To All the Boys I've Loved Before Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is now a major motion picture streaming on Netflix!
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.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 44 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 14, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #6,730 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#8 in Teen Fiction on Dating & Sex
#9 in Movie, TV & Video Game Tie-ins for Teens
#13 in Contemporary Romance for Teens
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2022
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Presently at this moment, I am writing this review and swaying to my Lara Jean Motown playlist on Spotify and eating an oatmeal raisin cookie. (I know…I know…Lara Jean…could make much more creative cookies…such as those cowgirl cookies and don’t forget those snickerdoodles!)
If I could sum up my feelings for this book in one word, I would simply use a word that isn’t listed in the Cambridge English Dictionary and that word would be…adorbs!
To all the boys I’ve loved before made me want to be the fourth Song sister and I just loved all the things about the main character of Lara Jean! I want to live in the world of Lara Jean and raid her adorable vintage outfits and use her heart hole puncher! After all, how can you not love a girl who has a heart hole puncher?
“Because after I write my letter, I’m no longer consumed by my all-consuming love. I can eat my cereal and not wonder if he likes bananas over his Cherrios too: I can sing along to love songs and not be singing them to him. If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcisms. My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.”-Lara Jean
To all the boys I’ve loved before is the first contemporary romance book of a trilogy who introduces the dainty character of Lara Jean. Lara Jean lives with her father and two other sisters named Margot and Kitty. The sisters call themselves the Song girls because their mother’s maiden name is Song and the sisters have a strong connection to their mother. Their mother died at an early age and they also share more of their mother’s physical features which is Korean and their father is Caucasion.
“We are the three Song girls. There use to be four. My mom, Eve Song. Evie to my dad, Mommy to us, Eve to everyone else. Song is, was, my mom’s last name. Our last name is Covey-Covey like lovey, not like cove. But the reason we are the Song girls and not the Covey girls is my mom used to say that she was a Song girl for life, and Margot said then we should be too. We all have Song for our middle name, and we look more Song than Covey anyway, more Korean than white.”
The Song girls are an absolute trip! Margot is the responsible and smart sister who plays mom to the whole family. Kitty is the baby sister in the family who is always causing trouble and is way too smart and spunky for her own good! They have so much fun together and have so many cute traditions that they share like the CHRISTMAS COOKIE BONANZA!
When Lara Jean falls in love with a boy she writes them a love letter professing her adoration and that’s how she gets these boys out of her system. After she finishes writing the love letter she methodically hides them in a charming teal vintage hatbox that her mother bought her. Until one day the letters are gone and all the five boys “she has loved before” receive her love letters and this is the one moment where all the boys of her past come out of the woodwork and Lara has to make a choice to either hide in her world of love letters or face the truth of her emotions, and finally live her life.
Meet Lara Jean played by Tiffany Hwang
Lara Jean is your proverbial dreamy eyed teenager who is in love with love but is terrified of it at the same time. Although she has a dramatic and individualistic style down to her vintage clothes and her innate attention to detail.
The character of Lara Jean is someone who fantasizes about love and sees it through rose colored glasses more than the real reality of it. She would rather love the boys from afar and obsess over them but never fully commit to them.
Lara Jean truly walks to the beat of her own drum and that's what makes her full of awesomeness!
“I think I see the difference now, between loving someone from afar and loving someone up close. When you see them up close, you see the real them, but they also get to see the real you. And Peter does. He seems me, and I see him.” -Lara Jean
Meet Peter Kavinsky played by Harry Styles
“That’s when I see him. Peter Kavinsky, walking down the hallway. Like magic. Beautiful, dark-haired Peter. He deserves background music, he looks so good.” -Lara Jean
Peter Kavinsky’s is one of the five boys that Lara Jean professed her undying love to.
Peter is that quintessential guy in school that one loves to hate and hates to love at the same time. He is a popular jock who everyone is friends with and who everyone wants to be friends with. Peter has such a self-assurance about himself that it can make anyone feel that all is good and right with the world.
“I think you’re cute. In a quirky way.” –Peter Kavinsky
If I was in high school Peter would be one of my fictional high school boyfriends! He is just the most appealing, irresistible, and infuriating character that I have ever read about! Peter is someone you want to kiss and slap across the face at the same time! The back and forth banter between Lara Jean and Peter is just priceless and he brings out the feisty side of Lara Jean. Peter brings Lara Jean out of her shell and makes her realize that love is not a sugar-coated fantasy and in order to love someone you need to first be honest with yourself.
Meet Josh played by Skyler Astin
Josh is part of the love letter debacle as well and also part of a love triangle between Lara Jean, Peter, and Josh.
Josh dated Lara Jean’s sister Margot and when they suddenly broke up Josh receives Lara Jean’s love letter. Lara Jean is horrified by the fact that he received this love letter because she would never admit her feelings to Josh since he dated her sister. In order to avoid conflict, she pretends to date Peter Kavinsky. This also benefits Peter because he is currently breaking up with Lara Jean’s ex-friend mean girl Genevieve for the millionth time and wants to get her jealous. And so the plot thickens…
Josh is your typical do-gooder guy that is always there for you when you need it. Josh is like the Dawson Leery in your life that is always there to lend a shoulder to cry on and yada, yada, yada…Honestly, the character of Josh didn't really get my attention. He seemed to be a very dry and humdrum character to me. I felt like I didn't know enough about Josh for me to genuinely like him as a character. There just wasn't enough depth to the character of Josh which leads me to definitely be Team Peter.
Now Lara Jean has a choice. Does she want the bad boy Peter (aka Pacey Witter) or the do-gooder Josh (aka Dawson Leery)?
Jenny Han’s Writing
Catfairy and Jenny Han Book Signing
Overall, it’s great to see that YA novels are representing more diversity than ever before. The author Jenny Han who is herself Korean perfectly exemplifies the Korean culture. She also beautifully describes the struggle that Lara Jean goes through with being half Korean and Half-Caucasian.
This book is written in the first person and it’s a very character-driven novel and it’s what makes this book come alive! To all the boys I’ve loved before would not have been the same book if it wasn’t for the unique characters that she had in this novel! It is easy to get lost in the world of the Song sisters! When I read this book, I felt like I was personally invited to the home of the Song sisters and I got to know them so well, that I grew attached to each of them.
Catfairy Final Thoughts
“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just like clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.” -Lara Jean
Each of the Song sisters will have a peace of my heart and I am so happy that there are two other books in this series so I don’t have to say goodbye just yet!
Even though, I love all the Song sisters it is "obvi" that Lara Jean is my favorite of them all! I love how she is an individual and doesn’t change for anyone or anything! Most teenagers have the pressure to conform to what is cool and what is not cool. Lara Jean is her own person and she doesn’t care about that which is an inspiration for all teenage girls. Being yourself is the coolest thing you can be!
This book is the kind of book that makes you reminisce on what it is like to truly fall in love for the first time, how you romanticize it in your head, how scary it is, and how amazing it is all at once!
At first I wasn't a fan of our main character, Lara Jean. She is supposed to be sixteen years old, but I honestly feel like she acted like she was a few years younger than that. The overall tone and voice of her character was very immature and young. Now as the story went on I definitely warmed up to her and although her tone was immature and young throughout the entire story, I did also find her sweet and endearing. I both thought she was absolutely adorable and I wanted to slap her because of her incredibly bad decisions. I just didn't love that I had to constantly remind myself that she was supposed to be sixteen. Peter was a favorite character of mine in this story. At first, he seems like this typical cocky overconfident teenage boy (which he most definitely is) but his character arc from the beginning to the end of the story as a whole was one I liked a lot. I really loved him with Lara, not just romantically (fake or otherwise) but also just them becoming friends. I thought they had a lot of great chemistry and they brought out the good parts of each other. I loved all of Lara Jean's family members. I thought Kitty was going to get on my nerves but I even loved her. I felt for Margot, having to step us as the main woman of the house after their mother passed is such a huge responsibility and I felt for her especially at the end of the story when she comes back from college. I also loved their dad, who was an adorable guy. I love that having the girls stay connected to their Korean side, even after the passing of their mom, meant so much to him and he tried new things with them. It's so cute. Honestly, the only character I really hated was Josh. He's in this long term relationship with Margot and then they break up. He seems to kind of get over that fairly quickly the moment he finds out that Lara Jean once had feelings for him. I feel like 1. treating your ex-girlfriend's sister like a rebound seems like a jerk move and 2. maybe don't go after your ex-girlfriend's sister. He's jealous and territorial over her, and he feels like he needs to constantly butt in with his opinions when he finds out Lara is dating Peter. I just really hated Josh.We also have Chris, Lara Jean's best friend. I mostly disliked her, but there's a scene in particular that made me respect her a lot more than I had at first. I think I would like to see more moments of them together so we can see their friendship more.
The plot was pretty predictable and generic for a young adult contemporary romance, but I don't think that's an awful thing and I did enjoy myself. It's a sweet story but it doesn't have much originality going for it. I love that the girls are half Korean, and I hope to maybe see more of that in the next books because I am always up to learn about different cultures. And of course I am a sucker for some great descriptions of foods, but the romance and the plot itself was standard. It's a perfect beach read. Dramatic, fluffy, light, and easy to speed through. However, it does have it's heavy moments, especially when it comes to the sisters and the relationships they've had. Also how they all handled the death of their mother and how it affected their sibling relationships. I love how close they are and I love their family traditions.The whole Covey family is charming.
My biggest problem with this book is the fact that the readers are told this story is centered around Lara dealing with the aftermath of her private love letters being sent out to boys she's had feelings for in the past. But that is only in the beginning of the book, and the problem gets resolved fairly quickly. Which is fine, but I almost didn't even see a point of there being five letters/boys when only two of them actually matter. At least right now, since there is one boy we got no closure on at all. So we will see how they come into play in the next books.
The writing was okay, but not my favorite. The sentences, especially at the beginning of the story, were clunky and had hard stops at the end of each sentence. So it didn't flow very well and it felt choppy. I think it's a mixture of the writing but also the way the audiobook narrator narrated the story. So I am not sure if it was only the writing, but either way the story didn't seem to flow well. I am not sure if it improves as the story progresses or if I've gotten used to it or got so caught up in the story that I didn't notice it as badly. But it's definitely jarring at first. I think the writer is a fantastic storyteller and great at writing believable complex characters, it was just the sentence structure and Lara's immaturity that were negative aspects for me as a reader. However, none of this is stopping me from reading books two and three.
I also definitely recommend the movie!! It only spans through the events of the first book so there aren't any spoilers for the rest of the series. I think the movie did a lot of things better than the book, and I ended up enjoying it a lot more. For one, Lara Jean definitely acts her age. She's young and inexperienced but she doesn't react or have the tone of a character a few years younger than her like she did in the book. I actually both loved Lara Jean but I also loved the way the actress, Lana Condor, portrayed Lara. She's absolutely adorable. All the actors & actresses played their characters perfectly. It was so well done. So if you liked the book, definitely watch the movie. I think you may like the movie even if you didn't like the book. It makes me even more excited to continue with the trilogy.
Overall, if you're in the mood for a really cute summer romance this would be one I'd definitely recommend. It's the perfect mixture of lighthearted with serious family/romance drama mixed in. It's just so pure and innocent. I want to finish the next two soon because I need to know what will happen next! These are definitely more addicting than I anticipated.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is about Lara Jean, the middle child of three sisters. Lara Jean and her siblings are being raised single handedly by her father, and you learn about how that has shaped the dynamic of not just her life but also that of her older sister Margot, and her younger sister Kitty.
With Margot moving away to university, it is Lara Jeans time to come into her own, to prove she can 'do it all', and that she is a 'mature and refined adult', but unfortunately for Lara Jean it all goes a little bit wrong.
After an unexpected incident of letters she'd penned to boys from her past and present get mailed, she is forced to own up to her crushes, or in some cases make up a lie to get out of feeling mortified.
The book has some real funny and gripping moments and is very believably told from the perspective of a teenager. It is well constructed and I couldn't put it down.
I wanted to read this book before watching the Netflix production and I am glad I chose to do this first, as there's just always something better about a book compared to the screen adaptations.
I would recommend this book to all romance lovers, someone who would like to read something current and light-hearted.
If you’ve watched the movie and/or read the books, you will know that TATBILB follows sixteen-year-old, Lara Jean Song Covey and her love letters. Lara Jean has a thing for writing love letters, dedicated to all of her crushes up until the present, however, she will never send them out. She keeps them treasured away for her and only her to read over and over again. When a little teasing at the dinner table takes a turn for the worst, all five of Lara Jean’s crushes receive their letters, one including the beloved and popular, Peter Kavinsky.
Two rather big and life-changing events in Lara Jean and Peter’s lives leave them both in positions that they really need to get themselves out of and what could help that more than fake dating? Probably a lot, but this is the story of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, that is going to have you head over heels in love with them within seconds.
Not only was Lara Jean trying to cover her back from a previous crush that could turn back around on her really hard, she was also having to deal with her eldest sister, Margot, moving to Scotland for University. The Song sisters have such a unique and special bond between the three of them and it did have me a little green with envy throughout, not growing up with sisters of my own (Shush don’t tell my brothers that though, I still love them more than life itself). With Margot having taken on the mom role, after their mother sadly passed away, Lara Jean knew that this was now going to be passed on as her responsibility and she needed to continue the hard work Margot had put in to taking care of their father and youngest sister, Kitty.
TATBILB is such an easy read, with chapters only taking up to 1-3 minutes each to read which I L.O.V.E.D!! I absolutely live for short chapters, as my attention span is about 5 minutes – if a chapter is longer than that, there’s a slight chance you’re going to lose me half way through for a little bit. However, that being said, the longest chapters of this book take up to no more than 12 minutes, which is an absolute joy, so thank you Jenny for keeping your books short and sweet. Being as it is the year I turned 22, I always feel a bit nervous reading books based in school’s, like people might find out and judge me? I don’t know, it’s a stupid thought, however, I really just love the simplicity of being taken back to school, where all you had to worry about was whether that boy you like likes you back or getting your homework completed in time or whether or not you was going to be invited to the latest and trashiest party – none of it is really as important as you think when you’re sixteen.
The book is so incredibly cosy and I found myself yearning to have the type of dynamic and vibe that the Covey household does. I also found myself feeling determined to be as productive as Lara Jean – with her love for creating scrapbooks, testing new Korean face-masks and consistently baking for her family, I wish I had her self-care routine! I do really admire Lara Jean, not only for her outstanding skin-care routine, but also because she really does prove herself and show everybody that she is more capable of life than they all think. She comes across as the shy girl who loves to make crafts and bake, yet her confidence shines so bright and her ways of dealing with hard situations really make you want to applaud her. Don’t get me wrong, although the book makes you want to believe she is living this perfect life, Lara Jean definitely has her flaws – confrontation being the main one and I really can relate to that, as I am the worst person when it comes to confrontation. I’d rather just run away and not deal with anything than have to face something that could be either painful or just straight up awkward.
You’d be crazy to not love the growing friendship between Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. Two complete opposites, yet they somehow make it work. Rekindling their friendship was really heart-warming to watch, as you learn that they had been friends since their childhoods, yet walked in opposite directions of each other the more the years went by, and the closer Peter got to the wicked witch, Genevieve. The more they were fake dating and getting to know each other, you could see how much they were growing on each other, romantically, however, they still have each other’s main goals in their heads and stop themselves from admitting how they really feel. I really do believe that they are an unexpected couple who are absolutely made for each other.
Lara Jean Covey is the middle one of the three 'Song sisters', who are extremely close after the death of their mother a few years back. The only gift Lara Jean had from her mother, that was not duplicated to her sisters, is a teal-coloured hat box in which she keeps a bundle of love letters. These are not letters she's received but ones she wrote and never posted, letters written to help her get over the various crushes she has had over the years. Then one day, the letters are mysteriously posted, leading to all sorts of complications.
I'm not usually keen on stories that go into a lot of detail about the characters lives; I prefer to get right to the action! But I absolutely loved this book because of all the detail about Covey family life. I loved the way the sisters try to encourage their hapless father to get out and date again, by ironing his tie and practically shoving him out the door. I loved the down-to-earth humour of Lara Jean's 'fake' boyfriend Peter: "As soon as you and I are done, he's gonna pull some cheesy-ass move and, like, profess his love for you with a boom box. I'm telling you, I know how guys think." I even adored Lara Jean's eccentric best friend Chris, who turns up in the middle of the night for sleepovers.
To All The Boys I've Loved Before is sweet, funny, and heart-warming without even trying. The characters are adorable and I completely fell in love with them. So I have no hesitation in recommending it to fans of contemporary romance, romance and romcoms, whatever their age! One of my favourite reads this year.
One book down, two more to go. I really enjoyed it and I’m definitely looking forward to diving into the second book and seeing where the story goes. Though by the end of the book I did start to fall for Peter, he was a bit of a douche for most of the book. Book Peter has nothing on movie Peter. And I was 100% not a fan of Margot in the book, though I wasn’t exactly her fan in the movie either.
ANYWAY! Despite that, it was a great read and I’m going to start on book two now, and hope the paperbacks become available somewhere soon.
This book is charming, witty and honest. As Lara-Jean deals with the fall out of her “love letters” being sent, and her beloved older sister going off to collage in another country. We see her mature in her dealing with her younger sister and slowly become more self confident.
Her relationship with her sisters is sweet and heartwarming and her slow dawning realisation that her fake relationship may contain real feelings is charming and painful to read as you are saddled catapulted back to being 16 again with all these “feelings”
A truly great read, second book bought now and all set to dive back in.