How did I miss To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s two sequels for so long? How did they never end up on my TBR pile until TATBILB hit Netflix and I binge-watched it TWICE in one day. I don’t know, honestly, but I ended up watching the movie twice, reading the entire trilogy in less than a week, and then watching the movie again an now I want to talk about it.
Here’s the basics: Lara Jean has a lot of emotions, and when she really likes a boy and can’t handle it anymore, she writes him a letter about how much she liked him and puts it in her hat box, gifted to her by her now-deceased mother. But when the letters get sent out to the five boys she’s loved, including her sister’s just recently dumped ex-boyfriend, things get a bit out of hand. To cover her hide with her sister’s ex and to get back at the girl who hurt him, Lara Jean starts “fake dating” popular and uber hot lacrosse player Peter Kavinsky. And things are adorable from the get go. Her little sister Kitty loves him. He gets her to go out to parties. They really seem to hit it off, but there are questions about LJ’s feelings for her sister’s ex, Josh, and Peter’s feelings for his ex, Gen, and then there’s a ski trip where everything really comes to a…boil. But someone was watching…and now Lara Jean and Peter are going to have to deal with the repercussions of fake relationships being thrust into reality.
The movie was a cinnamon bun of fun. I couldn’t sit still watching it, I was jumping up and down every time they touched, and when he did the back pocket swirl thing, I literally SCREAMED. It was a whole thing, I swear. Then, I saw the movie tie-in book at Walmart for $9 and knew I had to buy it. I couldn’t wait. I read it all that night, and while there were some differences, I felt that the book was an amazing adaptation. The movie really covers the first book and about a hundred pages of the second, but I like that it worked the hot tub drama into the movie so I could appreciate it fully.
The second book in the series, PS I Still Love You, deals with Lara Jean and Peter and another recipient of her love letters, John Ambrose McClaren. It gets complicated and there are sweet scenes at a retirement home and one scene in particular made me so sad I started having chest pains. That’s all I’ll say.
The third book in the series, Always and Forever Lara Jean, jumps ahead a year and takes place in the late spring of Lara Jean and Peter’s senior year of high school. They’re making decisions on college and planning a beach trip and all that jazz. It really went downhill though. The book felt rushed and while I was happy with the ending, I didn’t enjoy the writing of the book that much. A lot of forced drama (especially with a wedding and an unsupportive parent) and the time jumps stressed me out.
Anyway, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was an amazing movie and the series is really cute and just what i needed for the week before I moved back to DC, started grad school, and started my job. I can’t wait to watch it again, TBH.