To All the Boys I've Loved Before Summary (A Novel by Jenny Han)


to all the boys i've loved before summary
Photo by Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash

Summary of To All the Boys I've Loved Before

The novel To All the Boys I've loved before by Jenny Han is a relatable tale of a 16-year-old girl's life who lives in Virginia with her dad and two sisters. Meet Lara Jean Song Covey (I just love her name!!), the protagonist.

She is a Multiracial American (half-white, half-Korean) and is really close to her sisters. Her elder sister’s name is Margot and the younger one is Kitty.

As the story unfolds, we find that from the beginning of her teenage years, Lara has been writing letters to her crushes, to each and every boy she has ever loved or had feelings for. She keeps all these unmailed letters in a teal hatbox.

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash
Lara’s teal hatbox, a gift from her late mother, plays a very important role in the story :)
When Margot, Lara's sister, leaves her boyfriend Josh Sanderson, who is also their neighbor, Lara’s feelings for him resurface. This prompts her to write a lengthy postscript for the letter she wrote when Josh chose Margot over her.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

The next day at school, Peter Kavinsky approaches her and declares that he doesn’t have any feelings for her. Lara realizes that he is talking about the letter she wrote for him when they were in seventh grade. And though she is confused as to how he got hold of the letter, she tells him that she wrote that letter ages ago and it doesn't mean anything now. 

After school, she tries to find the box and the unmailed letters, but she could not find them anywhere in the house. 

The next morning, Josh asks her about the letter in which she has declared her feelings for him. Panicked, she denies and states that she is dating somebody else & has no feeling for him anymore. Josh asks about her boyfriend, and to her shock, the first name that comes to her mind is Peter Kavinsky. She blurts out Peter’s names and when she sees him walking right towards them, she throws herself into his arms and kisses him in front of Josh. And to her utter relief, Peter kisses her back. 

Photo by Nathan Walker on Unsplash

When Josh goes away, she explains her situation to Peter. He agrees to play along as he is single again after breaking up with his long-term girlfriend Genevieve.

Though Lara sets a few ground rules to keep their behavior in check while playing their parts to keep up the act, the more time she spends with Peter the more confused she gets about her feelings. On the other side, Josh is jealous of Peter and when Lara confronts him about his jealous behavior, he tells her to be with him and kisses her. After this incidence, Lara realizes that she doesn’t want Josh at all, in fact, she actually wants to be with Peter, for real. Lara goes on a ski trip with her classmates, and to her happiness, Peter confesses that he wants to date her and they end up kissing each other in a hot tub.

The next day Lara finds out through Genevieve that there is a rumor going around that she had had sex with Peter in the hot tub the previous day, and Peter hasn’t denied it. Humiliated and angry, Lara decides to keep her distance from Peter and avoids him over the Christmas holidays. 

To All The Boys I've Loved Before Peter Kavinsky GIF from Toalltheboysivelovedbefore GIFs
When Kitty invites Peter to the Covey's recital party, Lara finds herself face to face with him. He tries to talk to her, and things get weird when Josh steps in, and go from bad to worse when Margot finds out about Josh’s and Lara’s kiss. To Lara's relief things get normal, Margot and Lara reunite, but Lara is still angry with Peter. Finally, Kitty owns up that she stole Lara’s Teal hatbox and mailed the letters to get back at her for almost making her feelings towards Josh public. Lara is quite fond of her sisters and forgives Kitty in the end. Kitty returns her box which now contains the notes from Peter that he gave her during their fake-dating phase. Kitty tells Lara that Peter actually has feelings for her and on reading the notes again, Lara’s heart melts and she decides to follow her heart again. She picks up the pen to write a real love letter to Peter.

Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash

Lara Jean Character Analysis

Lara Jean is usually cited as a nice, shy yet quirky teenage girl who loves scrapbooking, baking & wearing Korean and vintage clothing. Academically also, she tends to do well too; she is said to have good grades. She is a family person; she loves her father and shares a close bond with her sisters Margot and Kitty. She often thinks of her mother Eve Song but despite that, she wants her father to remarry & have a second chance at love, just like her sister Kitty.

Lara prefers to write down her feelings especially when it is about love & is comfortable in her own imagination. Things happen as the story evolves and she is forced to face reality. At the end of the book, she decides to write an actual love letter to Peter; this signifies that she is ready to leave the realm of imagination and actually do something if she wants a chance at true love.

More from 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' 

How many letters did Lara Jean write?

Lara Jean wrote 5 letters for her former crushes in order to deal with her feelings.

Who did Lara Jean write letters to?

Lara wrote letters for her five crushes
Peter Kavinsky. 

· Josh Sanderson. 

· John Ambrose McClaren. 

· Lucas James. 

· Kenny Donati.

Where did Lara Jean hide the letters?

Lara Jean hid the letters in a Teal hatbox given to her by her mother.   

How did Lara Jean’s mom die?

Lara Jean’s mom died from a head injury she endured after slipping on a recently mopped floor.

Who is Lara Jean's older sister?

Margot Covey is Lara Jean’s older sister.

 Who is Lara Jean's secret crush?

Lara Jean’s secret crush was Josh, who was also her sister Margot’s boyfriend.


Who pretended to be Lara Jean's boyfriend?

Peter Kavinsky

To make sure Josh leaves her alone, she tells him that she is not interested in him anymore as she is dating Peter Kavinsky. She even kisses peter in front of Josh; later she tells Peter everything who agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend for the time being.  

Who is Lara Jean’s first kiss?

Peter Kavinsky. Yes, she kisses him in panic, in an attempt to dissuade Josh who confronts her about the love letter he has recently received from her. But it was not their first kiss.

What cookie did Peter request for Christmas Cookie Bonanza?

Fruitcake cookies

What is Josh's favorite cookie?

White chocolate cranberry  

Who sends out Lara Jean's letters?


What kind of letter did Lara Jean make for Peter during New Year?

An actual love letter 

What reason does Lara Jean give for not wanting to date Peter?

Lara doesn’t want to date Peter because she thinks he is still in love with Genevieve.

Why is Lara Jean bad at driving?

 Lara is bad at driving because it makes her nervous.

Who invites Peter to the recital party?


What type of food does Dr. Covey make to remind the girls of their mom?


What nickname do Peter's friends give Lara Jean?

  Large (in the book; and Largey in the movie)

What area of business does Peter's mom work in?


Who kisses Lara Jean?


One of Lara Jean's letters is returned. Who is it addressed to?


Which character from Harry Potter does Lara Jean dress as?

 Cho Chang.

Who is the first character to tell Lara Jean that he has received one of her letters?


What color is Lara Jean's hatbox?


Where does Lara Jean go to find John Ambrose Maclaren?

 Model UN.

What type of school trip does Peter ask Lara Jean to go on?

 Ski trip.

Where do Peter and Lara Jean kiss during the ski trip?

 Hot tub

What type of pet does Kitty want for Christmas?


Which of Lara Jean's family members is unhappy about Lara Jean dating Peter?


Which country is Margot going to college in?


Which character tells Lara Jean that they are gay?


Who does Genevieve tell that they cannot come on the ski trip?


What does Lara Jean tell Josh to convince him to ignore the letter?

 She is dating Peter Kavinsky.