I didn’t expect to finish this book in one day, but it happened. That delightful moment when you open up a new book and you become so captivated by the story and the characters, that you have the hardest time putting it down. This is by far the best feeling any reader could have. To get so wrapped up in one world that you entirely forget about the world you live in. The common phrases of “one more chapter” or “just a few more pages” becomes part of your normal vocabulary. It is that thrill that need for the one more chapter and before you know it, the book is done. You finally come up for air, and suddenly feel more and less fulfilled than before. The book is over, but you are changed as a person and even though you felt time stand still for a few hours, it continued on.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, was a book I drove into last Saturday morning and proceed to be taken over, enchanted and enthralled in a tale of teenager woes. The story is about a 17-year-old girl named Laura Jean, who has some of her past love letters sent to those crushes of her past. When Laura Jean came to the end of a crush or is no longer in love with a boy, she proceeds to write them a letter. The letter tells the boy in question of how much she loved him, why she loved him, and why she doesn’t love them now. For her 5 loves/crushes came 5 letters that were written, and Laura Jean has no intention of sharing these letters. This was the plan until one day at school, an old crush approaches her about receiving one of her letters. Overcome with shock, Laura Jean must come face to face with the boys that broke her heart and be willing to let them back into her life once again.
I hate to admit it but, I kind of liked this book. Mind you it is not a critically acclaimed piece of literature, but it was a cute story about the troubles of being a teenage girl. As someone who was once a teenage girl, I could relate to Laura Jean and the struggles she faced and the decisions she had to make. Okay, maybe as a single woman I still face some of those struggles and overcome similar obstacles. Would I tell my crush that I really liked them? Would I write them a letter then be bold enough to share it with them? Would I be able to pour myself and my heart onto a sheet of paper with the risk of being rejected? I am not necessarily sure that I could. Do women of 29 years of age write letters to their crushes or men of interest now a days? Does it seem silly to write someone a note telling them your feelings when the process seems so juvenile? Yes and No. It does seem very high school to write a letter, but the process of writing love letters goes back to the being of relationships. When Tinder, Twitter, email, Facebook, and Instagram weren’t around, people would exchange letters. Letters of information, of communication and even those of love. Letters of love weren’t necessary always exclusively exchanged between lovers, sometimes they were letters of forbidden love, a declaration of love, and there were even letters that we intended to end a relationship. Could the art of writing love letters be dying out? I certainly hope not! I still love receiving cards and letters from people in my world, and I tend to keep every card I have been given. I am a Words girl; I love letters and words and books, which is why I studied history for my undergraduate and I am now studying English and grammar for my masters. There are just some things in life that require more than 40 characters.
Some of the plot did seem rather silly, but I had to remind myself that being in high school you are silly and stupid. The things you did or thought were cool, were actually not cool and were most likely stupid and blown out of proportion. But hey, that’s high school for you. Jenny Han did an excellent job at portraying the struggles of young love from the view of a 17-year-old girl, while keeping the reader engaged at the same time. If you like Young Adult type books, or want a quick, enjoyable read then this is your book! If you don’t want those things well, then this book isn’t for you. I do not regret spending my Saturday with a lovely piece literature that reminded me of a time that I am happy to never experience again. The only question remains: Would I be so bold as to write a letter to a man I was attracted to and then give it to him? Maybe… if I did it anonymously, but then what would be the point. Maybe someday I’ll post a letter on this blog but use his nickname, while pouring out my heart to a man who may never read it. If I ever did do a post like that, It would be for my own piece of mind with no intention of it going any further, and what a post that would be! I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one!
Buy it on Amazon: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Let me know if you have read this book too and if you liked it! Or what books you are reading for the 2015 Reading Challenge.