I want to start by saying I actually watched the movie before I read the book, which is not something I typically do. I had heard the hype of the movies and decided to watch them anyway. I didn’t even realize they were books at first.
Warning… if you have not read the book or watched the movie… spoilers lie ahead.
The book starts out with Lara Jean explaining how she collects things, we get to know her family, and learn of her five love letters to boys in her past. All of this is basically the same between the two. That’s basically where the major similarities stopped. My biggest upset between the two is Lara Jean’s behavior. Lara Jean is standoffish the entire book basically. There’s very few moments when she actually seems to even hint at affection for Kavinsky. Near the end, you obviously get to realize that she has grown to. In the movie, you can see Lara Jean’s affections for Peter Kavinsky grow and see how his feelings grow. In the book, you don’t see this. Her behavior was even annoying to me at times. He would make a sweet remark and she would brush them off, reacting in no way. Or act as if he didn’t say anything at all.
Another big difference is Lara Jean’s relationship with Josh Sanderson. In the book, he ends up having feelings for her where as in the movie even if he does, he doesn’t act on them. In the book, he kisses her. It’s far more dramatic. I prefer the movie version. There is an obvious discomfort, but not an obvious betrayal. I also noticed a difference in some of the encounters. In the book, the ski trip is far less exciting than in the movie. It was more enjoyable to watch than it was to read.
To wrap it up, the ending of the book was significantly different than the ending of the movie. I can see why, possibly. The movie ends with a bit of closure of what is going to happen with Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. However, the book ended almost on a cliffhanger. She begins writing a letter to Kavinsky about her growing feelings for him in the book. But in the movie she writes the letter and approaches him and they both share their feelings for each other. Happily Ever After, if you will.
In conclusion, I would say I liked the movie more than the book, and that is hard for me to say. I’m a book lover. I always like the book better, but in this case, Netflix did a fantastic job of converting To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before to a movie. They took all the best parts of the book and enhanced them to make them even more fun to watch. I didn’t hate the book. I actually think I’d have enjoyed it more had I not watched the movie because I had a level of expectation set already. I’d give it a solid 4 stars. The movie gets 5!
Check out To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Leave Feedback for the author on Goodreads and add it to your To Reads list. Check out more in the All the Boys series and more on Jenny Han’s website HERE. You can check out the movie on Netflix.