To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Book Review)

By Kylie Wulf, RocketLaunch Editor-in-Chief

The Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has taken the teenage world by storm and for good reason. The cast of characters are quirky and refreshing, showing a different side of the teenage population with main character, Lara Jean Covey, played by Lana Condor. Lara Jean fits neither in the popular crowd, like fake-boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo, nor the “nerdy” crowd, like her sister’s boyfriend, Josh Sanderson, played by Israel Broussard. While the movie shows an accurate representation of the adorkable Lara Jean, the original book gives the reader an even deeper understanding of who all of the characters really are.

For those who have read the book, the movie didn’t contain near the same amount of detail and spunk the original text holds. Readers get a deeper understanding of the characters, and, surprisingly, a deeper love for Josh’s character.  In the movie, Josh is more of a side character who keeps trying to get Lara Jean’s attention. However, in the book, Josh is a much more prominent character. He has many more interactions with the Covey family and is shown to have a special relationship with each of the three sisters. Also, his ticks with Peter are very, very entertaining to read. His love for Lara Jean is muddled throughout the book, making the reader wonder if he loves her more as a sister or more as a romantic interest. It is obvious he thinks something of his ex’s little sister, but the reader is left to wonder what it is he really thinks. While the book does have the often-overused trope of the love triangle, it is different because the reader does not understand Josh’s feelings for Lara Jean until the end of the novel. It is kind of sad that Josh gets barely any screen time in the film because he had such an important role in the book and in Lara Jean’s life.

Overall, the movie is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Scenes the movie does include from the book are portrayed very similarly to how they are in the book. The only things missing are the details and elaboration on certain relationships between characters that make them more dynamic. While I do believe Josh’s character was cheated in the film, I would recommend the movie to anyone. However, if the movie was a favorite of yours and you want to read a really amazing book, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before should definitely be at the top of your list.

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