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Plus movie review)

  1. Great reviews! I also really enjoyed the book (so much cuteness!!) and I loved the movie as well! I agree the casting choices were spot on although I probably would have chosen a different Margo only because I imagined her a bit nerdier. Glad you loved it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember liking, but not loving the book, but I absolutely adored the movie! I’ve watched it twice already and known I will watch it some more. It also made me want to re-read the books again and I even finally requested the last book from the library.

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  3. I love this book and movie review 😀 I agree with you completely about the book: it gave me all the high school sweetness feelings. I love love love how sister friendship played such a big role in the book (and the movie, because you’re right, the adaptation is spot on). Lara, Margot and Kitty and the cutest and best trio I’ve read in a book. 💛 great review. How are you feeling about book two?

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    1. Most definitely. It’s rare to find those YA books that focus so much on family and still give you the high school nostalgia. I enjoyed book 2. Just finished it last night. Have you read it before I rant? Lol.

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      1. Ugh YES I was soooo frustrated in the second book. But it felt like a continuation of Peter’s behaviour in book 1 — he kind of promises he’s done with Gen, but he’s absolutely not. And he’s never clear to Lara (even though he DOES have chances) about WHY he’s going to Gen or when he’s seeing her. There’s so many times in book 2 where communication between the pair was super poor that I was like … I can’t ship them anymore. They can’t even hold a proper conversation.

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      2. Totally, but at the same time, isn’t that the way most high school relationships are? So, like I was so mad at him, but thought it was so interesting that Han captured that feeling of a high school relationship. I was so mad at Gen for acting the way she did instead of reaching out to a real girl friend. If she had asked Lara Jean for support she would have gotten it.

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      3. I know. I KNOWWW. Like I love Han for how she was so on point with the realism of a high school relationship and how she got me so frustrated about something that … well, would literally happen in real life and get me frustrated!! Which was what I liked in book one buuuuut got a bit tired of in book two. The writing quality didn’t get any worse, but my patience with the Peter/Gen dynamic maybe did haha. Annnd definitely Lara Jean was so much someone who would have supported Gen.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Gah, I know! She really did show that too! One of the things I enjoyed the most about jazz band in high school was playing at the nursing homes. You really don’t get a lot of that type of interaction in YA.

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