Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Love: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

I love some good YA.  It's not all good and there are plenty of  books in that genre that I've picked up, read the first few chapters (or just pages) and thought "NOPE" and moved on.  I have good memories of my teen years (I'm one of those weird people who actually liked high school although I'd never want to relive it.  Maybe just some of the band/color guard memories...but not as a 30-something adult.  But those were fun times.) and so reading good books about those years can be enjoyable. 

I've written about some of my other favorites here (this whole post of recommendations, The Sea of Tranquility) and this series belongs up with the best YA I've read.

The series starts with To All the Boys I've Loved Before.  Lara Jean is going into her junior year of high school, she lives with her older sister Margo (about to leave for college in Scotland), her younger sister Kitty, and their father.  Their mother died ~8 years earlier?  (I mean, she definitely died but not 100% on how much earlier.)

Lara Jean did this thing where she wrote goodbye letters to the five boys she's "loved".   She wrote them when she decided she no longer loved them and had no intention of the boys ever seeing them.  Well, you can guess where that goes (just go with it, even if it doesn't make complete sense).  Would I want former crushes seeing letter I had secretly written?  Especially at 16/17.  Um, no.  I would consider leaving the school/state.  That sounds incredibly embarrassing and awkward which is pretty much what Lara Jean thinks too.

Things escalate from there.  There's a pretend boyfriend, real kisses, car difficulties, dancing at a nursing home, playing in the snow, a tree house, a time capsule, a wedding, prom, viral videos, the boy next door, and the Outer Banks.  The whole series was just delightful.

When I first read these a year-ish ago the author was dead-set that it was a two book series and that was it.  Then I found out a third was coming and it sat on my TBR for almost a year, waiting for it to come out.  It was one of my most anticipated books of the year.  And it didn't disappoint.  So while I would have been fine with it ending at two books I'm really glad we got a third book to finish out Lara Jean's high school years and bring the series full circle.

I absolutely loved the relationship Lara Jean had with her sisters, at times wonderful and at times there was drama (sounds like having sisters).  They were close and it was sibling relationships I could actually relate to.  They are all close with their father who seems to be doing his best to raise three girls alone.  Their family dynamic is wonderful, one of the best I've read in YA. 

Lara Jean is the kind of teen you hope to have where she likes to bake and scrapbook and stay at home with her sisters but then also gets to date "the handsomest of the handsomest boys" (real or not?).  It was wonderful to read about a teen similar to what I would have been in high school, unlike the more wild ones in other books.  I could relate to Lara Jean in ways I haven't been able to with most of the YA I've read. 

The books were fun, they were charming, and they reminded me of the best parts of high school (I mean, no marching band but the fun and emotions and how senior year seems like the pinnacle of your life thus far.) The whole series was just a delight and I would definitely reread them.  (I did reread the first two before the third came out.) 

It's the kind of great YA that almost ruins you for a few days on anything else because you just want to go back and reread your favorite parts.  Or the whole book (I have too many books on my TBR to do that...but it was tempting). 

As long as you aren't strongly YA adverse, I'd recommend these.  Fantastic.  (If anyone is interested, they are now on my birthday list.  I liked them that much.)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before: Goodreads | Amazon
P.S. I Still Love You: Goodreads | Amazon
Always and Forever, Lara Jean: Goodreads | Amazon

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you!  Thanks for helping support this blog!

No comments: