This past Christmas, my sister gifted me a copy of To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han. It was a series that I had been wanting to read for a while, especially since Netflix turned it into a romantic comedy that everyone was instantly obsessed with.
After reading it, I can see why. The sentiment that the book is better than the movie remains true in the case of this book. I found myself laughing and crying as I read.
To All the Boys I Loved Before is centered around Lara Jean Song Covey, an Asian-American high school junior who pours her heart out into the letters that she writes. She doesn’t send them though; she writes them with hopes that her feelings will disappear. And they seem to.
That is, until her letters are sent out into the world. Now, she has to face the boys that she once loved. Or does she still love them?
This book was a fairly quick and easy read–I finished all three books in the span of five days. I wish I read them slower, so that I could enjoy them more.
The thing that Jenny Han does well with is characterization. All of the characters that are in the series feel real and genuine to me. Especially Lara Jean, since the story is told through her eyes. As I read, I could feel all her emotions, and I only related to them too well–the love that she feels for her sisters, the disappointment when she feels when things don’t work out her way, or the horror at having that hot tub video on social media. Han does a good job at making you feel these things as you flip through the pages.
The reason that I preferred the books to the Netflix film is that the film itself was a bit fast paced. As a viewer, it seemed as though everything was happening one scene after the other with no proper transition, whereas with the books you can see all the whys and hows. The books progress at a steady rate that allows the reader to take in and digest everything as its happening.
If you’re looking for a book to read this Valentine’s Day, To All the Boys I Loved Before would be my book recommendation. I truly believe that you’ll fall in love with Lara Jean Song Covey the same way that I did.
In fact, I was so enraptured by this series that I ended up writing my own letter to someone I cared about very deeply. I ended up writing an article about it for HerCampus UCF, and if you want to read it, it’s called, “Her Story: I Sent a Letter to Someone Who Hurt Me.”
Love Always, and Happy Valentines Day,