Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han


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To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Rating: 3.75 stars
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "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."

Review: Okay, internets, don't hate me.  I thought this book was only a little above average.  

The amount of love surrounding this book made me think that although it is not a genre (YA romance) that I am usually drawn to,  I might fall in love with it along with the rest of the world anyway.  That.... did not happen.  I thought it was sufficiently cute, but, frankly, I spent a large portion of the book being bored.

Just like with Anna and the French Kiss (another YA romance that everyone loves except me) I feel like this is almost entirely a case of it's-not-you-it's-me.  I fully recognize that this book has an extremely likable cast, and an engaging will-they-won't-they premise.  I understand why so many are drawn to this story, and why they have responded to it so positively.  And I'm glad that there are books like this out there, because if I had read this book when I was in high school I think I would have fallen in love with it, too.  

But the fact remains that I am not in high school, my tastes have changed over the years, and books like this no longer hold the appeal for me that they once did.  However, I will remember this book as a standout in the genre of YA romance, and happily recommend it to those who are interested.  

With a couple of minor caveats:

In order to like this book, you will need to have to have a strong stomach for angst.  You will also have to put up with a scene of slut shaming.  You will also need to not be bugged by ambiguous endings.  Those three things were extremely irritating to me, personally, but if you're okay with it, then knock yourself out.  

While I did not fall in love, I enjoyed this book well enough.  I won't be reading it again.  But I wish I had read it when I was younger, as it would have aligned with my tastes much more closely earlier in my life.  

Review in a GIF:
shrug animated GIF

Bottom Line: A cute enough story, though I didn't fall in love.  I'd recommend it to Stephanie Perkins and Gayle Forman fans.  

8 comments:

  1. Aw dang. I liked this one. Her books do have a lot of angst and her characters are immature. I definitely have to channel my inner teenager to love them like I do. I just love the love triangles in her books. Yeah, I usually hate LTs but she does them right.

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    1. Love triangles do add to the tension, and I sometimes like them. I didn't mind the love triangle as much as I thought I would, but I still wouldn't say I liked it. Glad you enjoyed the book! I'm definitely in the minority here with my lukewarm attitude.

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  2. I love your reviews in a gif. I don't like to read reviews that I haven't read the book for, so your review in a gif helps me see what you thought about it, lol. And, since I love Stephanie Perkins, I guess I may like this. I'm not a huge contemporary fan, though, so I'm always a little leery.

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    1. PS--Where do you find all your gifs? Just by googling for them? Or is there some awesome gif repository I don't know about?

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    2. Thanks Jenni! If you like Stephanie Perkins, chances are you'll like this one a lot too. I definitely got an Anna and Etienne vibe from this story. I think you might like it.

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    3. Oh, and I find most of my GIFs on giphy.com. They have TONS of GIFs on there, and I can almost always find one that matches my mood towards any given book. :)

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  3. Oh, it's a shame that you couldn't absolutely love this one like many people could! I know I want to try it and see what it is like as well.

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    1. Good luck to you, if you do read it! Chances are you'll like it, since most people who read it tend to enjoy it.

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