I’m going to star this review by saying that I am totally the black sheep when it comes to this book. I did not like it. I did not enjoy any part of this story. It has so much hype around it and to me it just did not live up to that hype.
This is the story of dreamy-eyed Laura Jean and her family . Laura Jean Song Covey (that is her full name…) has two sisters: Margot and Kitty. Margot decides to move to Scotland and chooses to break up with Josh, her boyfriend and the family neighbor. The problems is that Laura Jean has been pining over Josh for years. Laura Jean is a huge romantic and has opted to write each of her “loves” a letter as a way of getting over them so she can move on. The problem with that is these boys did not know Laura Jean “loved” them and each of the letters ends up being mailed to the boys, including Josh. This begins the painful/funny/awkward trip through Laura Jean’s life.
The main, huge, underlying issue I had with this book is simple: Laura Jean. She is the MC but she is painfully childish, naive, and immature. She is a cookie cutter version of what a “normal girl” is supposed to be. She was not believable as a character. I did not feel anything for her and as a result I did not connect with her or the story at all. Her character came across as a pre-teen, a girl who would be 11 or 12 years old but no, she is actually 16 or 17. That’s absurd! She was just too silly and childish for a girl that should be far more mature than that.The “romance” within this book was severely lacking. Meaning it did not exist. I felt nothing swoony, gushy, or remotely sweet. She has fake romances with boys that don’t realize who she is. That really cannot be healthy.
Another thing that bothered me about this story is that Laura Jean had no friends. HOW can you have a contemporary story and the MC have no friends? How can that be realistic at all? How can I connect with a MC that chooses to alienate herself from friends to stay home and bake cookies for her family? sigh Yes, I know that Laura Jean’s family went through a traumatic event when their mother passed away, but how can nobody at school or within the family see how unhealthy it is for a child to be so emotionally stunted? I know there was a second book to this story but I was not remotely interested in picking it up. I barely made it through this book.
So here I am declaring myself:
I still do not and cannot recommend this to anyone. When I read a contemporary novel, I want swoony feels and gushy romance – this book had none of that. Nowhere close. Not even in the parking lot of the ballpark. I didn’t like the characters, the story line, or the lack of chemistry. I know there are readers that adore Laura Jean and her story, alas I am not one of them. This book was not for me. Any book that makes me struggle to read and question why I read until the end is not one I could wish on anyone.