Peter Kavinsky? Josh Sanderson? Kitty Covey? I am obsessed with this franchise! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han and the Netflix movie based on the books are definitely worth the time to watch/read! The books were great and let’s just say I have watched the Netflix movie four times haha! And I can honestly say with no shame my future husband MUST be on the same level as Peter Kavinsky.
If you haven’t read the books or watched the Netflix original movie, stop reading this and go fix that right now! Jenny Han is an incredible author who walks the fine line of cheesy childish romance and completely captivating love stories. I am aware that these books are written for a younger crowd, but I was still laughing, cringing and crying as much as I would with a new adult book.
The story starts with quiet and shy Lara Jean Song Covey starting off her junior year as her older sister moves away to Scotland for college. Everything was going fine, Lara Jean could stay home watching movies with her little sister Kitty and hang out with her best friend Josh (who also happens to be her older sisters boyfriend). But when someone mails all of her secret love letters, her life gets a little more complicated than she had planned (especially with a certain lacrosse player).
If you love a little not-so-guilty pleasure, you should definitely check out this series and movie! Although both are not made equal. As with all book to movie adaptations, they are a little different in storyline and characters. But both are still very entertaining!
I give this movie a 4.0/5 stars
And the books are a 4.5/5 stars
Be aware there are spoilers for all three books, not just To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Ok now for all you who HAVE experience the amazingness that is Peter Kavinksy… I want to ask what are your thoughts on books vs. movie? I watched the movie first then read the books because I liked the story so much, but I still thought the books ended up being much MUCH better than the movie (although no hate on the movie, I thought it was very well done and very funny).
My biggest problem with the books was the progression of Lara Jean’s character. Now, if you’ve been reading my book reviews for a while you will know that character development (plus a good, solid ending) are my litmus tests for a good book. Although I think Lara Jean grew into herself throughout the series, she seemed to devolve into this self-conscious, insecure girl who constantly thought she wasn’t good enough. And while I know this is something that resonates with a lot of people, there never seemed to be any resolution for it. By the end of the last book she was going off to college and still had doubts about Peter loving her… that just seems sad and excessive. He has proven his feelings and commitment to her for literally 2 years and she still doesn’t believe him. All in all, I wasn’t a fan of Lara Jean in the books, HOWEVER, I really liked her in the movie! she was confident and quirky and I just loved every second of it!
Lara Jean was not the only character in the books, the real reason I stayed committed was the one and only Peter Kavinsky. If there was a recipe for a perfect boyfriend, Jenny Han has nailed it with Peter. I mean yea he makes some dumb decisions and doesn’t always say the right thing, but that just makes his character all the more real. Every time he messes up, he figures out a way to fix it and make it better (which is how real relationships should be). He was a character that was realistic but also perfect in every way (can you tell I’m in love? haha). AND OMG Netflix nailed casting Noah Centineo as Peter (his smirk kills me!). And while Peter lacks dramatic character development, I think he really does learn what it is to be in a healthy relationship and actually care about someone (who isn’t evil).
Finally, I’m just going to comment on the three separate books. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was such a unique and funny plot. It was entertaining through and through and I loved every minute of it. P.S. I Still Love You was a pretty decent book as well, and I will say it got a little slow and repetitive, but I liked seeing how Lara Jean and Peter learned to be in a real relationship vs. a fake one. The last book, Always and Forever, Lara Jean was hands down the worst out of all of them (not to say it wasn’t entertaining because I did finish the book in one day haha). It was just so unbelievably predictable and repetitive. And I wouldn’t have minded the plot (it is on par with other young adult romance novels) but the ending! literally Peter and Lara Jean are fighting for a majority of the book and then its like “we’ll figure it out. don’t worry.” and it doesn’t even end at a good time. It’s literally in the middle of the summer. Why not end right as they go off to college? or Why not end at graduation. It was just an awkward and unsatisfactory ending for such a good series.
All in all, I really liked this story and these characters (except for the ending as previously mentioned). I found it relatable, cringy, laughable and altogether very high school (in the best way possible). I loved both the book and the movie! What are your thoughts on this series?
Until Next Time,