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Han, Jenny.
New York : Simon and Schuster, 2014

(4 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Lara Jean has this habit of writing really detailed loved letters to boys she has crushes on in order to get them out of her system. Detailed, down to cataloging their good and bad qualities. Then she puts them away, and is done with both the boy and the letter.

Here’s how just one of those letters happened:

“‘Josh likes me.’ Margot gave a pleased kind of shrug; her shoulders nearly went up to her ears.

“I went very still. Then I dropped my wooden spoon into the sauce. ‘Josh Josh? Our Josh?’ I couldn’t even look at her, I was afraid that she would see.

“‘Yes. He waited for me after school today so he could tell me. He said—’ Margot grinned ruefully. ‘He said I’m his dream girl. Can you believe that?’

“‘Wow,’ I said, and I tried to communicate happiness in that word, but I don’t know if it came out that way. All I was feeling was despair. And envy. Envy so thick and so black I felt like I was choking on it. So I tried again, this time with a smile. ‘Wow, Margot.’

“‘Wow,’ Kitty echoed. ‘So are you boyfriend and girlfriend, now?’

“I held my breath, waiting for her to answer.

“Margot took a pinch of parmesan between her fingers and dropped it in her mouth. ‘Yeah, I think so.’ And then she smiled, and her eyes went all soft and liquid. I understood then that she liked him too. So much.

“That night I wrote my letter to Josh….

“I cried a lot. Just like that, it was over. It was over before I even had a chance. The important thing wasn’t that Josh had chosen Margot. It was that Margot had chosen him.

“So that was that. I cried my eyes out; I wrote my letter; I put the whole thing to rest. I haven’t thought of him that way since. He and Margot are meant to be. They’re MFEO. Made for each other.”

Suddenly, the letters are missing, and boys are coming up to her with her letter in their hands.

This wasn't just a story of mortification, though it could have been, but it's about how Lara Jean copes with the revelations, as well as Margot going off to college in Scotland, being in love with Margot’s boyfriend, taking care of her father and Kitty, now that Margot isn't around to do it, etc.

I enjoyed spending time with Lara Jean, and felt her pain and joy.

The sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, comes out May 26th.  (Booktalk by NH Flume Committee)

Booktalk #2

Lara Jean’s love letters to all the boys she’s ever crushed on were never supposed to be mailed. They were just a way for to move on by proving to herself that she is over it. The letters were sealed and safely stored away in a special hatbox that belonged to her mother, who died years ago. But somehow these secret love letters have been sent and delivered: to a crush from summer camp … to her very first kiss, Peter, who has just broken up with his girlfriend … and to her older sister’s boyfriend, the boy next door who Lara Jean adored from afar before he began dating Margot. Now that her secrets have been exposed, what will Lara Jean do next? She can’t turn to Margot, who is studying abroad. A fake relationship with Peter, who wants to get back at his ex, seems like a good idea at first. But real feelings bubble to the surface as Lara Jean realizes that maybe she’s not as over it all as she thought. Is this whole mess the worst thing that could happen, or a bit of romantic serendipity? And if you need more sweet secrets in your life, check out P.S. I Still Love You, a sequel coming soon that will make you fall for Lara Jean’s story all over again!    (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee) 

Booktalk #3

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song finds writing therapeutic. In fact, she has gotten over five crushes by writing an unsent love letter in her diary to each boy. When the letters disappear and somehow reach their addressees, one of whom is a close friend of Lara Jean and the ex-boyfriend of her sister, Lara Jean will do anything to show that she no longer has feelings for the boys, including pretending to date one of them, paradoxical though it may seem.  (Booktalk by the Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Committee)

Booktalk #4

Lara Jean Song has loved 5 boys and written goodbye letters to each of them explaining why she loved them and why she doesn’t anymore. Those letters were in a teal hatbox in her closet, until the day the box disappears and the letters get mailed! How will Lara face Peter at school every day? He was her first kiss, but it’s been a long time since 8th grade. What will Kenny think? Does he even remember her from church camp all those years ago? But worst of all – how will she face Josh who is now her sister’s boyfriend? He lives in the neighborhood! She sees him every day!

The Song sisters have been closer than close since their mother died. Margo was only 12, but kept the family running efficiently. Now Margot is headed to Scotland for college, Kitty is turning into a bratty tween a little early, and 16 year old Lara Jean is feeling left out and left behind. She’ll have to deal with this disaster without her sister’s help.

This is author Jenny Han at her best – funny, sad, sweet and real. Put yourself in Lara Jean’s place – what would you do if your deepest thought and feelings were suddenly revealed? Would you hide in your room until everyone forgets? Or face them head-on and find some surprises along the way? A great teen romance with some surprises along the way. (Diane Ferbrache, Teacher-Librarian, Hazen High School, Renton, WA, WA Evergreen Teen Award, 2017)

SUBJECTS:      Love -- Fiction.
                        Dating (Social customs) -- Fiction.
                        Sisters -- Fiction.
                        Love stories.

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