Series Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To all the boysI've loved before-2

Hello everyone!

This is my first series review! (Yay!!) But then again, how did I NOT write a series review since I started blogging in May 2017!?

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The true is that I don’t read many series, in general. I gravitate towards standalone books (because I like brevity and have commitment issues…… lol) That being said, I ACTUALLY LOVED THIS SERIES SO MUCH!

 

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.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the characters. Lara Jean is such a sweet and relatable person. On the surface, she is your typical cute, innocent, happy-go-lucky girl. She loves to stay home and bake or work on crafts. Unlike her older sister Margo, who is a high achiever and wants to travel the world, Lara Jean just wants to stay close to her family and close friends. Lara Jean is much more gentle than her younger sister Kitty, who is feisty and sharp-tongued. As we read on, we learn that Lara Jean values her family above all. Lara Jean is different from me in a lot of ways, however, I can’t help but love her from chapter one.

The secondary characters each have personalities and are very real. I adore the members of Lara Jean’s family – Kitty, Margot and their father, who form the foundation of this entire series. The love interests are also interesting: Peter, the popular guy at school, Josh, the next-door neighbour and childhood friend, and John Ambrose McClaren, a member of Model UN who is very intelligent. Then there are minor characters that we hear less about, like Gen or Chris. Just when we think we know a character well, they surprise us for better or for worse, which I think is like real life. That’s what I love about this series – Each character is so believable and human, and I care about each and every one of them.

I love the family dynamics in this novel, and the focus on family. This is often ignored in YA novels, and I always ALWAYS praise a novel that does this well. The interactions between Lara Jean, Kitty, Margot, and their father are often laugh-out-loud hilarious or heartwarming (or both at the same time.) Sometimes the sisters get on each others’ nerves, but beneath it all, they love each other very much. It is touching to see how the girls take care of their father since their mother’s death years ago.

Like all families, Lara Jean’s family evolves and changes. When Margot moves away for college, Lara Jean will have to take the responsibility as the oldest child in the household. At the same time, Kitty is growing up and learning more about the world. And although their mother has passed away, her presence is felt throughout the course of the novel. Each of the Song sisters is shaped by their relationship with their family members. I love how family is the underlying theme of this entire novel.

The plot is somewhat predictable. Usually I can foresee what the main conflict of the book would be, although the resolution surprised me at times. Also, because I loved the characters so much, I wanted to keep reading regardless.

I adore the light-hearted, humorous, and easy-to-read style. The dialogues are witty and flow so well. On many instances I forget that I am reading instead of experiencing the novel. There is also more than one occasion where I stayed up at night to read JUST one more chapter.

The Bottom Line: 4/5 stars!

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an excellent start to the series, and got me hooked right away. ★★★★/5
  • P.S. I Still Love You is my least favourite book of this series- It feels like a filler since the main conflict of the first half extends from the last plot point of the first novel. ★★★/5
  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean is my favourite book of the series, and drew the series to an end in the most amazing way possible. (No spoilers here.)  ★★★★★/5

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a light-hearted romance and a coming-of-age story where about a girl becoming a young woman. If you love contemporary YA, this series will sweep you off your feet. 

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Do you prefer standalone books or series? Do you have a favourite series?

29 thoughts on “Series Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

  1. MichaelK says:

    I read both but series represent a different level of commitment. Being a fantasy fan I am accustomed to series with their pros and cons. I tend to like series with loose connections between books. Of course since I am a mood reader a standalone book is easier to pick up than a series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Yes! Series definitely require more commitment. I love it when I REALLY get into a series, in which case I can sometimes get through a series in a week or so. However, there are a few series that I’ve started that I am not as excited to finish. I am also a mood reader which is why I tend to read a lot of standalone books 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    Great review Sophie! I love this series too. And I also love how family is the underlying theme of the entire series. I agree that the plot can be predictable, but I find most modern ones are to a point, right? The characters though are why I keep reading. I gave the first book a 4 too but found I was still excited to keep reading. ❤ I LOVE starting series but hahahahahaaha most remain as standalones to me…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Dani! Thank you ❤ Haha yes, I find that most contemporary books are a bit predictable, so I guess that is unavoidable? It is also the characters which keep me interested in the novel 🙂
      I think I also have a habit of starting series rather than finishing them haha 🙂 It takes commitment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vanessawolfe says:

    Yes, I agree! I enjoyed the first and felt so-so about the second. I have yet to finally read the third. I’ve heard so many good things about the last book. Ahhh. I’m so excited. Thanks for sharing this post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Zoie says:

    Awww family-focused books always steal my heart 😊 I’m a huge fan of reading light-hearted and fun books once in awhile too, because those kind of books can save me from falling into reading slumps. I’m actually interested in reading this book because of your description of Lara Jean’s older sister, Margo — the “high achiever” who “wants to travel the world” — because that sounds like me 😅😆. I’m glad you enjoyed reading this series, Sophie, and great review! 😋💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Zoie! If you are a fan of light-hearted and family-focused books, then I have a feeling that you might like this series 🙂 I also enjoy light-hearted reading, which is the perfect way to relax after a long day! Margo has a lot of personality, and personally I relate to her the most in the novel as well 🙂 Thank you Zoie. Hope that you will read this series one day and that you will enjoy it as much as I did 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie says:

    Lovely review, Sophie! I am so happy you enjoyed this series so much, it is one of my favorites. I love how real Lara Jean feels and the importance that her family has in her story, it is so great and, authentic, I think. I think my favorite was the last book as well? It had a bittersweet feeling to it, for sure, but it perfectly wrapped things up ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you Marie ❤ Yes this is now one of my favourite series as well! I agree that Lara Jean and her family seem so real in this novel. The ending was bittersweet, for sure, which I was not expecting since I thought it would be a HEA given the genre :') However I agree that it was the perfect way to wrap it up. If it were a more conclusively happy ending, I think it would be too unrealistic 🙂 I do like that there is some room for interpretation. Thanks Marie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Chauncey Rogers says:

    Nice review! I feel like it’s pretty uncommon for people to love the finale for a series–seems they often miss the mark. It’s always to find a series that really drives it all home at the end! I’ve seen lots of reviews for the first installment. Thanks for providing me with a series review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Great review for this series Sophie, I’ve never tried to write a series review for my blog either, but I’m actually going to be attempting one soon. I definitely prefer series over standalones so I guess that makes it a little more surprising right?
    I’m really glad you enjoyed these books as well, and that you thought the last one ended Lara Jean’s story on a high note. I still have to read Always and Forever, Lara Jean but hopefully I can get to it soon(ish). I love contemporary books that focus on families, it’s one of the reasons Becky Albertalli is one of my favourite authors and one of the reasons I loved this series because Lara Jean has an incredible relationship with her dad and sisters.
    Again great review! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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