Google+ Reading Teen: I Did Not Expect To Like This Book

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Did Not Expect To Like This Book

by Andye

To All The Boys I've Loved Before
by Jenny Han
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 15, 2014)
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Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says 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 from imaginary to out of control.
At a Glance:

To All The Boys I've Loved Before was charming, sweet and just plain fun.  Though the main character seemed a little young for her age, the story kept me turning the pages and trying to guess where things were headed.  If you're looking for a quick, and adorable romantic comedy, you should definitely give this book a read!

Expectations:

There are a few reasons that I didn't really expect to love this book.

  • I'm not a contemp reader
  • I didn't hear great things about Burn for Burn
  • When I started this book, I thought the main character sounded about 14, when she's supposed to be 16.
  • I've never read a Jenny Han book
But, Jenny was going to be in the DC area signing, so I thought I'd start the book, and if I liked it, I'd go to the signing.  I started it at about 11:00 at night, expecting to read a few chapters.  At 2:00 in the morning, I was still reading.

Why it worked for me:

  • Even though the main character did seem much younger than a junior in high school (calling her parents "Mommy" and "Daddy" and just being very naive and often immature), I just still liked her.  I mean, I couldn't RELATE to her, exactly, because we are nothing alike, but I still just found her likable and quirky.  
  • The dialog was a lot of fun.  I loved the banter between the sisters, and between Laura Jean and Peter.  I've learned that banter is how I express love...haha.
  • The family dynamics were awesome.  The relationships that were portrayed between the sisters, and their dad was just fantastic.  I feel like that's one of the things that's most lacking in YA and this book really did it justice.
  • They talk a lot about food.  I don't know why I like this, but I do.
  • Laura Jean is not the typical gorgeous girl, who says she's just plain, but everyone think is beautiful, even without makeup.  She's pretty, but a little dorky, and she's ok with that.  I like her confidence, and the fact that she doesn't really feel the need to please people.  Well, except maybe her older sister...
  • Odd love octagon.  There were so many different romantic possibilities/questions/explorations and I really loved it.  I honestly didn't know where this book was going to end up going, and I have to say I was a little surprised.  And happy!  
  • The fake relationship between Peter and Laura Jean was so fun.  (They pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend to save face with the people they like).  I loved how honest they could be with each other because there was just no expectation of romance.  It reminded me of Can't Buy Me Love...you probably don't even know what that is....*sigh*  
I'm Glad I Read It:

Like I said before, I don't read much contemp, so this was a really nice break from the ordinary for me.  I read it in less than 24 hours, which is almost unheard of because I'm the slowest reader ever.  But these chapters were so quick and short that I kept thinking, "Ok, just one more chapter," over and over until I had read the entire book.  It's just one of those books that makes you feel good, and makes you smile, and it even makes you a little sad and frustrated here and there.  But mostly the smiling. 

So Go!

Read it!  Tell me what you think!  Or have you read it already?  Did you like it?  Should I read Jenny's other books?  Oh, and in case you're interested, here's Buzzfeed's 8 Best Fake Boyfriends and Girlfriends in Movies/TV.  :D  Hmmm.....Can't Buy Me Love didn't make the list......


*smooches* ~Andye   

Content:
  • Sexual Content: Moderate (heavier dialog)
  • Language: Moderate/heavy
  • Violence: Minor
  • Other Notables: Mentions of underage drinking/partying
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10 comments:

  1. Well, if the book is as fun as your review, then it's a winner!

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  2. That was a fun review to read, it made me smile. I'm glad I popped by today. I especialy appreciate the content guide at the end. Thanks for including that.

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    1. Oh, thank you!! :D

      If you want more details on the content, I'll be adding it to ParentalBookReviews.com today. :D

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  3. So glad you loved it! One of the things I liked best about it was that I didn't really know where it was going, but I am so glad it went where it did!

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    1. I know! I kept thinking it was going to end up one way, then back the other, then....at one point....when she went to the thing....and saw that one guy....I thought it would go THAT way. haha Loved it!

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  4. You know, I was going to add this to my "not interested" list, but I may give it a go if my library gets a copy. While I'm not really all that interested in how the romance portion goes, I am curious, after reading your review, to see the familial interactions.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this one, Andye. =)

    Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

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    1. Oooh! YAY!! Yeah, the family, especially the sisters, are a really big part of this book. You don't get that too much, from what I've read! Hope you end up enjoying it!

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  5. Nice! This is up next on my reading list and I'm really excited to get to it!

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  6. I feel the EXACT same way about Lara Jean. I couldn't relate to her at all... but I just liked her!! She was super immature and naive... and she also was dreamer and I'm more of a do-er. But she was silly and cute and fun!! And I love the Can't Buy Me Love comparison (I'm an 80's girl!!). I would totally recommend Burn for Burn (and Fire with Fire). I didn't like it AS much as this book, but I thought it was worth reading.

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