Sep 20, 2018

Lovin' Life 20/9/2018: 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' by Jenny Han.


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Hello, I'm Sydney Shop Girl.

I'm 43 years old with a busy life revolving around parenthood, work, trying not to click 'pay now' for too many of my virtual shopping baskets and trying to achieve a run life balance.

I've also rediscovered young adult romance fiction.

'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' is currently a Netflix film that's taking the world by storm and the film was based on Jenny Han's 2014 novel of the same name.  Briefly, Lara Jean Song Covey (pronounced to rhyme with 'lovey' and not the bird) is a Korean American teenager who lives with her widower dad and two sisters.  The three sisters are very close and since the death of their mother, have been extremely protective of their dad who often works unpredictable hours as an obstetrician and gynaecologist.  

Lara Jean has never truly been in love.  By her own admission, she's had a few crushes including one on her older sister Margot's ex-boyfriend Josh.  Josh wasn't only Margot's ex, he is also a dearly loved 'adopted' son'/big brother of the Song Covey family.

To deal with her crushes, Lara Jean writes letters to each boy.  Her theory is by getting out all her feelings on paper, she can then seal the envelope and move on.  The letters get stored in a teal hatbox given to Lara Jean by her mother.  While the letters are addressed to each crush, they were never intended to be sent.  Only someone does send them without Lara Jean's knowledge and most of the letters find their subjects with interesting and very YA fiction type consequences.

And here I am avidly reading about Lara Jean's teenaged world and not even being remotely embarrassed to admit it.  Each awkward encounter and slightly self-obsessed and self-conscious thought takes my mind back to my own world as a teenager.  And the sarcasm.  Oh the sarcasm.  Did we all act that way out of self-defence or to appear more self-confident or a bit of both?  Whatever the reason, I had no idea how cutting teens can be.  How I was.  I expect it will all came back to haunt me when I become the parent of my very own teenager...

It was a world of simpler times even though it didn't feel it at the time.  Family, school, friends - it was a bubble and a safe one at that.  At times it felt boring and a little too safe but I look back now and treasure that time of my life because it is part of who I am now.  

It's not that I'm nostalgic for my teenaged years or that I wish I could go back and live those years again, but 'better' but reading 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' brought me back to those days of crushes and distinctly PG rated PDAs.  And for this woman who gets secondhand embarrassment for everyone involved with the Bachelor, that's something lovely and strangely touching.

Do you ever read young adult fiction?  Does it take you back in time as well?


10 comments:

  1. Adorable :) xxx
    I was so certain that no boy that I had a crush on would like me, do I never bothered with love letters.
    Now I enjoy reading memoirs and novels about self-destruction.
    Stay Gold, SSG xx

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  2. I do, but more the dystopia ones...what does that say about me? I'm not one for romance books/movies but you've sold me enough to check it out...

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  3. You know, I haven't read much YA, but probably should. Perhaps it's because my YA doesn't read any YA...or, indeed, anything...which me being a writer finds totally unbelievable! She, however, says that it's not an efficient use of her downtime when the movie is just 2 hrs. It's like so whatever.

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  4. I haven't read YA for a while. Now you made me curious to read this book.

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  5. Oh I'm gonna have to watch it now and YES there is much young adult fiction that I enjoy. I've read many series of YA fiction over the years, particularly series that my daughter was in to. I generally enjoy it! :-) #TeamLovinLife

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  6. I really enjoy YA fiction because it's so much lighter than the doom and gloom or murder and mayhem of a lot of the adult stuff. I'm also in the process of re-reading the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey - no sex, drugs or rock and roll - just dragons and sci fi and a rollicking read. Enjoy re-capturing a little of your youth SSG - I think it's a lovely way to spend a few hours!

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  7. I've heard so many good things about this movie - but I think I'd have more chance of reading the book than finding time to watch the movie, haha! I haven't read YA books in a long time. I've been okay about reading this year, but maybe next year I can get better at it!

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  8. I used to be addicted to the Sweet Valley High series back in the day - often wonder what I would think if I read it now. But I definitely re-read the occasional Enid Blyton, even 40+ years after I first discovered them!

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  9. It does sound like a good read. I don't read a lot of YA fiction. My teens kind of skipped those novels and moved on to their own genres. I've tried to read those to relate to what they like, but we all have completely different tastes! I have a few books on my bedside table waiting to be read Can't wait!

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  10. Oooooh! I must watch this :) Thanks for cluing me in! I'm about to finish all of Girlfriends Guide to Divorce (have you watched this series? ADDICTED!!! I'm watching it all via Foxtel On Demand) so will be looking for a new series to binge on soon. #teamlovinlife

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