To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Jenny Han. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2670-2
Lara Jean Covey writes romantic goodbye letters to boys “when I don’t want to be in love anymore,” never intending for them to see the light of day. She understandably panics when the five letters are somehow mailed out, especially because she wrote one to Josh, her older sister Margot’s nice, nerdy ex. To convince Josh that she’s over him, Lara Jean pretends to date popular Peter, who agrees to the charade to make his former girlfriend jealous. But when Peter holds her hand or jokes around with her younger sister, Kitty, Lara Jean begins to wonder “what’s real and what’s not.” As in Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty, there’s a love triangle at work, but Lara Jean’s personality—goofy, awkward, prone to strong emotions, and entirely naïve when it comes to boys—give this touching story an individuality and charm all its own. Han creates a realistically flawed cast, especially half-Korean Lara Jean and her sisters, who work hard to be good to one another after their mother’s death (even when they’re at one another’s throats). Ages 12–up. Agent: Emily Van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/2014
Release date: 04/15/2014
Genre: Children's
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