Published by; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Hello lovelies! I have been waiting to write and post this review until I could finish this trilogy. It took me four days to read all three books and that should tell you all you need to know; this series is capital A – mazing. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel because of the age of characters and romance aspect of this series, but I’m here to tell you, it did not matter, not one bit. Sure, I’m a decade+ out of high school but this truly hit me right in the feels.
I’ll start by saying that Jenny Han has done an amazing job at writing a story that can appeal to any age. And let’s not forget that they are making a Netflix movie out of it – that is making big moves and premiering August 17th. Book one starts off with high school girl, Lara Jean who is passionate about love. So much so that she writes love letters to every boy she’s ever loved, five in total. The letters are heartfelt, bold and for Lara Jean’s eyes only. They aren’t meant to be shared, except that one day they are. Somehow Lara Jean’s letters get mailed out and she has no idea how to handle the boys that show up with her letters.
I don’t want to ruin the books for anyone so I’m not going into much detail about books two and three. What I will say is that there was something tickling the back of my mind in book two, something that seemed vaguely familiar. I couldn’t for the life of me pinpoint what it was but I kept reading, craving every word. There were moments in book two that broke my heart and took my breath away. There were moments that made me light up with a smile. As soon as it ended, I cracked book three.
Three chapters in to book three and it finally hit me. Nostalgia. That is what kept me so invested in this series. I had a moment where Lara Jean was baking something for the boys at school and I thought to myself, “that could have been me in high school.” Holy shit…..that WAS me in high school. I remember baking things – mostly during my senior year for friends, teachers and the football team. The boys used to fight at football banquets over who would get my chocolate chip cheesecake first. The week that seniors skipped school because the lower grades were testing, I showed up early to bake for the teachers who had to be there. Cinnamon rolls, tarts, pastries, whatever I could get my hands on and had time to whip up each morning.
As I continued with book three, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to remember and appreciate my time in high school. There was something else…I wanted someone to pay attention to me the way a certain someone pays attention to Lara Jean. The way he remembers movies she likes or her favorite foods. But then I remembered I did have that. I once mentioned to my first boyfriend about an ice skating adventure I got to go on and how much fun I had. He plotted together with my mom and they surprised me at an ice skating rink (a couple hours away) and we skated to our song and had a wonderful time.
I know this seems awfully personal for a book review, but I just can’t help but share how much this book made me remember and appreciate things from a time before. How different young love looked to me back then. Prior to this series if you’d have asked me how I’d describe high school I would have replied, “emotional. dreadful. distracting.” Even though I graduated with honors and had a all those experiences I listed above, I remembered the hard and sad things the most. I tell you all of this to tell you that this book may do you some good. It may bring out the suppressed memories you might owe yourself to revisit.