Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Great! Solid book with little or minimal issues)
Imagine if your secret crush discovered your affections by reading a love letter addressed to them. You had no intention of revealing that information or for anyone to ever lay eyes on that letter. Imagine if this happened to not one crush, but five! This is what happens to sixteen year old Lara Jean Song. Lovers of contemporary YA and romance will devour this book just like I did.
Lara Jean is about to start her junior year of high school and still has never had a boyfriend. Her older sister and best friend, Margot, is leaving for college in Scotland and just broke up with her boyfriend of two years. Josh is not just a boyfriend, but an integral part of the family and Lara Jean’s best friend. Her father and younger sister Kitty round out the tight knit family. When Margot leaves for college, their world turns upside down.
From middle school to now, Lara Jean has had five secret crushes. She never had the courage to reveal her feelings, instead, she wrote love letters to purge those emotions to get over them. One day at school, a popular boy named Peter, one of her crushes from middle school, confronts Lara Jean about the letter mailed right to his door. She is beyond mortified, not only because her feelings are now public, but because one of those letters was to Josh. Yes, her older sister’s now ex-boyfriend and her best friend! In order to save face in front of Josh when he confronts her, she sees Peter in the hallway and kisses him to convince Josh she has a boyfriend. To make matters worse, Peter and his longtime popular and ruthless girlfriend broke up. Genevieve may have a new boyfriend but she still thinks Peter belongs to her. At first Peter and Lara Jean want nothing to do with each other; however, they come to a mutual arrangement to help both of their situations. Peter wants to make Genevieve jealous and Lara Jean wants to make Josh think she doesn’t like him anymore. Lara Jean goes from being an unknown wallflower to having the most popular boy in high school thrust her in the limelight and treat her like his girlfriend. Will Margot ever find out about the letter to Josh? How will Lara Jean deal with the publicity of her fake relationship with Peter? Read and find out!
My Thoughts: The Ending was…Oh Wait, There’s a Second Book Coming Out?!
There’s going to be another book?! I couldn’t be more happy about this. This book ends on a slight cliffhanger and knowing that there will be a second makes me feel like Cookie there.
Alright so let me explain why I enjoyed this book so much. This book is around 350 pages, and I read it at a ravenous pace which made it seem like it was only 100 pages. The flow of the story is paced well and Jenny Han does a great job in setting up the story explaining the family dynamic, including Lara Jean’s motivation and direction. While reading, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen which I loved. I like books that aren’t predictable and I find that to be unique or rare in young adult writing. I love the family dynamic between the sisters and their father. It’s adorable and actually refreshing to read about such a loving and close family. I also enjoyed seeing progress and growth from Lara Jean and Peter. They all start off one way and morph into a more mature and better version of themselves. The only issue I had with the book was the ending. The events aren’t fully explained, but with the second book coming that makes me forgive the ending.
I could go on into specifics but prefer to leave readers with some surprises! I highly recommend this book to romantics and fans of realistic YA fiction.