Release Date: August 7th 2014
Source: Sent from publisher
Buy it From: Amazon UK
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. 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 from imaginary to out of control...
Sometimes, I get so sucked into fantasy worlds and paranormal stories, that I forget good contemporary novels exist. And then I pick one up, and can’t put it down for two days straight, reminding me just how much I’ve missed them. This was that book for me, the book that reminded me that the woes of a junior in high school can still make an exciting and dramatic story.
Lara Jean writes a love letter to every boy she’s ever loved. She doesn’t do it in the hopes of them reading it and returning her feelings. She doesn’t write them with intention of the boys in question ever reading them. She writes the letters purely for herself, to help her get over her feelings. She pours her heart out onto the paper, before folding it away. It’s her own way of getting over the boys she loves. But then her letters get sent out to those boys.
I have to say, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. It’s such an awesome idea for a story! But this book isn’t all about the complicated boy issues that stem from the letters being sent. It also has a strong family element running throughout. It shows the realistic relationship between Lara Jean and her older sister Margot, who moves away to college in Scotland. Being an older sister myself, I could relate to the strains that appeared in their relationship.
Lara Jean is also a relatable character throughout the story. Yes, she’s a little naive, but that’s what I love about her character. I enjoyed reading her progression and how she learnt to deal with the situations that are being thrown at her. Before the letters are sent out, she’d never had to come clean about her feelings with a guy before. Seeing her finally face up to that was touching to read.
I loved Kitty, the youngest sister of the family. She made the story a little more entertaining at times. Again, the older sister in me couldn’t help but relate to Lara Jean’s relationship with Kitty. Even though she’s the youngest, her advice appears to be the wisest at times, and it’s adorable.
And then there are the guys who the letters were about, the main two being Josh and Peter. Josh was Margot’s boyfriend, which instantly makes the whole ‘love letter’ dilemma a little more dramatic and embarrassing for Lara Jean. Josh is a close friend to her, and had no idea of her feelings towards him, so it sends their friendship hurtling into complications.
Peter, however, is the complete opposite to Josh. He was Lara Jean’s first kiss, but now he is one of the most popular guys in school, and has an over-controlling ex girlfriend. I knew I was going to like Peter more and more as the story went on. I liked seeing the popular, cool guy soften down a little, and show a bit more of his real personality. Although the boys are completely different, I loved them both. It was easy to understand why Lara Jean had feelings for the two of them in the first place.
This is a touching story, with adorably quirky characters to love. Jenny Han has a wonderfully entertaining writing style that’s easy to read. If you want a cute, relaxing summer read, this is the next book you should pick up.