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To All the Boys I've Loved Before Hardcover – April 15, 2014
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Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before Playlist
For every book I write, I create a playlist that I go back to again and again to help transport me into the story and into the main character's mindset. The To All the Boys playlist is a blend of songs that Lara Jean would listen to, songs that remind me of her, and songs that score certain scenes in my head.
- 1. "Please Speak Well of Me" by The Weepies: I came back to this song again and again because I could picture Lara Jean listening to it as she wrote her letters. It's so sweet and full of yearning.
- 2. "Crazy" by Alanis Morissette: This song has such great momentum. You feel like something big is on the verge of happening. It's a great song to listen to if you're writing a book and you need something big to happen.
- 3. "Only in Dreams" by Weezer: I could completely picture Peter driving around in his mom's minivan listening to this song at top volume.
- 4. "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O’Sullivan: Lara Jean has been in love a lot, but she's always alone in love, and she doesn't actually mind it much. I can see her singing along to this song and smiling.
- 5. "Teenage Love Song"by Rilo Kiley: Jenny Lewis has the sweetest voice, and this song tells a whole story of love lost. I like that it takes teenage love very seriously because I do too.
- 6. "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" by Betty Everett: This song is on the Mermaids soundtrack, which Lara Jean listens to while organizing her first-week back-to-school outfits.
- 7. "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel: Lara Jean loves to bake and she would definitely bake to this song.
- 8. "Our House" by Crosby, Still, Nash & Young: Lara Jean is a girl who loves to be at home, to be cozy and putter around the house. For me, this song is the embodiment of that feeling.
- 9. "Thirteen" by Big Star: There is no song more nostalgic than this. It feels like a high school experience I never had but wish I did. "Won't you let me walk you home from school? Won't you let me meet you at the pool?"
- 10. "Love That Girl" by Raphael Saadiq: This is so Lara Jean to me. It's modern but it feels vintage at the same time, with the Motown claps and call and response choruses.
- 11. "Heartbeats" by The Knife: I listened to this song over and over while writing this book. It's very angsty and emo and kind of tough.
- 12. "I'm Gonna Get You Yet" by The Dixie Cups: In a lot of ways, Lara Jean is a throwback kind of girl. She loves ‘60s girl groups, vintage clothes, and the romance of a different time.
- 13. "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: This song of course appears in Dirty Dancing, the quintessential coming of age movie for teenage girls who dream big.
- 14. "Love on Top" by Beyonce: I love how hopeful this song is. It's so driving around with your sisters with the windows all the way down.
- 15. "P.S. I Love You" by Nellie McKay: An open window, a breeze, and a glass of lemonade – that is this song. And incidentally, the sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before is called P.S. I Still Love You.
From School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—In this lovely, lighthearted romance, high school junior Lara Jean writes never-to-be-mailed letters to every boy she's ever liked. The teen falls for Josh, the boy next door. The catch: he's her older sister's very recent ex-boyfriend. But when her letters are accidentally sent out, the protagonist is desperate to convince Josh that she's over her crush. Peter, a popular boy at school, also received one of Lara Jean's love letters, and—hoping to make his ex-girlfriend jealous—agrees to be her "pretend" beau. Once older sister Margot leaves for college in Scotland, Lara Jean's interactions with Josh are more complicated. Lara Jean also must take care of her younger sister, Kitty, since their mother died six years ago. Unlike typical teen romances, this is as much the story of a family as it is about falling in love. Family traditions are skillfully woven into the first-person narrative, including some from the mother's Korean heritage. Though the three sisters are very close, they also have conflicts to resolve, and Lara Jean's perspective as a middle child suddenly left in charge is compelling. Readers will be intrigued by the narrator and Peter's complicated relationship. Does she really love Josh, or is Peter the one for her? Most teens will guess the outcome but enjoy the many twists and turns along the way in this lyrical novel. Readers will remember the Song sisters and the boys in their lives long after the final page turn.—Miranda Doyle, Lake Oswego School District, OR
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Top customer reviews
Your the cutest! I loved how you reminded me what it was like to be a teenager again. I have to admit that I wrote a letter or two to fellows that I had a crush on back in the day and you reminded me of all of those silly, yet amazing, antics. Basically, I already said it, but I stand by my thoughts that you're one of the cutest Contemporaries I read this year.
-The White Unicorn
This is the first book that I've ever read by Jenny Han and I have to say that I have a feeling that I'll be reading many more. I was instantly impressed with the grasp that Han has on what it's like to be a teenager. Lara Jean isn't your typical, boy crazy, female and yet she still has all of these feelings that she writes down on paper. Oddly enough, I have a feeling that she and I would have been great friends in high school.
I thought that the book would end up being more about the letters, but in the long run, it was more about the things that the letters ended up throwing in Lara Jean's life and the ways that she handled them. See, she likes Josh, but he's been dating her sister Margot for two years. When the letters go out, after he and Margot break up, Lara Jean freaks and starts a fake relationship with Peter, another guy who got a letter. And then the games begin.
Sure the book is full of swoons and mishaps and cute happenings, but I loved that at it's core, it's about a lot of different kinds of relationships. Lara Jean is navigating her changing family dynamic, which includes a single father and two sisters. As a girl who never had a sister, it's fun to see what that's like and I feel that Han gives a pretty honest look into that. It's also interesting to see Lara Jean determine what the difference between platonic feelings and romantic feelings are. I felt like that part of the story was done really well, as that can be confusing for any teen.
The two main men of the story are Josh and Peter. In all honesty, I couldn't really stand Josh. I thought he was really selfish and had this habit of only thinking about himself. He and Lara Jean's friendship felt like it was all about him, and like it was a little fake. On the other hand Lara Jean and Peter are in a fake relationship that feels real. They have issues, but I liked that Han didn't make their story super easy either. It created all the right kinds of tension.
As soon as I got to the end of the book, I wanted the next one. I didn't know that it was possible to leave a reader in suspense with the ending of a cute, contemporary, series book, but clearly, you can. Jenny Han, what did you do to me?
If you're looking for a book full of family, relationships and good, old fashioned, letter writing, this is the book for you! Plus, it takes place around Christmas, so it's the perfect Holiday read!
You can read this and many other reviews on my YA book blog <a href="http://thewhiteunicornfiction.blogspot.com/">The White Unicorn!</a>
I have to admit that while I was swept up in Lara Jean’s story right from the start, I wasn’t completely sure that I was going to like her. She’s very naive and kind of…a goody goody. She turned out to be so endearing though. She’s quirky, smart, and just a tiny bit awkward. In other words, so easy to relate to! I honestly loved almost every character. Lara Jean is super close with her family. Their interactions were so well done. I especially loved Kitty, Lara Jean little sister. She was sweet and precocious. I think I liked Lara Jean’s older sister Margo the least of all. She was just so uppity and a bit overbearing. She redeemed herself some by the end, thankfully.
I said quite a few times lately that I’m not a fan of the fake dating trope, but I think I have to take those words back now. The fake relationship between Peter and Lara Jean in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was just too adorable to resist! The banter between the two was so fun. I loved watched them slowly start to like each other and then start to realize they liked each other. I also loved their honesty with each other. It was refreshing. I’m so anxious to see where things go between them.
The audiobook version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is so fabulous! Laura Knight Keating does such a good job narrating. Her voice fits Lara Jean perfectly. She captures the emotion of the story well. She can switch from being playful to earnest in a heartbeat and sweep you right along with her. I hope she narrates more YA contemporaries in the future. They will be must listens for me.
I loved this book so much. I’m so happy I didn’t have to wait to start book 2 (or 3)! I’m already dreading the inevitable end to my time with these delightful characters. For now I’m just going to savor all the fun.
Lara Jean's was immature at times, and I was annoyed with her character in the beginning. This really did not seem like was about a Junior in HS. She did grow on my a little as the story went on. I really enjoyed Kitty and her quick wits.
I was team Peter even with his sarcasm. The love triangle did not bother me as much with Genev. It was HS love and first loves. I liked the development of the relationship between Laura Jean and Peter. I thought the Josh aspect was weird and would have been strange if she ended up with her sisters ex-boyfriend and first love.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. I know I am behind on reading this, but I can't wait to read the second book to see what happens with these relationships.
Most recent customer reviews
For the first part of this book all I could think about was how cliché this whole story is, but then when I finished, I realized I didn’t even...Read more
Presently at this moment, I am writing this review and swaying to my Lara Jean Motown playlist on Spotify and eating an oatmeal raisin cookie.Read more