To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – a Lighthearted Rom-Com that Stays Authentic to the Book

To All the Boys I've Loved Before Movie Review.png

                                                                                                                                                    Image: Netflix

After going “awhhhh” a thousand times and pausing the screen out of giddiness another one hundred, I finally finished watching Netflix’s adaption of Jenny Han’s beloved novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The movie easily exceeded my expectations and gave me all the emotions and excitement I felt when I read the book for the first time four years ago!

  • The cast was great. Although I didn’t really like the castings for Margot and Kitty because they didn’t feel like the characters from the book, the actors for Lara Jean, Peter and Josh were perfect. Josh was your typical boy next door, Lara Jean was a total homebody and while Peter was much sweeter than he is in the book he still had that cocky attitude which was what I was looking for. Chris and Gen were also really well portrayed.
  • It’s a shame that the casting directors couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find actual Korean-American girls to play the Song sisters. It’s time they realised asians are not inter-changeable. However having an Asian heroine in a rom-com is already a big step forward and while we are sadly gonna have to wait a long time before that is normalised I’m glad Jenny Han didn’t let her characters be whitewashed.
  • Praise whoever the stylist was for the movie because the looks Lara Jean was serving were straight out of the book! Lara Jean’s quirky and innocent style really embodies who she is and her clothes are meant to reflect her personality so I’m glad they paid close attention to that in the movie.

    Lara Jean and Peter

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  • Peter and Lara Jean were so cute!!! I couldn’t contain my giggles every time they appeared on screen together. Their banter was just funny and snarky and you could see them slowly falling in love while pretending to be a couple.
  • Although a lot of scenes from the book were missing, the movie was still able to convey the feel of the book through the cinematography, soundtrack, character dynamics and inner monologue. The movie is incredibly authentic to the source material, it’s as if the book came to life!

Now go watch the movie if you haven’t already and recommend it to everyone you know! People who hyped up Netflix’s The Kissing Booth better be giving that same love to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Let’s get that sequel!


Differences Between the Movie and Book (spoilers!)

  1. The movie Lara Jean is a bit less childish and innocent that the Lara Jean we know from the books. Her scrapbooking and knitting hobbies are also no where to be seen.

    Lara Jean Imagination

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  2. Josh plays a less prominent role in the movie than in the book.  In the book, we learn more about Josh’s familial issues and he and Lara Jean kiss, while in the movie those two scenes are completely omitted.
  3. Lucas, in turn, plays a more prominent role in the movie than the book. I really liked their friendship and was happy Lara Jean had another friend to confide to besides Chris.


                                                                                                                                         Image: Netflix

  4. There was no Halloween scene in the movie, sadly. One of my favourite chapters in the book was when Lara Jean and Josh both coincidentally dressed as Harry Potter characters for Halloween and cast spells at each other, while Peter looked on sulky and jealous in his authentic Spiderman getup.
  5. The ending is more ambiguous in the book than the movie. In the movie Lara Jean decides to amend things with Peter and finds him on the school’s sports field where she professes her feelings for him and vice versa. In the book however, when Lara Jean decides to reconcile with Peter she begins by writing him a new love letter and we are left with the iconic cliffhanger “Dear Peter…”. 

    Lara Jean and Peter K Last Scene.png

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There are also some other minor differences in the movie version like: Kitty not getting a dog, no New Year’s Recital, no car accident, no John Ambrose McClaren, no Christmas cookies, the sisters calling themselves the Covey girls and not the Song girls (still salty about that), just to name a few!

It’s understandable that they had to cut out so many things since the movie is only an hour and forty minutes long and they had to prioritise the content that would move the  main plot along. So for what it’s worth I think they did a good job compressing the book into a movie. We’ve gotten some pretty bad adaptations in the past and I’m so glad this wasn’t one of them!

Have you seen the movie, what are your thoughts? Did the movie live up to your expectations? Or were you let down? What was your favourite scene? Which scene do you wish they had included from the book? Let’s chat in the comments! ♥

Signature Mara.png


13 thoughts on “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – a Lighthearted Rom-Com that Stays Authentic to the Book

  1. Tanaz Masaba says:

    Skipped the spoilers part because I haven’t read the book yet (I plan on reading it during Eid break) but awww I have been hearing great things about this movie everywhere. It really sucks that they did not cast actual Korean-Americans for those characters, but like you said we are making progress, and that counts for something no matter how small it seems. I mean, before 2017, we didn’t even have much diversity in literature, but look where we are now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      It’s definitely a good idea to read the book before watching the movie! I hope both the movie and book live up to your expectations ❤ I think every year there’s more and more progress towards representation in movies and books. Having movies like TATBILB and Crazy Rich Asians be so well received just proves that diversity is not only wanted, but is necessary!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rissi says:

    I liked the book meet-cute, so I did miss this, but overall, I thought the film was fantastic! The cast, the chemistry, and the adorableness were off the charts good. Now to get my review polished. 🙂


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