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!?
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.