Saturday, 3 June 2017

Series Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before




Everyone knows that Jenny Han is one of my favourite contempary writers, so when I heard the To All the Boys I Heard Before duology was being extended to a trilogy, I was so thrilled. Then came the title and cover (which I adored!) and I became more and more nervous that this one wouldn't live up to my expectations. This week, I finally completed the trilogy, and I'm so happy to say that the last book in the trilogy lived up to my every expectation, making this one of my favourite contemporary series of all time. As soon as I finished, I knew I just had to write a series review, so here is one, complete with my incoherent ramblings about how much I adore these characters. 

(Warning - there may be mild spoilers ahead!) 



So, without further ado, here are the reasons why I adore this book so much:



 

Honestly, Jenny Han may well have written some of my favourite characters of all time. Lara Jean is so sweet and innocent, and has the most amazing sense of humour. Most of all, she feels REAL. She has hobbies, she feels deeply, and she is so insanely relatable. Peter K is cute, and a great boyfriend, but has faults. My favourites of all have to be Lara Jean's family. I adore Kitty, Margot, Trina and Lara's Dad so much. Jenny Han just has a knack for writing family dynamics that I have never seen before. The dialogue is natural, and never feels forced, and Kitty, the youngest, is portrayed perfectly as a child. Even more minor characters such as Josh, Chris and John are fully fleshed out and beautifully portrayed.
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One of my favourite things about this book is the romance. It's a slow burn in the first book, but quickly heats up to become one of sweetest love stories I've ever read. It's romantic, but not cheesy, and Peter and Lara Jean's banter is adorable (especially the parts where Lara Jean educates Peter on all things Harry Potter!). All conflicts in the relationship are realistic and don't feel forced, and are pefectly foreshadowed. I also love the way the couple respect each other and take things slowly, which is rarely seen in YA. I love it!
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I love the diversity in this story. Learning about Lara Jean's Korean culture and customs from her Mom was so informative for me and I love the way this was integrated into the story. I wish we could have gotten to hear more about Lara Jean's mother and grandmother.
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 School life is portrayed exactly how I remembered it to be for me in this novel! It brought back all the memories of the cattiness of teenagers and the gossiping and the overwhelming feelings of first love. I love the way Lara Jean was so studious, and I loved her school friends and how different they all were, from Chris to Lucas. The final great part of the school description was during the final book, Always and Forever Lara Jean: the college applications. I related to this part so hard, and the stress, excitement and confusion of applying to college.
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One of my favourite aspects of this book is the description of all of Lara Jean's various items of baking. All those cookies and cupcakes and cakes - it's just so amazing and gives the book such a cutsie feel. One of my favourite parts of the final book in the trilogy is Lara Jean's search for the perfect cookie recipe. I was living for all those wonderful descriptions of rich, sumptuous cookies!
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  • “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.”


  • ““Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That's the part of the risk. I don't want to be scared anymore.”


  • “It's not like in the movies. It's better, because it's real.” 
 

  • “People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.” 


  • “I say, “In the contract we said we wouldn’t break each other’s hearts. What if we do it again?” Fiercely he says, “What if we do? If we’re so guarded, it’s not going to be anything. Let’s do it  for real, Lara Jean. Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want with it.”  
 
  • “So I take Peter’s hand; I put it on my heart. I tell him, “You have to take good care of this, because it’s yours."


  • “Kitty's always saying how origin stories are important. At college, when people ask us how we met, how will we answer them? The short story is, we grew up together. But that's more Josh's and my story. High school sweet-hearts? That's Peter and Gen's story. So what's ours, then? I suppose I'll say it all started with a love letter.
I know that Jenny Han says that this is the last book about Lara Jean and Peter, but I NEED more. I need volumes and volumes and volumes about Lara Jean and Peter K's adventures at college. I just cannot stop thinking about these characters.




(Five stars)



I love these books so much. Have you guys read them? If not, I hope I have convinced you! Let me know if I have! If so, please leave a comment so we can collectively fangirl ^-^



Love,


16 comments:

  1. I am sad that this is the end, but I never expected the third book.
    Sam @ WLABB

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    1. Me too, it was such a surprise when I first heard, and I wasn't really sure about it. However, I did feel that it was a wonderful end to the series :)

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  2. I bought the first book when it came out and I still haven't read it! I feel kind of terrible for not having read it yet because I have ONLY seen really lovely and positive reviews of this book. And it also sounds adorable, AND is diverse. I don't know why i haven't picked it up yet *hides*

    I'm so glad that you loved all three books, Megan! I know that sometimes a series can go downhill after the first book so it's great that this one stayed awesome all the way through.

    I know that feeling of wanting more, even if the author has said it's over. Sometimes it's just too hard to let characters go <3

    Lovely review!

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    1. AHHHH, you need to read this one, Chiara, so I can fangirl with you about it <3
      Thank you for your lovely comment :)

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  3. I really want to read these this summer!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen at YA Romantics

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    1. You totally should Jen, I bet you'd love it! :)

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  4. Totally agree with all your points! I need Jenny Han to come back in 7 years with a spinoff series for Kitty, tbh. I need Kitty in my life again. She's hilarious. I loved the family stuff and the romance especially. And you are so right about the portrayal of school- I loved how realistic it seemed! So glad you enjoyed this series too!

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    1. YESSSSSS...I need a Kitty spin-off too! XD

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  5. I have seen soooooo many things/posts about this series lately and I feel so out of the loop since I haven't read it! I tried once and got like ten pages in before stopping. Should I give it another shot?

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    1. It's so wonderful and heart-warming, you should really give it a go! :)

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  6. Aw, this is another series I cannot wait to read. I'd started book one years ago, but then put it aside because of review copies. Now, I cannot wait to jump back into this world, and am pleased that this will be one I can binge-read without playing the waiting game (for the next book to release).

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    1. I love marathoning series, especially contemporary series. I hope you love it! <3

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  7. Ah, I need to get my hands on the final book in this series! I totally agree with you, I think Jenny Han writes families really well. Lara Jean is one of my favorite contemporary protagonists and it's so hard not to root for that girl. Glad you enjoyed this entire series!

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    1. Lara Jean is such a relatable character - she's so real. I hope you enjoy the final book!

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  8. I'm pretty excited to read this book, too! :) Hopefully I will find time in the next month or so!

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    1. It's so good - I bet you love it <3

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