To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Lara Jean Song Covey is a middle child, older than rambunctious Kitty, younger than studious Margot. When Margot heads off to college, Lara Jean steps up to keep the household running, while trying to maintain a friendship with Margot’s ex, Josh. But when love letters Lara Jean wrote to the five boys she’s loved are accidentally mailed, everything changes. One goes to a boy who asks Lara Jean to pretend to be his girlfriend to make his ex jealous. And another letter goes to Josh…
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a paean to the awkwardness of dating, boy-girl friendships, and the power that secrets hold, both the ones we protect and the ones we let slip. While the “fake girlfriend” story arc smacks of teen novel cliché, Han keeps it interesting by adding the complication of the letters and the “what if” thinking they provoke. The novel’s rough spots are helped by how likable Josh and Lara Jean are, because much of the story rests on their interactions.
More winsome than I expected, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before almost feels like a female companion to Markus Zusak’s Getting the Girl, which is no small compliment in my book.
|Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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