To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
(To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)
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 protagonist is an unassuming shy girl, heavy on what was meant to be innocence but came off as naivety and ignorance. Not to mention Lara Jean is pining over her sister’s boyfriend, Josh. The same boyfriend Lara Jean’s sister left heartbroken after a messy goodbye. And while I do not begrudge her pining over someone she cannot have she never realizes exactly to what degree this will affect her sister. More so, rather than taking the time to properly get over Josh her feelings for him start to grow, and instead of struggling with guilt she decides that acting on her feelings is the proper course of action. The whole ordeal was very childish. Lara Jean seemed a lot younger than she was. Anytime a difficult situation came up I imagined her crossing her arms and pouting until she figured out how to deal with it. Not someone that inspires a lot of confidence.
She was very family oriented and privileged. Her only other friend besides her sisters was an obnoxious girl named Chris who seemed to care as little about Lara Jean as I did. Their relationship was irrelevant to the plot and character growth.
After Lara Jean’s letters are sent out she secures herself a boyfriend in the hopes that Josh will realise that she is completely over him. Now I have to admit the romance in between Lara Jean and Peter was sweet to a certain extent. I am a sucker for a romance that develops from hate to love. However since the novel is set up for a sequel we never really got to see their relationship develop. They stayed friendly for the course of the book but a romantic relationship was barely touched upon, I assume we will see real progress in the second novel.
My main problem with this book was that it had no substance. The characters did not grow or develop in any way, the plot lines were trivial and put in place to reek havoc with no real goal in mind.