Series Review – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Posted February 20, 2020 by Emz Chang in review, Series in Review / 0 Comments

With 2 out of the 3 books adapted into Netflix movies and ready to be watched, I figured it was about time I sat down and reviewed the books, including the trilogy as a whole. And when I said review, I meant mini-reviews because to be completely honest, it’s been a while since I read the books.

I’ve hidden my reviews of P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean to help prevent any potential spoilers. And trust me, there are definitely some spoilers (nothing major, though), at least in my review of Always and Forever. Just click the arrow (or the bar) to reveal them, if you’re interested.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATBILB #1)
Series Review – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
TITLE: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
SERIES: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
RATING: 3.5 Stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old 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.

Review

The Good

For the most part, I liked Lara Jean. She was pretty relatable – I could draw a lot of parallels between her high school experience to my time at high school. I also really loved her relationship with her sisters.

The Meh

While I liked Lara Jean, I was more iffy about Peter. I have so many mixed feelings about him. Sometimes he came off as super sweet, but other times he was a bit of a douche.

I liked his relationship with Lara Jean (they were pretty cute together), but I found the romance kind of lacking. It was a bit cliche, to be honest, and I absolutely hate love triangles.

The Not-So-Good

I would have liked Lara Jean a whole lot more if she wasn’t so damn naive (excuse my language). I get that she’s only 16 years old, but this girl made me want to yell at her way too many times for it be excused. It felt like I had to scream “WHY WOULD YOU DO/THINK THAT, LARA JEAN?!?!?!?!?” every other page.

All that naivety led to so much secondhand embarrassment, which I cannot stand. *Sigh*

In Conclusion…

It was a cute read that I wish I read sooner. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read in while I was still in high school. There’s so much to love about Lara Jean but her naivety drove me crazy. But then again, so did Peter’s indecisiveness.

Final Rating
Characters
3.5 Stars
Pacing
3.5 Stars
Plot
3.5 Stars
Romance
3.5 Stars
Writing
3.5 Stars
Overall: 3.5
P.S. I Still Love You (TATBILB #2)
Series Review – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
TITLE: P.S. I Still Love You
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
SERIES: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
RATING: 3 Stars

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Review:

  • I liked it overall but found Lara Jean’s naivety more annoying than endearing this time around (this isn’t the last time you’re going to read this sentence in this review)
    • I did enjoy how she dealt with her situation, though
  • I appreciated how it mentions a lot of important high school issues
    • For example, I liked its depiction of change and how change can affect us
  • But it felt like a filler novel – it didn’t feel like anything important happened
    • I felt like it spent a lot of time on unnecessary things/places
  • WTF was up with the love triangle?
    • It was unnecessary & unneeded
  • Peter was a bit of a douche
    • Like the first book, I alternated between liking him and wanting to slap him

In Conclusion…

This sequel wasn’t as good as the first book. It felt like a filler novel, full of unnecessary plot points. That, combined with Lara Jean’s overwhelming nativity and Peter’s douchiness, made this an okay novel. That said, it has some highlights like its depiction of change.

Final Rating
Characters
3 Stars
Pacing
3 Stars
Plot
3 Stars
Romance
3 Stars
Writing
3.5 Stars
Overall: 3.1
Always and Forever, Lara Jean (TATBILB #3)
This review may contain spoilers. Proceed with caution.
Series Review – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
TITLE: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
SERIES: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lara Jean is having the best senior year.

And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks . . . until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Review:

  • It brings back all the feels from my senior year of high school
  • I wasn’t as into it as the other 2
    • The plot was so predictable, annoyingly so
    • 2 words, deja vu
    • It was more or less the same basic plotline as the last 2 books
      • View Spoiler »
    • They say once is an incident, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a pattern. This is an effing pattern.
  • Featured an interesting portrayal of the college application & acceptance process
    • It was interesting to see how it differed from my school/area
  • Like with the other 2 books, I feel like I would have liked it more if I read it when I was in the same position as Lara Jean
  • The most annoying thing: Lara Jean doesn’t ever seem to learn from her mistakes
    • Literally subject to the same (and totally avoidable) root issue in every book
Final Rating
Characters
3 Stars
Pacing
3 Stars
Plot
3 Stars
Romance
3 Stars
Writing
3 Stars
Overall: 3

Series in Review

I enjoyed it. It was cute. There’s a slight chance I’d recommend it. That’s pretty much all I have to say. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I really wanted to love it because Lara Jean is half-Asian (I’m Asian American), but the series didn’t impress me that much. Lara Jean was just too naive for my taste and some of the plotlines were too childish to me. That’s said, I do think I would have rated the series higher if I read it when I was younger and still in high school.

Have you read these books/trilogy? What did you think of them?

Emz Chang

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