Book review: To All the Boys I Loved Before

Natalie Barletta – Opinions Editor

Imagine this: what if someone decided to publish your entire diary on the Internet? Something similar happened to Lara Jean Covey. Once a wallflower, her love life goes from 0 to 60 in the matter of seconds.

Lara Jean keeps a teal hatbox filled with letters that she’s written to all of the boys that she’s loved. Five, in all. She writes the letters as a way to cleanse herself from them. Once she’s done writing them, she sticks them in a box, and never looks back.

However, one day Lara Jean learns that the letters that she’s written have been mailed to them. One of them is her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. Talk about awkward. Another is the popular boy, who Lara Jean calls ‘the boy that every girl wants’ named Peter Kavinsky, who everyone calls Peter K.

Peter confronts Lara Jean about the letter that she wrote to him back in middle school (they kissed way back when). Lara Jean then realizes that the five letters that she wrote had been sent out to those who were addressed to. When Josh confronts her, she then goes into denial.

However, Peter asks Lara Jean to pretend date him. He had just gotten out of a relationship with the classic high school queen bee, who is also not the nicest person in the world for lack of better terms.  She hesitantly agrees, as a way to get her current crush jealous. The two begin to get closer, and at the end…well I won’t ruin it for you, so that way you’ll have to  pick up a copy for yourself and read it.

This book, if made into a movie would be the ultimate romantic comedy. There’s a lot of love proclamations, men fighting over Lara Jean and lots of romantic gestures. There was a lot of drama going throughout the book, however I didn’t find it to be predictable. I thought it would go one way, but it ended up going in a completely different direction. You also wondered who would end up with who. Would Josh and Lara Jean end up together, or would she end up with Peter?

Unlike many romantic books that I’ve read, this doesn’t just focus on the relationships of Lara Jean. It’s about her family too. She focuses heavily on the relationship of her and her older sister Margot.

Margot is the ultimate type A control freak who always has to control just about everything. She’s the authority figure, and Lara Jean looks up to her. However, I didn’t like her and often thought of her as being the perfect person who always has to be the top of everything. She wants everything to be just so, and I honestly didn’t like the way that she was to Lara Jean at times.

I also really thought that the way that the book ended was really neat. It ended up in a cliffhanger, and I really wanted to know what happened. Hopefully, Jenny Han will write a sequel, because fans of this book will want to know what goes on next.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who’s a fan of romantic comedies. It’s such a sweet and awesome book. Also if you’re looking for a good beach read for your spring break destinations, look no further. It’s an easy read, and is the perfect addition to your beach bag.

The book was fun, and if you like Young Adult fiction contenders such as Sarah Dessen, read and reread ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, and Gayle Foreman, then you’ll want to add this to your library.

Photo Credit: ashley rose


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