To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 15, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s part of the risk.”
If you have any sort of ear or other body part to the ground, you’ve most likely heard of this title. The Netflix-adapted movie is one of the biggest releases of 2018. After seeing the movie, I had to read the book and I am so glad I did.
I was utterly enamored with the To All the Boys movie, and by enamored I mean watched it about 10-15 times within the first week of release. Enamored. Noah Centineo and Lana Condor as the starring roles completely swept me off my feet with this story. It took a long time for me to actually get my hands on the book but I finished it all in about 36 hours, large gaps between sittings.
If you are part of the population who hasn’t heard of To All the Boys, book or movie, I’ll give you a rundown of what it’s about. Lara Jean writes love letters to boys she loves but only when she’s ready to be done with them. They’re meant only for her, no one else. One day, her letters get mailed out. A major problem? One of them is written to her sisters boyfriend and next door neighbor.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve seen the movie so many times I lost count. So I know the storyline pretty well but was looking forward to the original and finding out what the movie changed.
The book goes so much deeper into the relationships between Lara Jean and her sister, Margot. Of course this is usually where movies that are originally books lack. I really felt like I understood their special relationship and how it changed after their mother passed away. Seeing the world through Lara Jean’s eyes, I understand her a little bit more.
Though I guess my dislike for Josh held strong or at least came about because I found myself really not liking him after reading the book. I can’t really pinpoint why I don’t like him but I just was sort of tired of how he comes running around to Lara Jean and wants to always put his two cents into everything when he gets the chance.
And dear Peter Kavinsky was quite different from movie Peter. Movie Peter was the cool kid that could fit anywhere else. Book Peter was the cool kid you’d expect him to be. Kinda arrogant, kinda sweet, kinda doesn’t care a bunch about others, but overall still the Peter I grew to love from the movie. I like both versions equally even if Noah Centineo is the starring role in and outside of my head.
Through it all, To All the Boys kept the humor I enjoyed up. Whether it was in interactions with Lara Jean’s family, or with Peter or his friends, I found myself laughing a few times during the book. Especially when she sorta tackled Peter in the hallway. That version was 10x funnier in the book than what they did in the movie
Though the ending took me to a bit of a blindside because everything else was really accurate to the book but the ending wasn’t, so don’t expect the movie ending, I really enjoyed the book. I’m looking forward to reading the other 2 in the series before Netflix churns out their adaption (it’s official!!). Now I’m off to go find them and I definitely recommend these books to anyone who loves a good YA contemporary. This is one of the good ones.