What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control


Seriously. I had this on my TBR List since 2014, but it was only the other day that I actually picked it up because I plan to watch the movie adaptation which has been shown on Netflix.

Lara Jean Song Covey is an incoming junior high school student who has never been in a relationship and prefers to spend her free time with her sisters. Yes, she has been in love but only from afar and whatever she can’t express personally, she makes up by writing a letter as a way to let go of her feelings towards the guys.

When I write, I hold nothing back. I write like he’ll never read it. Because he never will. Every secret thought, every careful observation, everything I’ve saved up inside me, I put it all in the letter.

They’re not for love letters in the strictest sense of the word. My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for goodbye. Because after I write letter, I’m no longer consumed by my all-consuming love. If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcism. My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.

Unfortunately all her secret love letters, which she has carefully put in the teal box her late mother gave to her, were mailed. Lara Jean will have to deal with the consequences as her past loves would come to know about her feelings for them. With her big sister whom she always depended on, a little sister who will be her responsibility now, and a dad she has to help, how will she even face the emotional turmoil of confronting her past loves? Will she finally come out of her comfort zone and be ready to do things she has never done before? Or will she retreat more knowing that she could potentially hurt her big sister once the enormity of what she has done comes out?

Honestly, this book has me hooked! I felt like a teenager following Lara Jean’s story as she navigates her way into understanding what her heart really wants. Lara Jean’s character is “relatable”. She’s just an ordinary girl who’s a wallflower at school and would rather keep to herself than go out and party. And then here comes the jock – Peter Kavinsky, suddenly showing an interest in her. Right? That’s every school girl’s dream you people!

Also, I liked how Jenny Han emphasized the strong family ties of the Song Family. I also loved their relationship especially how they help their father. Mr. Covey’s dedication to his family is something I regard highly. He’s so focused on his children’s needs and always tries to keep up with the family’s traditions even though his wife is long gone.

Margot, being the eldest, did a great job of being the role model for her two younger sisters. I commend how she filled in a role that should have been for her mother. She had no choice but to grow up fast.

Kitty, on the other hand, is a handful at such a young age. I’m sensing a rebellious teenager in the making.

Overall, it was a fun read. I can’t remember how many times the book made me giggle or laugh out loud. If you’re looking for some light, cutesy romance, then this is definitely a must read. I must admit though, that I would have enjoyed this more if I read it when I was a little bit younger. It’s full of teenage drama that made me cringe at some point. But hey, I still give it a four! Anything that made me laugh or at least teary-eyed, deserves a four in my review. 😉

Now, it’s time to watch the much hyped movie adaptation on Netflix.

Quotable Quotes

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.

You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.

Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.

Life doesn’t have to be so planned. Just roll with it and let it happen.

You only like guys you don’t have a chance with, because you’re scared.

I don’t have to be so afraid of good-bye, because good-bye doesn’t have to be forever.

I want to say yes, but I don’t want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody else’s first choice.

It feels strange to have spend much time wishing for something, for someone and then one day, suddenly,to just stop.

Relationships are incredibly amorphous. They could get back together. They could stay friends. Who’s to say what will happen in the future?

I see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see them up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you.

To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To really be somebody’s, and to have them be mine.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I want to be brave. I want… life to start happening. I want to fall in love and want a boy to fall in love with me back.

Rating: 4/5

Click the picture below to read my review of the movie.



One thought on “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | Book Review

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