Hi friends! Summer is just around the corner and that means it's time to start planning your summer reading! I love reading all year long, but there's just something extra special about summer reading. For teachers, summer means much less stress, so bring on all the books!
Today, I want to review one of my very favorite trilogies: the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy. I read the first book when it first came out back in 2014. There have been two more books added to complete the trilogy and I thought I'd share my thoughts on each. Like I said, I LOVE this series, so if you're looking for a new YA (young adult) book/series to read this summer, definitely pick this one up!
This series follows Lara Jean Covey and it starts out when she is a junior in high school. She lives at home with her dad and two sisters. Their mom died when the girls were younger. The three sisters are very close and have great relationships with each other.
Early on in the first book, we learn that Lara Jean likes to write letters to all the boys she's had crushes on (or "loved") but she never mails them. She puts them in a hatbox that her mother gave her. The letters end up getting mailed out and one of her old crushes, Peter K., confronts her about it. She brushes it off and goes about her day until her current crush (and older sister's recent ex boyfriend) asks her about his letter and in trying to play it off as no big deal and a silly misunderstanding, Lara Jean tells him that she's started dating Peter K., who just happens to be walking by at that exact moment. Lara Jean runs and jumps in his arms and kisses him....a very unlike Lara Jean thing to do!
The story progresses from there as we see Peter and Lara Jean maintain this fake relationship in order to make Josh (LJ's current crush and older sister's recent ex) and Gen (Peter K.'s on again/off again girlfriend) believe it. Of course, the two main characters start to develop feelings for each other and then something happens.
The first book ends on a cliffhanger. Not really a cliffhanger per se, but it leaves much unresolved and requires you to read the second book! The second book ends with the reader knowing the fate of the characters. This series was originally a duo-logy, so the second book was suppose to be the end. I was worried about what would happen in the third book, but I loved it!
Okay, now I'm going into detail on the plot of each book, so be warned!
Since I've already told y'all what the first book is about, I'm going to start my top favorite Peter K. and Lara Jean moments. <3
When LJ runs and jumps into Peter's arms, surprising him with a kiss.
The Halloween costume contest. How sweet is it when Peter is noticeably jealous of Josh and LJ's coordinating Harry Potter costumes??
When Peter refers to Kitty as "my girl" when she promises to bring him a Korean smoothie I just love how sweet Peter is with Kitty.
When Peter and Lara Jean study together in the library. I want to shake LJ for being so awkward during this part of the book. I love LJ and I know she's a quiet and shy character, but she was just so uptight in this part.
When LJ hangs out with Peter's friends for the first time. I love how much Peter's friends like LJ and how Peter acts pleased with this fact.
When Peter comes over to take LJ to the party but helps her with the cupcake bake sale instead. He even remembers to take his shoes off because he remembers they are a "no shoes" household from when they all hung out together in middle school.
When Peter and LJ go to the estate sale. One of my favorite parts!
When Peter and Lara Jean pass notes in chemistry class and Peter asks if he can come over to study and LJ replies no, but is really joking. I can just imagine the other kids watching them interact and totally believing the "fake relationship" because we all know it's developing into a real one.
When Lara Jean kisses Peter on the cheek for being so nice to Kitty
When LJ and Kitty show Peter their dance and Peter has that look on his face. Swoon
When Peter gets jealous over Josh's cookie entry in the cookie contest
When Peter brings doughnuts for LJ on the bus ride to the ski trip.
Now, let me say, the second book is my least favorite. The second book introduces a new character and a small love triangle is formed. I do not like John Ambrose McClaren and since the book heavily focused on him and didn't show Peter's positive aspects as much, I didn't like it. I also felt like the author created more distant between Lara Jean and Peter in this book. It's like she added a lot of situations that highlighted their differences and made them fall out of sync with each other. I like how it ended, but there was just too much JAM. And Peter did some questionable things in this book that I would rather not remember. (Bringing Gen to the tree house?!? Oh my goodness I wanted to strangle him!) I understand why he did these things, but I just didn't like it. I still love Peter K. The third and final book redeems him!
The third book is filled with such cute Lara Jean and Peter moments. It opens up with them at a party and Peter knows Lara Jean wants to leave just by a look she gives him. Even though he is the life of the party, he leaves because she wants to. I love this book. Not a lot of major stuff happens, but I still love it.
It mostly focuses on their senior year and what colleges they are going to and how they struggle to stay together even though they won't be going to the same school.
My only complaint about the ending of the series is the lack of epilogue. I wish there had of been a "4 years later" or something. I would LOVE if Jenny Hann wrote an adult book of LJ and Peter's relationship like Ann Brashares did with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. How great would it be to see Peter and Lara Jean as adults?? Married, of course! :)
If you're looking for a great summer read, please pick up this series! I just know y'all will love it! :) :)