It is inherently difficult for books to make me cry. It is a fairly often occurrence for me to shed a tear during a sad film, but the last time I remember crying to a novel was from We Were Liars, which I read ages ago. I made it through most of this one with my solidified exterior, but let’s just say I’m glad I read the ending at home, because I was a blubbering idiot about ten pages from the end.
The thing about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is that it is written so beautifully, you want to cry simply because you wish you could write half as well as Jenny Han. She has a sheer gift to bring the life of a teenage girl alive on the page, and I fell in love with Lara Jean from her first words.
For someone who can read four books in a day, it took me quite a long time to get through this novel (a month, maybe?) not because it is a hard read or long to hook; it is just one of those masterfully written works of art that you want to savor. It is not among the ranks of The Fault in Our Stars or We Were Liars, in my book (ha-ha)—it is not quite witty enough or surprising enough (I guessed several plot twists right on the money long before they happened)—but it definitely deserves a spot with the ranks of best of the best published YA novels of our time. Haters of the cliché may despise this book for its love triangle, but the web of love stories is so sharply woven that you never loathe to get caught up in it. The development is crafted to the very last line—even bitchy Margot (I’ve decided not to like her, despite Lara Jean’s unconditional love for her sister)—I’d have to classify it unputdownable, for the strong will of each character to invite you into their dramatic, sometimes messy, always funny (I LOL’d constantly) lives. It is a heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of how it feels to be a teenage girl navigating this thing called life, and anyone who has been in love at any period in their life can appreciate it. Again, cliché haters beware—the hanger ending is a killer, so you’re going to want to have P.S. I Still Love You (the sequel) at the ready to dive in. I would recommend it to YA fans everywhere.
A Bestselling Author, NPO VP, and Psychology Today Blogger from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.
Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.
From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.