sábado, 4 de abril de 2015

To all the boys I’ve loved Before


Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Year: 2014
Ranking: 4,2 / 5
 
Synopsis


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.
But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

The Author

Jenny Han was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and she went on to graduate school at the New School in New York City, where she received her MFA in Writing for Children. She lives in Brooklyn.
Jenny Han wrote her first published book, Shug, while she was in college. Her next project was a trilogy for young adults about a girl's coming of age during summers. The trilogy, which includes The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. She released a new book in 2014 called To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Kirkus Reviews said of the book: "An ultimately compelling exploration of teenage growth and young love”.

Personal Experience with This Book

I had this book on my shelf already long ago and only until now I've put in the task of reading it. I must say that the book charmed me. I read it exactly in four days and thanks to it I left the reading slump where I was so I'm very glad I chose to start my month with this book.

Let's talk about the plot of the book. The story is quite interesting at first by the premise of the letters. However, when the letters are sent, the story completely stops focusing on that fact and becomes a more cliché story: the boy and the girl pretending to be a couple for certain reasons only they understand.

When the story takes this direction is very easy to know what is going to happen and it becomes quite predictable, really. I must say, however, that the cliché and predictability of the story did not bother me at all. Even if it took points from my final grade, it did not affect the way I felt when reading the book and why the grade went over 4 in my ranking.

When the letters we went, I already knew who had sent them. I also knew at least one of those who had received the letters and for that reason I knew there'd be a love triangle somewhere and a feeling of betrayal and guilt somewhere too. What I did not predict was the way the romance flourished and how the secondary characters were slowly giving a hint of the story that I did not see coming. Also they played a crucial role in the development of the romance.

I must say that although the book was supposed to be a romantic novel, it felt more family related to me. Also we can see the fact that Lara Jean is growing and maturing as a sister an as a person. She is learning new things and trying out other new things that she never tried before because of fear or because she knew her sister would not approve.

I loved the main characters. Lara Jean is a teenager who has a personality that I could relate with a lot. For her, family is really important and always puts her sisters and dad above everything around her. She is completely opposite to her best friend but that does not let them not understand each other in such a wonderful way that their differences does not matter much. Also, she has this way of making you fall in love with her personalityThe problem is that not many people know her as she really is.

Peter is simply refreshing. That sounded weird. But I seriously enjoyed this character because every time I read his dialogs it felt like that. He is not the type of guy who plays with girls or anything, but it is the one everyone loves and wants to be around. In the words of Lara Jean "He is a person who makes others feel that they are special". I loved watching their interaction with Kitty in particular.

The secondary characters also played an important role in the plot. First, we have the family of Lara Jean. They are very close and you can see that there is a bond between them that is hard to break. I think it's spectacular that the author put this family together.

Margot (the eldest sister), who has taken charge of her sisters all her life because her mother died several years ago, is leaving his role as big sister to go to study abroad in college. I loved the relationship between these two sisters. They knew each other perfectly but Margot still had that vibe that characterized as the oldest one.

Kitty was just Kitty. I love this girl. I think she’s even more mature than Lara Jean and Margot together. Besides she made me remember a lot to my little sister every time I read one of her dialogues. And her interactions with both Josh and Peter were just adorable.

Josh does not have much participation in the book; I talk about his actual appearances. But his presence it is very much important in the story. First, because it is the ex-boyfriend of Margot and second because it is the main reason why Lara Jean comes to play the game that Peter proposed. Josh is a character that annoyed me some times. This guy did not even know what his heart felt. Seeing he in pain  made me feel bad for not liking him that much but I always thought he had to put his feelings in order.

About the writing style of the author I can say that I consider it quite normal. There was nothing poetic or anything, but I neither considered bad so I cannot say anything bad about it.

Overall I liked the story by the way how it developed and not by the subject itself. I loved that she has left the book where it was left because then one is more eager to read the second to see what will happen with the plot and where she is going to take things from now on.

It's a fairly light contemporary book, very easy to read and it reaches a point where you cannot stop reading. I think if I had more time I would have read in a day but with college and my personal things just have to read a maximum of two hours a day so I could not read it all in one.

 
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