By Lexie Kauffman ’22
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, written by Jenny Han, was published in 2014. Four years may seem like a long time ago, but this book is being swept off the shelves after Netflix released a movie interpretation earlier this August.
The book follows the adventures of Lara Jean Covey, a sixteen-year-old girl figuring out the world. In the past, every time Lara Jean had a crush, she would write the boy a love letter and never send it. She would use the letters as closure for what she considered “love.” All five letters she had written were hidden in a hat box in her closet. Until one day, the letters went missing.
Somehow all her personal letters containing all her thoughts and emotions were sent to all of her past crushes, including a boy from camp, a boy from middle school, her first homecoming date, her ex-best friend’s boyfriend, and her sister’s boyfriend. All the boys she’s loved before will now know about her crushes on them, no matter how long ago the feelings existed.
She is suddenly swept up in a world of deceit when she becomes the fake girlfriend of Peter Kavinsky, a letter recipient and her ex-best friend’s (now) ex-boyfriend. Will Lara Jean fall for the loveable jock? Will Peter break the shy girl’s heart? Will the other boys from the letters get involved? To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before will satisfy your thirst for a good romance novel with plenty of laughs.
To the delight of all fans, Netflix bought the rights to make a movie interruption of the famous book, currently the tenth bestseller. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before starring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, has received great ratings, and a 96% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The movie, currently one of the most-watched movies on Netflix, accurately captures the characters, and most details are the same as the book, but, as all movies go, some things had to be deleted or added. Netflix may have killed the possible sequel’s accuracy by using the plot of the second book, P.S. I Still Love You as the climax.
The climax of the movie occurs when Lara Jean and Peter get into a fight about his ex-girlfriend right after they begin officially dating. After they have broken up, a scandalous video of Lara Jean and Peter is leaked onto Instagram. Lara Jean’s sister, Margot, gets the video taken down, and Lara Jean goes through her first break up.
Lara Jean and Peter then proceed to talk out their differences and realize their feelings before they close the movie with a happy reunion, inferring that they are now a couple; however, the ending of the book is not as satisfying. Lara Jean and Peter never get back together, and the Instagram scandal does not happen.
Coincidentally, the second book’s first half contains the Instagram scandal, but the scandal is completely different from the movie version. Because the plot of P.S. I Still Love You was portrayed in the first movie; the possible second movie now lacks content. This conundrum draws the question, will writers use the beginning of the third book as the plot of the second movie? Will this cycle continue throughout the trilogy? All these questions will have to be answered as Netflix hopefully creates more movies.
While book lovers can rant about the differences and issues for hours, the movie as well as the books are enjoyable. I would recommend this series for anyone ages fourteen and up. Since the story revolves around a teenage girl learning about the struggles of relationships while slowly figuring out what it means to be a woman, it would be best for younger readers to wait to mentally mature before diving into this series.