Lara Jean lives with her two sisters Margot and Kitty and their father. Margot is about to leave for college in Scotland and therefore she breaks up with her boyfriend of many years, Josh, their next-door-neighbor. After Margot leaves, this brings up old feelings in Lara Jean who used to have a crush on him. She writes her feelings down in the continuation of a letter she wrote to him many years ago – as she has written a letter to all the boys she fell in love with at some point, without ever sending them. But then Peter Kavinsky, the most popular guy in school, approaches her asking about the letter she wrote to him and Lara Jean realizes all of her letters were mailed out. When Josh asks her about this, Lara Jean tells him a panic that she is dating Peter, completing the confusion.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is among the cutest things I ever read. It’s entertaining and sweet. I just breezed through it, while constantly wanting to squeeze pretty much every single one of the characters.
Okay, I will freely admit that I’m a sucker for the fake dating trope, especially when it’s executed as well as it is here. Especially since it detracts from the love triangle angle (a trope I don’t love, usually).
But as much as I love this romantic trope, what I love even more is that the book keeps returning to the relationship between the sisters, centering their love over and over again. [SPOILER] That Kitty is the letter-sending culprit wasn’t really a surprise, but I liked how it made things more complicated. [/SPOILER] The way Lara Jean’s Korean heritage (her mother was Korean-American) is included in the novel is really nice and adds another layer to the novel and her family.
The ending was surprising for me – definitely an interesting point to stop. I have since learned that there is an entire trilogy. I didn’t know that at the time of reading. I’m definitely glad that the story will be continued, but even when I didn’t know that it would be, I didn’t mind the open ending – which is even more astonishing than the ending itself. (I hope she answers the question whether Peter bought the necklace for Lara Jean.)
The thing that impressed me most about the novel (probably) is the fact that everybody was so extremely likeable. There were no cartoonish assholes, and even the people who are antagonistic towards Lara Jean stay relatable. I rarely read books where I like pretty much everybody. It was almost annoying, but in an entirely enchanting way.
Summarizing: heart-eyes all the way.