To All the Boys I've Loved Before
By Jenny Han
Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2014. 355 pages. Young adult fiction.
Lara Jean knows the perfect way to end a crush: she writes a letter to each boy she loved and then hides it away in a hat box in her closet, confident that no one will ever see her deepest thoughts on them. That all changes when the letters are accidentally mailed off, and the boys get to see her true feelings for them.
From the plot synopsis, the book sounds a lot lighter and romantic comedy than it actually is. Han creates deep and flawed characters who are not just exploring love but learning about the world around them. Lara Jean is not only dealing with the love letter scandal and its fallout, but trying to recreate her world now that her older sister, who has been like a mother to her, has gone off to college. The prose is simple, but clear and compelling and the brevity of the chapters really makes you want to read just one more (until the book is done and you didn't realize it). I enjoyed it becaues it managed to be both light and thoughtful at the same time. The book does have some strong profanity in it and some references to teen sex.