Wednesday 13 May 2015

Quick Reviews: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Like many book bloggers I sometimes struggle to write reviews for books that I don't have incredibly strong opinions about but still want to talk about on my blog. As bloggers we often feel pressured to write reviews and feel like we're not 'real' book bloggers if we don't write them, even though they often some of the least read/enjoyed posts. In spite of that I do still find that I want to talk about the books I've read but not necessarily write a big in-depth review or discussion. That's where quick reviews come in, these are going to be shorter, more casual reviews that sum up some of my thoughts about a book in bullet points. This is something that I'm going to be trying and if it's well received I'll keep doing them.

The first quick review is for To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. I thought this book was okay, and I did have some issues with it so this review might come across as a bit of a rant but it really wasn't all bad.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. [summary from Goodreads]

My rating: ☆☆

  • I read To All The Boys I've Loved Before all the way back in January and although I didn't absolutely love it, I've been mulling it over ever since and keep thinking about it from time to time. This is mainly due to some of the issues I had with the book that I just want to get off my chest here. I feel like if I talk about it here then I'll stop thinking about it so much.
  • I picked this up in December when I first started really getting into Booktube because it seemed like everyone was raving about it and saying that it was so sweet and so good and one of their favourite contemporaries. Naturally I was taken in by all the hype and decided to give it a go.
  • I really didn't love this book as much as I thought I was going to, I'm not sure whether it was because of all the hype or because I hadn't read a contemporary in a while so it was just a shock to the system. It was probably a combination of both.
  • I think that the summary is quite mis-leading, it sounds like it's going to be quite a fun book where Lara Jean has to confront all these boys about the letters but it doesn't actually really follow that. It turns out to be more of a sort of confused-romance that is heavily infused with teenage and family drama. It was quite a quick, light and easy read but it just didn't end up being that compelling for me..
  • I couldn't help but think that I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I'd have read it when I was younger. The characters were all fairly young and the book was from the perspective of a 15 year old girl, Lara Jean, so at times the narrative style came across as overly saccharine and quite immature. I was quite conflicted about this because there were things that Lara Jean would do or say that made me want to shake her but then I'd remind myself that she's quite young but then I'd also think 'well she's not actually that young, I don't think I was that immature at her age'. So my thoughts were basically all over the place.
  • I also think the fact that she is called Lara Jean grated on me a bit, double names always make me cringe a bit and it was all a bit too tumblr-esque.
  • I really did find it hard to get invested in the characters and the story. A lot of the things the characters did didn't make a lot of sense and I just kind of ended up being confused about who to root for.
  • It was quite a cute and enjoyable read but I'm not really sure if I'll be picking up the sequel when it comes out. If it comes into my local library then I probably will but I don't think I'll be spending money on it.
Ok so there's my (kind of) quick review of To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. If you don't mind a younger narrative voice and are looking for something light and easy then this might be one to pick up.

Have you read To All The Boys I've Loved Before? What did you think?

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