But as anyone who has ever had a bizarrely insightful conversation with a 4 year old can tell you, sometimes talking to someone younger can give you a kind of clarity you would never experience otherwise. The stories told in YA lit are some of my favorites because they are real. Because they remind us of that clarity, of feeling everything so acutely, of the sense that what is happening is the beginning and the end of everything. And that’s why I enjoyed reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
In many ways I felt as though pages from this novel had been ripped from my own story, from the sardonic, oh-so-adolescent moments to the feeling you get when you realize the people you chose stopped choosing you back. I’ve felt eclipsed by the people in my life who seem so much better at living it than I do, and I’ve felt incredibly humbled by the realization that someone I thought I knew isn’t who I thought they were at all.