Author: Jenny Han Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1 Genre: Young Adult Release Date: April 15, 2014 Book Length: 355 pages Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers Review: 3.5/5
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.
This was such a quick, light, and fluffy read that I enjoyed. Lara Jean’s family was so cute; I loved her dad and her tightknit relationship with her sisters. I thought this was going to centre a lot on how her letters got sent out, but it was almost like that meant less to Lara Jean than the aftermath that ensued from it. The act of the letters being sent by an anonymous source took a back seat to the love triangle that formed as a consequence. It was just weird though because if I wrote a love letter to someone that I was just planning on keeping in a box, I would not even put an address on it! I think what would have made this a bit more fun is if the story was about how she went on an active search to find out how this all happened, but it was good nonetheless.
Anyone who has read the story knows that Lara Jean loves to bake. At the end of the book, there are a few of her recipes and I decided to try one out. The ones I baked were called Kitty’s Favorite Snickerdoodles. Lara Jean baked them in the book when her little sister, Kitty, was mad at her.
Here is the recipe:
Makes about 48 cookies.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until consistency is doughlike. Shape dough into rounded balls about ½ inch thick.
Mix ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll the balls of dough in the mixture to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8-10 mins, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets with spatula to cool on rack so the cookies don’t continue to cook. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. (For longer storage, freeze’)
I kind of messed up because mine turned out thicker than the recipe called for, but they still tasted good! My house smelled like Christmas as I was making them, so I couldn’t really complain.
Although there were some questionable things that happened in the story, I still wanted desperately to read this at any chance I got. I found the writing super easy to get through and I liked Lara Jean. It was addicting and I really wanted to find out what happened and I think that’s part of what makes this so highly rated. I will definitely pick up the second book soon.
Thank you for reading and let me know what you thought of this book if you’ve read it, I would love to know!