What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. (from Goodreads)
Lara Jean is upset because her sister, who is two years older than her and pretty much runs the family since her mother died when they were younger, is moving to Scotland for college. Not only is Lara Jean now supposed essentially take Margot’s place, but she’s losing her best friend. Add to that, she’s torn by her sister breaking up with Josh, their next door neighbor and close family friend. But Lara Jean has a secret: she’s in love with Josh. She knows nothing can ever come from it because he belongs to Margot. She keeps a box of letters that she writes to the boys she’s loved as a way to get over them, and there is one for Josh, who Lara Jean loved first. Then, inexplicably, the letters are mailed. Lara Jean is in quite a pickle because Josh now knows her true feelings, though she doesn’t want things to be weird between them and she also feels like she betrayed her sister. She employs another letter recipient, Peter, to pretend to be her boyfriend so that 1) Josh will know she is over him and 2) so his newly ex-girlfriend will be jealous.
This was quite a lovely book. Lara Jean is definitely my kind of girl. She’s smart and funny and completely devoted to her family. I loved her & her awkwardness & her somewhat prudish nature (other than the fact that she’s half Korean and five inches shorter than me, I think we’re a lot alike). I loved that she was so completely different than her BFF Chris, but she never judged Chris for all her missteps and various issues. They were a true opposites attract situation. The family dynamics were also a great part of the story. I enjoyed the different ways Lara Jean related to each of her family members and how she played a part in the family. Her father was just adorable, the widowed doctor having to take care of three girls. His calm demeanor and the fact that he incorporated their half-Korean heritage into their lives seemlessly showed what a competent and wonderful father he was. The youngest sister, Kitty, was a real fireball and I just loved her. I mean, if she was my sister, I’d probably not like it so much, but I do have a sister similar to Kitty and I understand the need to shelter her because she’s the baby and also want to smack her occassionally. Margot and Lara Jean’s relationship was an interesting one to read about. I always wanted an older sister and Margot seems just about perfect, though I do think she might have been a little bit judgmental, which is entirely expected from someone who helped raise her two sisters in the wake of the unexpected death of their beloved mother.
The guys…oh, I don’t even know where to start. I loved them both and I’m still having a hard time deciding who I like best. There are lots of issues with both and there could be sticky situations in either case, so I’m excited to read the next book to find out which direction she goes in. Though I could be completely wrong and misinterpreted the kind of open ending…I still hold out hope that there will be more waffling on Lara Jean’s part. There is also another guy, who we briefly met but didn’t get to know. I was at Teen Book Con in April and listened in on a panel that Jenny Han was on, and she said that there’s a letter that we haven’t read and it’s going to be in the second book, so I’m on pins and needles about it. Is it for the guy we briefly met? Cause he sounds like a lot of fun. I liked his reaction to Lara Jean. Could it be a love square? Looking forward to getting my hands on it.