To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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Rating: 2.5 Stars
Published: April 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Favorite Quote:

“I wonder what it’s like to have that much power over a boy.  I don’t think I’d want it; it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.”

Lara Jean Song Covey has fallen in love with five guys.  To get over it, she writes letters that she keeps in a hatbox that no one will ever find.  To her horror, the letters end up being mailed and read by the guys she loved. Chaos ensues when they start confronting her about what she wrote.  And when one of the guys is her big sister’s ex-boyfriend… things start to get really complicated.

It was sheer luck that I looked online and saw that it was $1.99 on Amazon Kindle. I was ecstatic. So, of course, I immediately downloaded it.  I had been waiting and waiting for it to come to my ebook library and it just wasn’t happening.  I’d pass it in the bookstores or I’d see it in my Amazon account and there were times that I would be so tempted to just buy it already. I’m so glad I waited and found it on sale!

Lara Jean is a bit naive. Some of the things she says I just want to shake my head at. Like this little exchange…

          “You know what, I think maybe he mentioned you once.” Slowly he says, “Yeah, he definitely did.  He said he thought you were the prettiest girl in our grade.  He said his one regret from middle school was not asking you to the eighth-grade formal.”
My whole body goes still and I think I even stop breathing. “For real?” I whisper.
Peter busts up laughing.  “Dude! You’re so gullible!”

What’s nice though is that this book reads like it’s actually written by a 16-year-old. Like it’s her diary but more detailed… with conversations. Though, it does sound a bit young for a 16 year old… like maybe it’s a 13-year-old PRETENDING to be a 16-year-old. Yeah, that sounds about right.

It’s a cute story, don’t get me wrong. But I’m glad that I didn’t spend a lot of money on it. I read a lot of Young Adult novels but this one really feels it should only be read by 13-16 year olds.

“Gee, thanks.”
“You’re welcome.”
I roll my eyes. Peter says “you’re welcome” to everything!  It’s like, No, Peter, that was not a genuine thank-you, so you do not need to say you’re welcome.

Readers are generally smart people and I feel like comments like the one above do not ever need to be explained.

Sometimes, though, she hits it right on the target.  “When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them.  You try to keep track of everything in your head… Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things.  But the little things are what make up life.” Like that quote, there are other moments in the book that you can easily relate to but most of the time I was just shaking my head at Lara Jean.

I think it would be really interesting to read a book about Margo’s experience taking care of her little sisters and wanting to branch out on her own but also not wanting to leave them.  I think that would be awesome.  Her adventures in Scotland and going to Uni there would be fun to read.  (Of course, I’m biased because I studied abroad in Scotland.)

I guess, I was disappointed.  I saw so many glowing reviews that it just didn’t live up to my expectations of it.  I still liked it and will probably recommend it to younger readers but as I said, it’s a book that middle school/younger high schoolers should read.

I LOVED the ending. I think it was the perfect way to leave things and I’d even be happy with it even if there wasn’t a sequel. That being said, I’m interested in seeing what’s going to happen next but I won’t be rushing to pick up my copy. This one might just have to wait for the library.

P.S. I Still Love You is due to be released on May 26th 2015.

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7 thoughts on “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

  1. It’s hard with YA. You don’t want to fault them for writing to their target market. But at the same time, so many adults read YA and we’re the market too. And a lot of teens want to read YA experiences but not feel like they’re being written down to in the process.

    Good review. You expressed the writing level concern clearly to help get it to the right audience, and still gave a good overview of what worked. That’s challenging, sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been putting off reading this because I feel like I’m going to be disappointed. At least now when I finally pick it up, I’ll know what to (kind of) expect. Nice review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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