Tuesday, 30 September 2014

TBR Tuesday: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Jenny Han

PAGES: 355
RELEASE DATE: 15th April 2014
EDITION: US hardback, purchased
SHELF LIFE: six months

Shug, The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, We’ll Always Have Summer, Burn for Burn, Fire with Fire, Ashes to Ashes

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved – five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say 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 form imaginary to out of control.

Jenny Han’s Summer trilogy is the epitome of my perfect contemporary YA so my need for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was great. I saved it for as long as I could, but over the weekend, I finally caved. And it was delicious.

Lara Jean, Margot and Kitty are the Song girls. They are a team, a band of sisters to keep daddy under control and to look after each other. Their relationship feels genuine and fraught with the realistic tension of sisters growing up and the threat of growing apart. It’s such a refreshing focus for YA; I want more books to focus on sisterly relationships. The connection between the three girls is constantly evolving over the course of the novel, especially as Margot, the eldest, leaves home to go to college in Scotland. Lara Jean is now the oldest and has to take over the responsibilities of the head of the house.

The loss of Margot from the house throws up an undertone of sadness from me. After their mother’s death it fell to Margot to look after everything; she became the stand-in mum for Lara Jean and Kitty and although she’s judgey, pushy and controlling, I felt sorry for her. She can’t have had much of a childhood with the weight of two sisters on her shoulders.

As well as the new tonne of responsibilities resting with Lara Jean, she also has the escaped love letters to contend with. The very idea makes my blood boil, my skin crawl and my entire body cringe – Lara Jean’s situation is quite possibly one of my very worst nightmares. It changed Lara Jean. She was catapulted into a whole new life at school and challenged the way she thought about people. I have to admit that I veered wildly between my feelings for Peter, and I still can’t decide. Josh, however, has my heart securely packaged. But I’ll let you read it for yourself to see who she chooses, if she chooses at all, that is...

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a gorgeous and heart-warming tale of sisters, falling in love with the one you never expected to and the importance of a love letter. PS I Still Love You can’t come soon enough.

Absolutely not. I’m surprised I held out for as long as I did! I’m a huge fan of Jenny Han’s contemporary and I’ll read all of it.


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