Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han // Didn’t live up to the hype


Two stars! 😕

Genre(s): Young adult, contemporary, romance

Published: April 15, 2014

Book in a few words: Unmemorable, somewhat cute, Asian/Korean representation

Content warning: Death of a parent (occurred before the start of the book)

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


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Unpopular opinion alert! 


Sorry guys, I didn’t love this book. 😅 Please don’t hate me! 😂 I already feel really bad writing this review – I really wanted to love TATBILB! 

Unfortunately, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was an incredibly disappointing read for me. Most book bloggers I follow and basically everyone I know loved this book, but I guess it just wasn’t for me. It definitely didn’t live up to the hype, which is a harsh reminder for me that I shouldn’t always give into the hype, haha. Part of the reason I didn’t like this book was definitely because my expectations were sky-high, and this book didn’t live up to them.

I might have been in a small reading slump when I was reading TATBILB, and so I wasn’t really in the mood for a lighthearted, fluffy contemporary (which I usually enjoy). I found the plot to be flat and boring for the most part, and honestly, the whole book seemed pretty cliche and predictable to me. Lara Jean acted very childish and immature at times, which annoyed me quite a bit (whoops). She acted much younger than her actual age, 16, which confused me and took away my enjoyment of her story.

I’m honestly so sad that I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would, especially since it has Asian (specifically Korean) representation. I, along with others, were understandably ecstatic when the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie came out on Netflix, because Asian characters in movies are usually just the “smart sidekick” that aren’t important or relevant to the plot. But in TATBILB, the Asian American was the main character and star of the movie, which was incredible to see. 💞

I loved Lana Condor’s face expressions in the movie! 😂

To be honest, the only reason I didn’t DNF this book was because I was determined to read the book before watching the movie (which was, in my opinion, surprisingly better than the book!). It’s definitely a bad sign when I have to actually force myself to finish a book, and when I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book. Although, no offense, I honestly don’t get the hype about Peter at all – both in the book and movie. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Sure, he’s cute, but he’s not all that?? haha

I’m rating this book two stars, and not one star, because that there were a few cute moments between Lara Jean and Peter, which I chuckled at. I also enjoyed reading some of the interactions between Lara Jean and her sisters, Margot and Kitty, as well as their dad. The sisterly and familial bond was real, and I loved it. 💕


I should have written this review sooner (like immediately after I finished this book) because I honestly don’t remember much of it at all – it definitely was not a memorable book, and didn’t make much of an impact on me.

And honestly though, I shouldn’t even be calling this post a review because as you can already tell, I don’t remember anything specific about the book. I remember more scenes from the movie than the actual book and I feel like I’m going to mix them up if I try to talk about a specific scene…so this “review” is going to stay really vague lmao. (Sorry!!)

I know this book meant a lot to many people, especially because of the Asian rep, and I’m happy that it did! Also, I know that most people loved and swooned at the budding romance between Lara Jean and Peter. But I just didn’t feel anything for them?? Oops. Lol maybe I’m just an emotionless person who’s dead inside. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It’s true though.

In conclusion…

Nope. This book just wasn’t for me. (But it may be for you! If you love quirky protagonists, loving families, and lighthearted contemporaries, you should give this book a try.)

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I haven’t posted a review for so long, haha, ever since the beginning of July. So please excuse this messy & rambly post, my reviewing skills are rusty. 😂🙈

Let me know your thoughts about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! Did you love it, or hate it like I did? Should I continue the series? (Did you think P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean was better than TATBILB?)

What other lighthearted contemporaries do you love? Leave some recommendations in the comments; I’d love to hear them. (Contrary to this review, I honestly LOVE contemporaries.)

I hope that you still love me even though I didn’t love this book. :’)



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Let’s be friends!

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Background image for blog graphic from Unsplash


22 thoughts on “Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han // Didn’t live up to the hype

  1. Oh I’m so, so sorry to hear this book wasn’t for you – but you are certainly not the first one and not the last one, either, so don’t worry too much about it 🙂 I personally loved it, but I get where your reservations come from. I felt like Lara Jean felt like a teenager to me, at least my teenage self could have really, really related to her in some ways, so that’s why I loved it, too, but I understand that’s not everyone’s opinions 🙂 Wonderful review! 🙂
    And oh for cute contemporaries, don’t get me started, you will regret it hahahahahahahaha. Off the top of my mind right now , I’m thinking about Jenn Bennett’s The Anatomical Shape of a Heart which was adorable ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww thank you so much for understanding, Marie 💖 I’m glad that you loved TATBILB; I can definitely see where you’re coming from! It makes me so happy to hear that you still liked my (pretty messy & rambly) review, haha. And honestly same, I could talk about contemporaries for FOREVER. 😂 Oohh I’ll definitely add that to my TBR; thank you so much for the recommendation! 💞

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was quite an interesting review to read, since I read TATBILB a long time ago! I really like it back then, but I feel like if I read it now, I’d have the same feelings as you. I actually loved Lara Jean as a character (probably because she likes baking and vintage stuff like me 😂) Also, I did enjoy the movie better WHICH IS SO SURPRISING since Netflix original’s usually disappoint me (which is a very unpopular opinion but it’s fine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
    I had a lot of fun reading this post! I’d love to see more reviews. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you so much for this lovely comment, Sapphire! ❤️ I’m glad that you enjoyed TATBILB when you first read it, and that’s great that you could relate to Lara Jean. ☺️ Haha I get you; I didn’t expect the movie to be so cute! And ikr, honestly, most movie adaptations don’t live up to the book. ☹️

      Thank you so much!! That really means a lot. 💞

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m honestly relieved to finally see a review about this book that isn’t totally positive! I feel like I’ve been missing out on this book for years, but it just… never seemed appealing to me? I was going to attempt to read it before the movie came out, but that didn’t happen, and then I watched the movie anyway lol. And it was cute, buuut I still don’t get all the hype for this story itself tbh. I just wasn’t in to it.

    So I guess it’s safe to say I probably won’t ever read this one lol😅 and great review!!

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    • Omg Brianna you have no idea how happy this comment made me, haha. 😂💕 This honestly makes me so relieved to hear too lol. Yeah I definitely don’t recommend reading the book (as you can tell from this review); I honestly don’t get the hype for it at all, whoops. I agree, the movie was cute (and definitely better than the book) but I just didn’t see anything special in it (other than the Asian representation, which was great ☺️). Thank you so much for commenting!! It means a lot. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh it’s sucks this is one that didn’t live up to the hype for you Dezzy, especially because there is so much hype for TATBILB. I haven’t read this book in ages (I actually need to re-read the first two before I start the third and watch the movie) but it’s definitely a bad sign when you have to force yourself through a book for sure. Still at least there were some cute parts you did enjoy, and at least you enjoyed the film as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t think this book was for me either, especially at the beginning, there were so many times I almost DNF this because of how immature Lara Jean was! She ended up growing on me and I enjoyed the second book better, but I think the movie portrayed the characters better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg same, honestly if it wasn’t for the movie, I would’ve DNF-ed this book a long time ago, haha. I’m glad you liked the second book better, though! And I definitely agree, the movie was so cute and made the characters more likeable and relatable. 😊💞


  6. 👏👏👏 @ all the ADORABLE GIFS

    i literally love the movie so much and YES GIRL i agree, the books are mehhhhh. lara is so immature sometimes but i do love the sister dynamics, its so sweet

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh yeah, same! Idk why, but I really didn’t feel the connect between Lara Jean and Peter… Great review! It’s good to know that someone else feels the same way about this book as me (especially since everyone seemed to loved it) ❤❤❤


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