My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book way more than I care to admit. This book (and I feel like this is the case with Jenny Han’s other series too) never really caught my attention because, in my opinion, the title and the cover combined made it sound like a cringe-worthy romance. But luckily for me, someone whom I trust and has a similar taste in books recommended this to me and I ended up enjoying it so much. So as much as it looks like lovey-dovey romance novel about a girl who isn’t fit in her own skin, finding love and suddenly turning confident, it’s so not that kind of story.
The premise of this book is actually a girl who’s mother died when she was barely into her teens I presume, she had an elder sister Margot, who was always the motherly figure for her. Now Margot is leaving abroad for college, and Lara Jean is kind of in a fragile mood already. To add to her misery, her hatbox disappears. That isn’t an ordinary hatbox. Inside it, Lara Jean used to write love letters to all the boys she ever crushed on, and by writing letters to them is her way of exorcising those feelings out of her into the page. She doesn’t write it to send them, but to just take it out on the page and forget about it.
But one day, after Margot has left for the college, she starts finding out that those boys have started receiving her letters. And what follows afterward is, to put it simply, a ton of drama.
What I appreciated the most in this part was that most of the emphasis on Lara Jean’s personal growth was through her family. Like they were the channel through whom she discovered herself. I complain a lot about how in YA fantasies, we usually start with a girl who is not comfortable in her skin, has a lot of issues, and suddenly find her Mr.Right and her confidence along with him. Even with this being a romance book, I was so surprised how maturely the author tackled that issue. Like her love-life is way more awkward after the letters go out, she goes through a lot of ordeals, but it isn’t her love interests who are with her at her hour of need. It’s either one of her sister or her father. Sometimes even the memories of her mother.
Speaking of sisters, there were times when I found the character of Margot pretty annoying. Albeit believable. But can we just give a moment of silence to Katie, she is the most adorable character I have come across. She made me almost with to have a little sister of my own. Almost.
Since this is a romance book, so I feel obliged to tell that I am obviously shipping Peter. At first, I liked Josh a lot, but as the story progressed, he started annoying me out. He was one of that kind of characters who are just sore losers, in my opinion. Like to me, it felt he was just looking for a commitment, regardless of whom he might get it from. Which was weird. So I started despising him.
Overall this is a pretty fun book which I will highly recommend to anyone who is in the mood of sweet family drama.