About the Book :
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.
My Thoughts :
Well well well. I have so many thoughts about this book!
Let’s first say I went in with HUGE expectations. Over the years I have, over and over, declared my love for Jenny Han’s Summer series. It was such a strong coming-of-age series (find my reviews on this list) that I immediately added To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to my wishlist as soon as I’d heard of it – even though I wasn’t so sure about the story.
From the first few pages something felt “off” and I had a hard time getting into the story. We are slowly introduced to all the characters, with Margot, the oldest sister, going abroad for college. And then a few more moments are strung together, but not really cohesively. I felt it was a really weird starting point for the story and I wish the author would have gotten to the point faster. I almost dropped the book, but fortunately I decided to power through it a little more.
Once the letters get sent things get a lot more interesting. Lara Jean had a lot to explain, and of courses she tries to minimize the damage, and of course it only delays the hurt of saying the truth. But while, at time, I felt like the book couldn’t decide what it was (a comedy, a romance, a coming-of-age story, something else?), the truth is that it really pulled me in. I was reading pages at a time, completely entertained by Lara Jean’s adventures. I loved her family and I really liked the cast of characters surrounding her.
One thing that Jenny Han still does great is write charming boys you can’t help falling for. There’s Josh the boy next door, who is also her sister’s ex-boyfriend (ick), but then there’s also Peter, with whom Lara Jean has a fake-not-fake relationship. I am not sure what she saw in Josh, personally, but her chemistry with Peter was really great. So, that was fun too.
In the end, I would say my experience was mostly positive. I think I came in expecting too much, when the book simply is a cute contemporary YA novel. It’s light, it’s fun; it’s a breeze to read under the sun!
Series Reading Order :
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
- P.S. I Still Love You (coming 2015)
Awww! The Man’s uncle and aunt got themselves a new pup and it’s just so adorable with its soft fur and pig paws! Also, lots of energy and chewing!
Her name is Leia, and I wish I could have brought her back home with us! <3
About the Book :
But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.
My Thoughts :
I love road trip novels, and tales of friendship, and music, and a touch of love doesn’t hurt; so Open Road Summer looked liked it had pretty much everything neatly wrapped together under a pretty cover, and I couldn’t pass it up!
I hve to say, I did mostly enjoy it; I felt for Dee (Lilah’s “real life” nickname) and the pressure she lived with. I also really enjoyed Matt, who didn’t act like a star or some unattainable bad boy, but a simple and nice young adult male. I could easily see why Reagan almost immediately fell for him, and their chemistry was good, too.
But when I think back on my reading of Open Road Summer, I am still a bit torned by one issue, and that is an important one : Reagan. Reagan is the narrator and a pretty good one, too. From the start it is clear she has her own issues; heartbreak, abandonment from her mother, trust broken, etc. I felt for her, I really did.
But I also felt she was way harsher than she needed to be, almost to the point of being mean and hateful at times; calling other girls sluts and skanks for the way the dressed or acted, for instance, which is something that really really irks me. Reagan is far from being a saint, too, which also makes her a bit of a hypocrite. And I wouldn’t mind this if she either owned up to it, or had some kind of epiphany about her attitude. But neither of these really happened.
This being said, I still really enjoyed the book. I loved being on tour from city to city, reading about Dee’s struggles on and off the stage, and most of all, I really liked the girls’ friendship. They connected really well, and I thought the author did a great job of writing them different while still making sure they worked well together.
All in all, Open Road Summer was a really fun novel with a few hints of aw-worthy romance. Even though I had a few problems with the main character, I absolutely enjoyed Emery Lord’s writing and her honest point-of-view. Her next book, The Start of Me and You, is coming out March 2015 and I am looking forward to reading it too!
Filling the Shelf simply is Mailbox Monday, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)
Happy Monday everyone!
I almost forgot about my Monday post, even though I had quite the awesome mailbox this week! Which was great, because I had a bit of a cold and it certainly brightened my mood (isn’t there a worst time for a cold than summer? bleh!)
I’m not sure which one I’m the most excited about because they all look amazing!
What books did you recently add to your shelves?