SYNOPSIS: Lara Jean Song writes a letter to every boy that she falls in love with as a way to say goodbye and get over it and then places the letter in a hatbox from her mother with the intention of it never to be sent, but one day she can’t find her letters and one of them was to her older sister’s ex-boyfriend! When Josh confronts her about the letter, Lara Jean on the fly says that she’s dating Peter Kavinksy, one of the handsomest boys in school, and while they keep the charade up it soon evolves into possibly being real.
I’m going to be honest, I did not expect to love this book. I knew it was probably going to be cute, but the last few contemporaries that I have read have disappointed me so I was prepared to be disappointed by this one too. I am so happy that I was completely wrong! What really added to the charm for me was that Han was able to make Lara Jean so completely sweet and likeable and never once did it feel fake or boring. It really helped that Lara Jean was the narrator because I think most people find the “pure good” characters boring because usually you don’t get the benefit of knowing why they think the things they do, but Lara Jean would give her reasoning for why she liked certain things or what she thought a perfect world would be and I think the most important part was that she would be wrong and she would admit that she was wrong to herself. Personality-wise Lara Jean is pretty much teenage me and it was fun to read a book about a character who is very much like me. I wish that this book was published when I was in high school because high school me would’ve gotten an even bigger kick out of it. I also enjoyed the fact that the three Song sisters felt like actual sisters. Sometimes siblings are really close and never fight because of the circumstances surrounding the plot, but the Song girls fought over silly things that siblings fight over and major things that siblings fight over. I loved that Kitty acted like a typical baby sister and also had her moments where she spoke the truth as only a kid can and it was nice to see her and Lara Jean have their ups and downs. I also loved at the end of the day you could tell just how much they love each other. My favorite part was when Margot came home from college for the holidays and she, Lara Jean, and Kitty had to relearn how to act around each other and there wasn’t that ease that was shown in the beginning. Now on to the boys. I really liked both boys, but in different ways. Josh was really sweet and you could tell that he loved the sisters. Of course he had a few problematic moments (as did Margot) when it came to Peter Kavinsky, but you knew it came from a place of love and that bond that forms when you’ve known someone for pretty much your whole life. I enjoyed watching Lara Jean get over her crush on him. I loved that the original getting over was because she knew Margot liked him too and then the secondary getting over had everything to do with getting to know Peter Kavinsky better. As for Peter Kavinsky, I really like him. I loved that even though they had a contract with things that both could and could not do to each other, he did his best to treat her like a real girlfriend and was very respectful of Lara Jean’s boundaries while also pushing her to leave her comfort zone. He never forced her to do anything, but he would present her with reasons why she should do something she hadn’t done before. He also paid attention to things she liked and would do nice things for her just because and I thought that was really sweet and in return I liked that Lara Jean noticed things about him too. My favorite thing was when he took her to hang out with his friends and they all accepted her immediately. They gave her a nickname, included her in the conversation when they could, and just all around didn’t treat her like “Peter’s girlfriend.” I also liked that Lara Jean was able to see that what everyone thinks about Peter and his friends isn’t totally true. My favorite thing that Peter did though was do nice things for Kitty when he could. I loved that he didn’t treat her like “Lara Jean’s kid sister” and just ignore her all the time. He played with her, listened to her, and would do nice things for her just because and not to get in Lara Jean’s good graces. This book just overall was really sweet and the pick-me-up that I needed after reading quite a few duds. I am thoroughly enchanted and so excited to read the sequel!