First, man I'll tell you: S**T gets real at Chapter 20.
My advice to you is to stick it out till Ch.20. If you can just do that you'll be fine. I swear. Lara Jean Song Covey will have hooked you, the simple sentence structure will have become endearing, and if you're like me and decided to binge read this trilogy after watching the Netflix movie, then well, pfft EVERYTHING starts to happen in Chapter 20. That being said, don't try to skip ahead y'all really need to experience the context of Chapters 1-19.
Next, if I had written a book in high school, if I had actually gone to school in high school instead of homeschooling, then, this would have been the book I wrote.
Last, and most importantly,
This is a classic tale of awkward high school love. It is complicated by a girl who lost her mother at a young age in a truly tragic and freak accident and is facing her Junior Year of high school without her sister, Margot, who has gone off to college in Scotland. Talk about a tough break.
During the course of Lara Jean Song Covey's Junior Year we are told about how she's struggling to be an adult-teenager, deal with possibly loving Margot's ex-boyfriend and thus betraying her sister, on top of facing her fear of commitment when a new love interest falls into her lap.
Lara Jean Song Covey: The main protagonist. The epic feeler. The Love-Letter sender. Lara Jean is perhaps the most relatable teenager I've experienced in a YA-Contemporary novel. Lara Jean was who teenage-Anna was back in high school, and let's be real here, still kinda is today. Her issues with commitment and her fear of love is spot-on for why I also fear men, love, and commitment.
Her internal thoughts mirror Past-Anna thoughts so perfectly that I often found myself chuckling fondly at tidbits like: "I wonder if they have stalls in there, or just a bunch of shower heads and no privacy." Like on the real though, how do boys feel comfortable showering in locker rooms? She's also apparently funny, quirky, and cute; all the things I literally have been called before and seriously probably am.
She also does things like run up to a boy and kisses him, movie-style, just to convince another boy she actually likes that she does not in fact like him, when she does. Classic Anna move.
Like Lara Jean, I also wrote letters and kept them in a wooden box that looked like a very large book that my grandma had given me. Also like Lara Jean, I take those letters out and reread from time to time to affirm my emotions at the time and see how different I am from that scared, traumatized, little girl. Unlike Lara Jean, my letters never got out.
Honestly, I could just continue forever to talk about how Lara Jean's voice progressively, throughout the entire book, just gets more real and more: YAS *poetic snaps*.
Margot Song Covey: The perfect one. The good "craic". The Good. The one who left for Scotland while simultaneously breaking Josh's heart. She doesn't feature much in the meat of narrative but she's an inspiration. I think Margot and Lara Jean's relationship is a bit like my brother and I's relationship, post-his move out of the house during my sophomore year of high school.
Kitty Song Covey: The feisty one. The one who set things in motion. Also Kitty and Peter's relationship is just about the second best part of this book.
Josh: The boy next-door. The coveted. Often referred to as "Margot's Josh".
Peter K.: The handsome one. AKA Kavinsky. AKA the handsome at first glance but really beautiful one. The beauty boy. The one with long eye lashes. The one with unfairly long eyelashes. Honestly, he's my favorite, next to Lara Jean. Every interaction Peter and Lara Jean have together is perfect and witty and the best. That's all.
Chris: The stray cat you always wanted. Or, if you're like me, the stray cat you abducted from the golf course you live adjust to and hid in your room for a day until you found out that you may or may not have gotten lice from it. On a more related note *cough* I seriously had a friend just like Chris in high school. The rebellious, running away from family drama teenager who feels unheard, unloved, and somehow picked on at home and so turns to the wildness of the night. Her brash, wild-n-crazy, tell-it-straight attitude was great. She kinda wasn't emotionally there for Lara Jean but you know the Chris's of the world never really are.
I also know 100% that I would genuinely follow the Chris's anywhere in the world, solely because I believed in their vision.
Gen: The popular one. The Gen of the Gen and Kavinsky Institution. The kinda mean person. The one you kinda felt for by the end but didn't actually want to admit that to yourself because like the main protagonist is YOU and you have to back YOU up.
"Did you run up to Kavinsky and kiss him like a manic?"
"I miss her so much. Nothing's the same without her. "
"It's a cozy day: it's nearly six o'clock, and I'm still in my pj's."
"Josh gives me a funny look. 'That's not what he was saying today at McCall's.' What in the world was Peter K. doing at a bookstore?"
"'Yes, of course I know what that means.' I have no idea what that means. I make a mental note to ask Chris the next time I see her."
"I think throwing Peter off guard could be a fun hobby for me."
"I smile a secret smile."
"My favorite decade is the aughts, which means the 1900s."
"Peter's so Peter."
"I'm just waiting for the next question. You never just have one question."
"When that piece makes sense, everything else starts to."
"He has a high emotional IQ."
"A zany little detour..."
"I guess Santa shops at Costco too."