To All the Boys I've Loved Before

by Jenny Han

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What problems do the characters face in To All the Boys I've Loved Before?

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All of the various characters in the story need to mature pretty quickly. Otherwise they're likely to become the victims of misunderstanding, thus making their lives less happy and more complicated. As with most young people, they're somewhat insecure, still trying to find their way in a world which is big and scary and doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

In such a situation, it's all too tempting to hold back on expressing your true emotions for fear that they will be thrown right back in your face. This is what appears to be behind Lara Jean's dishonesty with regards to Peter.

She's crazy about him but chooses not to tell him this to his face. Not only that, but she lies and tells him she's dating someone else. Perhaps she's worried that Peter, like so many young men, will simply see the expression of her true feelings as a sign that she can be emotionally manipulated. Though one can certainly understand where Lara Jean's coming from, this is a bad decision that only creates problems for both her and Peter further down the line, as trust issues begin to emerge.

For his part, Peter doesn't make things any easier by refusing to contradict the rumor going round that he and Lara Jean had sex during the school ski trip. Like a lot of boys in his position, he wants everyone to think he's sexually experienced, so he does nothing to quash these false rumors. But again, he's storing up trouble for his relationship with Lara Jean, as it now seems to her that Peter can't be relied upon to do the right thing and defend her good name.

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