I am going to preface this with a warning. SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don’t want to know anything before reading then STOP here.
I am really excited to write this review of this book because I want someone to fan girl with. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars which was surprising to me because I don’t read contemporary very often, if at all. I do love young adult books but I tend to gravitate towards supernatural scary books or oh my gosh this is the end of the world books. When I read the synopsis of this book my attention was immediately captured. A girl writes love letters to all the boys she has ever had a crush on and keeps them in a hat box. She never plans on mailing these letters but one day she finds out that they have been sent. Then, craziness ensues.
We meet our name character Lara Jean who has an older sister named Margot and a younger sister named Kitty. Their mother tragically died when they were young girls and Margot has since then resumed the head of household role because their dad is always working. The three sisters have an extremely close relationship, which I find extremely heart warming because as an only child I have always longed for that type of relationship. Margot can be a bit overbearing, which I would expect from an older sister, and Kitty can be a bit annoying, which I expect from a younger sister. Lara Jean is in the middle, she is a sweet and innocent character. I immediately bond with her because I can be rather timid around others, as well.
Margot is dating a boy from across the street, named Josh. The whole family loves Josh and he has become a staple in the household. He helps the three girl’s dad with chores and is often over for dinner. All of the girls love Josh in their own way, and really they all have a crush on him although he is Margot’s boyfriend. Margot will be going to college in Scotland soon which is about to change the whole dynamic of the family and also change the relationship she has with Josh. When I was reading this I could tell immediately that the distance would put a strain on the all of these relationships which each character has held so dearly. I also knew that it would change the personality of all the characters involved as they all had to grow up a little and find themselves.
Before Margot leaves for college she breaks up with Josh and Lara Jean has no clue why she would do this. Not only does she break up with him but she only confides in Lara Jean about it and begs her to keep it a secret from her father and little sister. Lara Jean agrees and Margot leaves for Scotland with her family believing everything is alright. Josh continues to come over once Margot is gone and Lara Jean and Kitty love hanging out with him. Lara Jean even likes teasing Kitty about her crush on Josh, in front of Josh, himself.
One day Lara Jean goes to school and is confronted by Peter, a guy she grew up with and was friends with middle school. They grew apart over the years as Peter became more popular and Lara Jean faded into the background. Peter tells Lara Jean that he got the letter she wrote to him. She is immediately confused and tell him that there must be a misunderstanding. Then, she is also confronted by Josh who starts questioning her about when she started liking him. She tells Josh that it was a long time ago and she no longer feels that way. She tells him that she has a boyfriend and runs up to Peter and kisses him in front of everyone, which is out of character.
Peter goes a long with it and later on they talk about what has happened. Peter has just broken up with someone and wants to make her jealous so Lara Jean and Peter create a fake relationship. This fake relationship is supposed to benefit them both. It benefits Lara Jean because it gives her a cover as all the letters find their owners and it lets Peter make his ex jealous. Of course, as time goes on you can tell that they start developing feelings for one another, even though they won’t admit it to themselves. I found myself thinking, just tell each other that you like each other already!!!
Lara Jean is spending less time with Josh, though, and also not talking to her sister much. Lara Jean is becoming the head of household more and helping her little sister become more responsible so that she can ask her dad for a dog. The crazy part is that Josh actually kisses Lara Jean before Margot comes home for winter break. And meanwhile, Peter is trying to convince Lara Jean that she should go on the ski trip with him. She agrees to go.
Margot comes home from college and the whole family can feel the strain of things not being like they used to. Everyone has grown up while Margot was away and she can’t really figure out how she fits in the family anymore. Shortly after Margot comes home Lara Jean goes on the ski trip. She is having a good time and even kisses Peter but that turns out to be a horrible thing. Once they are leaving to go home rumors are circulating that she had sex with Peter which makes her completely ignore him because she feels that he started those rumors.
The three sisters host a Christmas party where all hell breaks loose. Margot finds out that Josh kissed Lara Jean and Peter and Lara Jean argue. Then, Margot become enraged at Lara Jean because of what she does. Also, we find out that the little sister mailed Lara Jean’s letters. In the end the sisters mend fences and we are left with two little words…
I loved this book so much and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the second installment! Will Peter and Lara Jean get back together? Because I hope so! Can Margot and Josh work it out? I really don’t know.