"When someone's been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it's like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you're just clutching air and grit."
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Number of Pages: 355
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Lara Jean writes love letters to all of her past crushes—five in total—including one to her older sister’s recent ex-boyfriend. She keeps them hidden in a hatbox, never intending to actually send them. Until one day someone sends them out without her knowing. For a complete summary, you can go here.
TL;DR: Super cute young adult romance that will give you all the tingly first love feelings.
Full Review: I picked this one up because I’ve been seeing it everywhere and I wanted to read the book before watching the Netflix adaptation. I usually don’t read young adult romance, but this one was too popular to ignore (and, yay, for diverse main characters).
When I first started this book, I thought it was cheesy and the main character seemed way too immature for her age. But as I continued, I realized that was only because of the more mature young adult books I’ve been reading lately that are heavy on the sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll. It is actually probably one of the most age-appropriate teen books I’ve read in a while. And I realized that what I thought was immaturity was just the sweet and quirky nature of Lara Jean. I grew to love her lack of filter and self-awareness.
I think I wanted to hate this book. But, damn, it gave me the tinglies. I tried to fight it, I swear! I got caught up in the romantic love-triangle. What I loved most was the family. As the oldest sister that left for college, leaving my sisters behind, I related most to Margot. It was interesting to get an insight into the perspective of the sisters left behind.
I finished this book in a day and watched the Netflix version that night. Of course, the book was better, but I was actually impressed with the authenticity of the movie. (I wasn’t happy with how much the reduced Josh’s character in the movie though).
I would have given this book a five, but I HATE CLIFFHANGERS! I don’t care if there are 1,000,000 books in the series, I need a concrete ending for each book. Instead, I will have to go get the next book so I can see how things are resolved. But chances are that the next book will leave me hanging too. I do think there are still a lot of loose ends about the other letters. I assume the sequel will cover that, but I felt like it was forgotten about.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a cute story about first loves. The target audience is definitely teenage girls. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
"Just because you're strong doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help sometimes."