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

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. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.

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.

Book Rating

2.5/5

Book Review

I really wanted to like this book. It sounded like a cute premise and the Netflix movie has all the hype right now. But I couldn’t get into it. I guess I’ve got an unpopular opinion on this one, which goes to show that you can’t please ’em all!

Let me start with what I liked about this book. It was definitely a quick read and didn’t have much in it that was heavy. It all seemed like fairly light topics. It’s probably a good read for young adults. When I say young adults, I mean maybe middle school age.

I was reading this book while listening to another book about sixteen year olds. And the difference was…. well… astounding. I had to keep reminding myself that Laura Jean was sixteen, not twelve. She sounded twelve. Honestly. It was painful at times how young she sounded. Her “love triangle” (more like love hexagon) was extremely juvenile and, honestly, a bit unrealistic.

What kind of person writes love letters to boys and actually addresses them? I get writing as a release. But actually putting the address on them? Nah. Everything in this novel was really predictable and there seemed to be hardly any character growth for any of the characters in the book. I get that this is a series so maybe the character arc is built out over the series instead of this book, but the only difference I found in Laura Jean is that she sometimes did things on her own and could kind of, sort of, drive herself at the end of the book.

This book compared to The Party (the audiobook I was listening to while also reading this) made me wonder which one is right about how people act at this age, in general. I mean, in one the worst that happened was a small rumor. In the other, it was dark. Even thinking about other popular books of people who are 16, and thinking of my own life at 16, I just feel like Laura Jean is living in a bubble of sunshine, reindeer figurines, and fruitcake cookies when other high schoolers are experiencing a different dose of reality. Laura Jean lives in a great world–but it just didn’t feel real or resonate with me. She felt very childish to me and not like someone I could connect with in any way.

Sorry for my unpopular opinion. I know y’all will disagree. I’m still 100% going to watch the Netflix movie!

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