Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Page Count: 355
Release Date: April 15, 2014
“What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.”
I had been waiting for forever to read this book. Then, Netflix announced that they were releasing the movie earlier this month and Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile hosted a readalong so I decided to pick up the book! I’m so happy that I did because I adored it!
When Laura Jean has a crush so intense, she decides to write a letter to that crush. She never plans on sending them out, but one day the letters are sent out by accident to the 5 crushes she wrote letters to. This premise makes for a crazy yet cute and hilarious novel.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I have become such a sucker for cute contemporaries. I especially love when there’s a story-line that would low-key never happen in real life (you can all blame kdramas). Thus, I knew To All The Boys I Loved Before was the book for me before I even opened the first page.
I absolutely love Lara Jean. I think we can all relate to her in one way or another. I personally relate to her in the sense that I like staying home and not interact with other humans haha. I realized through this book that I’m kind of terrified of having a relationship. Not quite a romantic relationship, but any relationship. I’m scared of putting myself out there and possibly being rejected or getting a friend but then realizing they aren’t who I thought they were.
Reading this book made me want to break out of my shell and socialize, which is weird because usually books don’t do that and I don’t think it was the author’s intention?? I found this book to be cute, funny and a lot more meaningful and deeper than I originally thought it would be.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
I really, really enjoyed this book. A few things I didn’t *love* but they also didn’t ruin the love I have for this book. The characters were so realistic and the relationships were wonderful. I adored the family and sisterhood element of the story and how it had the sort of enemies-to-lovers trope in a healthy way.
TW: talk of death, low-key racism??
Purchase This Book:
Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 1 hr 39 min
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Synopsis: A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.
It’s been a few weeks since I saw the movie last so my memory might fail me in this review, but I absolutely loved it! I thought that the entire cast was chosen perfectly and seeing the characters on screen was wonderful. They all looked almost exactly how I pictured them in the book.
First off, I was a bit hesitant when it came to Lana Condor as Lara Jean. Not because I didn’t think she’d do an amazing job, but because she’s Vietnamese and not Korean. I think a lot of people were wary about this, but it didn’t affect how great she acted or anything like that. I do think that Hollywood needs to brush up their act and cast Asians in the right roles, but this representation is still better than none, which is why this didn’t bother me. (the actress that plays margot is also half chinese. i don’t know about kitty)
Secondly, I felt like some of the acting was a bit cardboard-ish? It didn’t bother me much but the actors just didn’t seem to be that comfortable in their characters. If there is a sequel movie, I don’t think there will be a problem with this at all. Again, it didn’t bother me much, it’s just something I observed.
Thirdly, there were a lot of my favorite scenes from the books left out from the movie. I’m not that bothered by this, but I felt like they were essential scenes to include in order to develop Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship. I do love the scenes that they did include that seemed to jump right off of the book pages. It was great to see that as a fan of the book. I bet a lot of fellow readers loved that.
I think that’s all of the slightly bad criticisms I had, now onto the fangirling!!!
I absolutely LOVED Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky! He’s honestly the only actor I can think of that could’ve pulled the character off. He looks, acts, and even sounds exactly how I imagined Peter to look, act, and sound in the book. I feel like this was a fan cast because of how perfect he was for the part.
I absolutely love how Peter was represented in the movie. Even Josh, who I didn’t like that much in the book bc of that *thing* he did was written pretty good in the movie. He did get a bit annoying but that was probably the point.
Margot and Kitty were absolutely perfect! So was Lara Jean’s dad. I really love this family and how it was such a big part of the movie. I feel like it got just about as much screen-time as the Peter-Lara Jean relationship did which is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! If you didn’t already know, I love seeing families portrayed positively in a book surrounding teens.
Grief was also a big focus of the movie. Lara Jean talks about her mom that passed away throughout the movie like she did in the book and I’m happy they decided to include that in the movie as much as they did. They didn’t shy away from the topic because they thought viewers wouldn’t like to see that in a teen romance drama, which is wonderful.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
I thought that this was a wonderful adaptation of the book. It had so much heart and love – I would have to say that it’s by far one of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations that I’ve ever seen.
I incorporated some songs that played in the movie and other songs I think go well with the entire feel of the movie. I hope that y’all end up liking this! Let me know if you want me to keep making playlists like this!
What are your thoughts on the book and movie? Were you happy with how they adapted the book into a movie or were you disappointed? Let me know!