To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is about 16 year old, Lara Jean Song Covey who navigates her junior year of high school after her love letters to boys she’s liked in her past get sent without her knowledge, including her sister’s ex-boyfriend/neighbor, Josh. In an attempt to curb her feelings and uncomfortable questions from Josh, Lara Jean drafts a relationship contract with the guy who gave her her first kiss, Peter Kavinsky, who also got a letter. Throughout the story, Lara Jean has to manage a rollercoaster of events with her friends, her family and the boys she’s loved before.
Ah, yes. The original version of that super popular Netflix movie. I made the mistake of seeing the movie before reading the book and I think it really impacted my enjoyment of the book. First and foremost, it took me awhile to get through. This book is over 350 pages and broken up over SEVENTY-TWO chapters. Math isn’t my strong suit but that comes out to about just under 5 pages a chapter. It’s an interesting choice to go with that kind of format but I found the story to be incredibly choppy and I couldn’t really dive in.
I really can’t stress enough how much I wish I had read the book before I saw the movie. Besides knowing how most of it goes and being frustrated at what was changed in the film, I found that it impacted how I saw most of the characters. I LOVED the characters in the film version but the book version left me wanting more. Peter’s kind of a jerk, Lara Jean is a little too flighty and little sister Kitty is actually super annoying. I just got an overwhelming sense of immaturity throughout the dialogue.
As I mentioned, I had a tough time getting through the book. Since I had the film to compare it to I was leaning toward liking that more than the book because it was just more freakin’ concise! (I repeat, 72 chapters!! Why Jenny Han?!) The entire time I was reading, I kept saying to myself, “Okay, when is this going to be better than the movie?” and then it happened. There is a MAJOR moment toward the end that was left out of the movie that changes everything and honestly, it was pretty satisfying.
I still have 2 more tales with Lara Jean to go and since I don’t have a movie to compare them yet, I might enjoy these a little more.