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To All the Boys I've Loved Before (1) Paperback – January 26, 2016
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"An ultimately compelling exploration of teenage growth and young love." ― Kirkus
A wonderful choice for fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins. -- Booklist ― March 15, 2014
In this lovely, lighthearted romance...readers will remember the Song sisters and the boys in their lives long after the final page turn. ― School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
One of the 15 Most Exciting Books of 2014 ― TeenVogue.com
"This book is amazing." ― HelloGiggles.com
"A wonderful choice for fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins." ― Booklist
About the Author
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 26, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1442426713
- ISBN-13 : 978-1442426719
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Lexile measure : 630L
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #33,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But just as always, the book is soooo much better!
Lara Jean is a 17 years old teenage girl who likes to live in her fantasy more than in real life. Her mom died due to an unfortunate event and was basically raised by her older sister. Since her sister, Margo moved to Scotland to attend university she became the "oldest Song girl" and suddenly she has so much more responsibilities than before that forces her to do thing she has never had to.
She is a normal girl with crushes and everything, the only difference is that she doesn't like to act out on it. She has a habit of writing love letters to kind of clear out her feelings, but never sends them. Somehow, the letters get sent and to save face, she makes a deal with a boy to help her save face in front of her crushes.
The storyline itself is worth the time and money, but the characters, the events and the writing style are what make this book one of the best books I've read this year.
The main characters are real. They are normal teenagers with normal problems I could relate to. They are not exaggerated at all, they are sweet, sometimes childish and has thoroughly planned personalities. I had no problem believing they are real human beings. Lara Jean is quirky and lovely and Peter is the hot and cool but sweet guy. They both have faults and that's why I loved them.
The Song sisters dynamics was interesting to watch. I also have a brother living in another country so I know what it feels like to be afraid of not being able to keep in touch with someone you love and look up to. It was pretty realistic.
So to sum up, I loved it from page one to the end, I think I might start the next book immediately :) Highly recommend it :)
What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL story. Ahhh Jenny Han you have stolen my heart!
When I began this, two words came to mind: 'Little Women' and I will say that even now that I've finished, I do still suspect that the author may be a Louisa May Alcott fan because so much of the premise of 'To all The Boys I've Loved Before' is reminiscent of Little Women.
There are only three sisters in this one and they are Korean and modern, but they have a very similar bond those in the afore mentioned story and a few of the plot elements are the same: the boy next door they all fall in love with in their own way who ends up with the eldest sister, the brave, quirky middle child who is more Anne Shirley than Jan Brady, and the hot-headed, mischievous little sister manipulating the eldest ones and every situation behind the scenes. This kid is an absolute handful and if she were my sister well, I would have gone on a cupcake-baking strike for what she does in the beginning of this story. It's not as bad as burning something precious in a fire, but it is akin to it by modern standards.
The sisters have a lovely bond but off the bat, I'm not the biggest fan of Margo. She's just a bit bleh in the way that little Kitty is a bit overbearing. Margo is the oldest who has been the mother figure in the home since their biological mother died, and she's leaving now to go to college in Scotland and leaving the middle sister in charge. Not only that, but she's leaving the boyfriend behind too.
Look I don't know if it's possible to actually dole out spoilers with a book like this that everyone won't see coming already, but Lara has always been in love with her big sister's boyfriend and once the sister leaves well, you can imagine what notions occur to her.
It's pretty predictable but I will say that that's where the predictability ends.
Basically, Lara has written five love-letters in her life to silently farewell a boy once she's over her crush on them, but instead of sending them to the boy, she'd held onto them. It's cute and it's something I have done so right off the bat, I feel like this character is a bit of a soul-mate of mine. But, shock and horror, those letters end up finding their way into the boys hands and though this probably could have been played out with a bit more mortification involved (come on! they wouldn't all take it so well!) it sets up an exciting beginning to a story that DOES NOT FAIL TO DELIVER.
I love how this novel develops. The things that you think are unexpected are the things that you end up hoping for without realising that you're hoping for them, and the things that happen that you see coming hit you square in the gut even though you see them coming. I once had a very nice reviewer use the word 'Tummy Butterflies' to describe one of my own novels and I have to say that I felt like I'd feasted on butterflies once I got into this. I just love love LOVE this heroine, and I love the male characters and Peter ohmigosh he's my new underage sexy book boyfriend. he reminds me like a modern day take on Gilbert Blythe when he was young and clumsy with his ego.
This story is just beautiful and moving but never too shocking or too predictable. Some of the 'touching' moments between the sisters made me want to dry-retch a little but I have an incredibly sweet sister of my own so I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to be so tightly bonded. Unfortunately for me, there are seven years between my older sister and I, and sixteen between my eldest and me so we barely got to live together, let alone go through puberty together and I applaud the author for opting for sweet, rather than bitchy for the dynamic between all three of them.
This story isn't over and I love that. I love how it ended, not a cliffhanger but with the promise of more, and I love reading a novel from a Korean girl's point of view because it's an absolute first for me. I loved the writing, the pacing, the surprises, the way it made me feel for her, the way it made me feel for everyone involved really, and I'll be getting book 2 the second I can.
To All The Boys I've Loved before isn't modern or risky, but it doesn't infantalize teenagers either and I admire how a story can be so sweet and yet so current. Sex is mentioned a lot but never taken too far, there are a few cuss words involved that were used in the perfect way, and it forces you to care for people without shoving it down your throat.
Read if you love the old Judy Blume and Caroline B Cooney novels of the 70's to 90's, read if you're a teen, read if you're an adult- just read and have your heart stolen :)
There’s really only one way to describe this book and you live it. When Lara Jean would go through something, or get hurt, I was right there with her. I knew from the beginning Josh was always just gonna be a friend to her because I mean how do you date your sister’s first. I did kind of like Peter from the start because I could visualize him. When he told her it was never gonna happen and he didn’t like or even look at her that way; I could have strangled him. Lara Jean is just so innocent and like Peter finally tells her, she’s scared to put herself out there in real life and would rather like the unreachable. Kitty was a very good character, a lot of spunk and difficult like a little sister should be.
I also liked how Peter had to lead/show Lara Jean how a couple acts. I loved this whole trilogy, but I just want to review one book at a time. This is a book that while making you going through the emotions you still have hope.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is about Lara Jean, the middle child of three sisters. Lara Jean and her siblings are being raised single handedly by her father, and you learn about how that has shaped the dynamic of not just her life but also that of her older sister Margot, and her younger sister Kitty.
With Margot moving away to university, it is Lara Jeans time to come into her own, to prove she can 'do it all', and that she is a 'mature and refined adult', but unfortunately for Lara Jean it all goes a little bit wrong.
After an unexpected incident of letters she'd penned to boys from her past and present get mailed, she is forced to own up to her crushes, or in some cases make up a lie to get out of feeling mortified.
The book has some real funny and gripping moments and is very believably told from the perspective of a teenager. It is well constructed and I couldn't put it down.
I wanted to read this book before watching the Netflix production and I am glad I chose to do this first, as there's just always something better about a book compared to the screen adaptations.
I would recommend this book to all romance lovers, someone who would like to read something current and light-hearted.
Lara Jean Covey is the middle one of the three 'Song sisters', who are extremely close after the death of their mother a few years back. The only gift Lara Jean had from her mother, that was not duplicated to her sisters, is a teal-coloured hat box in which she keeps a bundle of love letters. These are not letters she's received but ones she wrote and never posted, letters written to help her get over the various crushes she has had over the years. Then one day, the letters are mysteriously posted, leading to all sorts of complications.
I'm not usually keen on stories that go into a lot of detail about the characters lives; I prefer to get right to the action! But I absolutely loved this book because of all the detail about Covey family life. I loved the way the sisters try to encourage their hapless father to get out and date again, by ironing his tie and practically shoving him out the door. I loved the down-to-earth humour of Lara Jean's 'fake' boyfriend Peter: "As soon as you and I are done, he's gonna pull some cheesy-ass move and, like, profess his love for you with a boom box. I'm telling you, I know how guys think." I even adored Lara Jean's eccentric best friend Chris, who turns up in the middle of the night for sleepovers.
To All The Boys I've Loved Before is sweet, funny, and heart-warming without even trying. The characters are adorable and I completely fell in love with them. So I have no hesitation in recommending it to fans of contemporary romance, romance and romcoms, whatever their age! One of my favourite reads this year.
If you’ve watched the movie and/or read the books, you will know that TATBILB follows sixteen-year-old, Lara Jean Song Covey and her love letters. Lara Jean has a thing for writing love letters, dedicated to all of her crushes up until the present, however, she will never send them out. She keeps them treasured away for her and only her to read over and over again. When a little teasing at the dinner table takes a turn for the worst, all five of Lara Jean’s crushes receive their letters, one including the beloved and popular, Peter Kavinsky.
Two rather big and life-changing events in Lara Jean and Peter’s lives leave them both in positions that they really need to get themselves out of and what could help that more than fake dating? Probably a lot, but this is the story of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, that is going to have you head over heels in love with them within seconds.
Not only was Lara Jean trying to cover her back from a previous crush that could turn back around on her really hard, she was also having to deal with her eldest sister, Margot, moving to Scotland for University. The Song sisters have such a unique and special bond between the three of them and it did have me a little green with envy throughout, not growing up with sisters of my own (Shush don’t tell my brothers that though, I still love them more than life itself). With Margot having taken on the mom role, after their mother sadly passed away, Lara Jean knew that this was now going to be passed on as her responsibility and she needed to continue the hard work Margot had put in to taking care of their father and youngest sister, Kitty.
TATBILB is such an easy read, with chapters only taking up to 1-3 minutes each to read which I L.O.V.E.D!! I absolutely live for short chapters, as my attention span is about 5 minutes – if a chapter is longer than that, there’s a slight chance you’re going to lose me half way through for a little bit. However, that being said, the longest chapters of this book take up to no more than 12 minutes, which is an absolute joy, so thank you Jenny for keeping your books short and sweet. Being as it is the year I turned 22, I always feel a bit nervous reading books based in school’s, like people might find out and judge me? I don’t know, it’s a stupid thought, however, I really just love the simplicity of being taken back to school, where all you had to worry about was whether that boy you like likes you back or getting your homework completed in time or whether or not you was going to be invited to the latest and trashiest party – none of it is really as important as you think when you’re sixteen.
The book is so incredibly cosy and I found myself yearning to have the type of dynamic and vibe that the Covey household does. I also found myself feeling determined to be as productive as Lara Jean – with her love for creating scrapbooks, testing new Korean face-masks and consistently baking for her family, I wish I had her self-care routine! I do really admire Lara Jean, not only for her outstanding skin-care routine, but also because she really does prove herself and show everybody that she is more capable of life than they all think. She comes across as the shy girl who loves to make crafts and bake, yet her confidence shines so bright and her ways of dealing with hard situations really make you want to applaud her. Don’t get me wrong, although the book makes you want to believe she is living this perfect life, Lara Jean definitely has her flaws – confrontation being the main one and I really can relate to that, as I am the worst person when it comes to confrontation. I’d rather just run away and not deal with anything than have to face something that could be either painful or just straight up awkward.
You’d be crazy to not love the growing friendship between Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. Two complete opposites, yet they somehow make it work. Rekindling their friendship was really heart-warming to watch, as you learn that they had been friends since their childhoods, yet walked in opposite directions of each other the more the years went by, and the closer Peter got to the wicked witch, Genevieve. The more they were fake dating and getting to know each other, you could see how much they were growing on each other, romantically, however, they still have each other’s main goals in their heads and stop themselves from admitting how they really feel. I really do believe that they are an unexpected couple who are absolutely made for each other.
One book down, two more to go. I really enjoyed it and I’m definitely looking forward to diving into the second book and seeing where the story goes. Though by the end of the book I did start to fall for Peter, he was a bit of a douche for most of the book. Book Peter has nothing on movie Peter. And I was 100% not a fan of Margot in the book, though I wasn’t exactly her fan in the movie either.
ANYWAY! Despite that, it was a great read and I’m going to start on book two now, and hope the paperbacks become available somewhere soon.
Reading this book was like eating a sweet treat on a wintery day, which is exactly what I wanted to do after finishing this thanks to all those baking references – sugary doughnut, anyone? I can't wait to read the next two books.