To All the Boy's I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han
Lara Jean 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 can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she 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.
If you are a binge watcher of rom-coms--or Netflix--then chances are, you've heard about (or watched) one of Netflix's latest productions--a film adaptation of Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before.
And while my friends and I have gushed over how absolutely amazing the movie is (and even though it has almost five stars on Netflix) I still think that the book is about ten times better than the movie. (I'm sure that every book-lover can agree that this statement holds true with most book-based productions. :P)
One of the things that I loved most about this novel is the concept of love letters being written to Lara Jean's crushes and then sent with out her knowledge. People are much more honest about their feelings when they think that no one will ever be able to see/read them. Plus, I didn't have to read half the book (or more) before the main character finally plucks up the courage to confess their feeling. This was a new and unique way to get everybody's feelings out in the open--something that I personally love the concept of.
While I'm fairly certain that everybody's new OTP after reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before will be Peter and Lara Jean, I must admit that I rooted for Josh until I got about 25% into the book. (And then I was like, "Josh who?" Because Peter is amazing.) One of the things that initially drew me to Josh's character was that he was sweet, in that smart, good-natured and slightly nerdy way. I mean, come on, he dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween. How can you not love that?
But as the book wore on, I admit that I wholeheartedly switched to Team Peter. When Peter first came onto the pages, I wasn't so sure I liked him--mostly because he seemed like someone who wouldn't take a relationship with Lara Jean too seriously. However, it soon became abundantly clear, that the persona he put on for the rest of the school, wasn't really him. There's a lot more to Peter K than meets the eye.
In my opinion, Lara Jean was simultaneously in the worst and the best situation of all the characters. The letters being mailed out was mortifying, (if I was her--I would have crawled under a rock and died) but she got closer to some people that she wouldn't have even talked to, had it not been for those pesky love letters. Lara Jean is a shy, quirky, sentimental, romantic that won my heart over on page one. (Wow, I sure crammed a lot of adjectives into one sentence.)
And although she didn't have too much page time, I absolutely adore Lara Jean's best friend, Chris. I have no clue why, honestly. She's snarky, rebellious, and a total free-spirit--the complete opposite of Lara Jean--and me. I admit that I admire her spunky, I-don't-give-a-crap mentality about life. She's the kind of person who lives every moment to the fullest, and when she looks back on high school, she'll be able to say that there wasn't a thing she didn't do. Sometimes I wish that I could live my life a little more like Chris does. (Well, a *very* watered-down version of Chris, because I could *never* be that much of a rebel. I'm too much of a goody-two-shoes. :P)
This book is a must-read for anyone who likes a fresh new take on a good old-fashioned love story.
You can read an excerpt of To All the Boys I've Loved Before HERE, find Jenny Han's website HERE, and you can watch the Official Trailer for the movie adaptation HERE, and the Teaser Trailer HERE. (I couldn't pick one, so I just linked both. :P)
Happy Reading! (or watching!)