A Book and Film Blog

Friday, 31 August 2018

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: Book vs Film

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
*This post contains spoilers*

It's been nearly two whole weeks since the release of To All The Boys I've Loved Before.  So I reckon I've calmed down and can now come to you all with a fully composed post that won't just gush about how in love with Peter Kavinsky I am. Ya know? That'll of course still be here but I'll talk about some other stuff too ! 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about and the nice photo or boredom brought you here first of all , hi ! and second of all, stick around I bring good news. Two weeks ago, an on-screen adaptation of Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before dropped on Netflix and the internet lost its mind. If you didn't know, there are actually two more books which probably means we'll probably be following the Peter/Lara Jean adventures on screen ! Now, I normally don't bother with book-screen adaptations because Spoiler Alert - the book is 99% of the time always better. And while I would say this is still true in this case, I still adore this film and it definitely has its merits. 

Seeing as the book has cropped up the NY Times Best Seller list this week, I thought I'd give you the lowdown on the immediate differences between the characters in both book and film. 

Lara Jean


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Lana Condor who plays Lara Jean is pretty much exactly how I imagined this character to be. She embodies both the really mature book Lara Jean who is terrified of love, takes it so seriously and, the really sweet Lara Jean who loves baking, watching Golden Girls and hanging out with her little sister. As the film has naturally had to condense the source material,  audiences ever so slightly miss out on the depth of book Lara Jean. While film Lara Jean risks coming across as paranoid and insecure, these emotions get a bit more context in the book. We see how deeply her mum's death affects her worldview and, you quickly realise how gravely she takes the responsibility of holding someone's heart. She's super wise beyond her years and this is missing in the film. 

 Peter Kavinsky


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Possibly the biggest surprise of the entire film because I won't lie I wasn't the biggest fan of book Peter K; he was way too involved with Gen. The film downplays their relationship and shoves Gen into this two dimensional, bitchy/irrational Queen Bee trope which only makes us like him more and her less. (On a side note, the film's biggest problem is the lack of development of the supporting characters: Gen, LJ's best friend and the OTHER boys she's meant to have loved before?!) But the tea is, that is not how it went down. Peter was actually in love with Gen. And let's not forget that this whole scheme to use Lara Jean to make Gen jealous, was all his idea. And then my man has the nerve to fall in love with LJ in the process and then turn around and say "are your going to break my heart Lara Jean?"

via GIPHY

Anyway, I forgot all about that because film Peter K really is so swoonworthy and that was enough for me.  And again, a lot of the tomfoolery is downplayed in this film. Y'all are going to love Peter more because once he's committed to LJ, he's so much more vulnerable and guards her heart so fiercely. 😭

Covey Sisters 


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The bond between the Covey sisters was spot on. Margot is just as self righteous, annoying yet loving, wise and sisterly as I remembered her. Even though she's gone for most of the film, the lack of her presence is definitely felt, which is exactly how I felt when reading the book. Kitty was also perfectly cast. As Kitty is the sister that sticks around, the bond between herself and LJ had to be tangible for most of this film to work. Thankfully the two actresses had great chemistry.

Josh 
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Ah Josh. Disappointing both in film and real life. Book Josh actually reveals he too liked Lara Jean and they even kissed ! THEY KISSED. We also see more of Josh and Margot's relationship in the book. The film really makes it look like she was bored and it was time for her to move to Scotland so she kicked him to the curb and he got over it two days later. They were  actually pretty in love and her decision to break up with him was an agonising one. Of course we couldn't have everything in the film but it would've been nice to see some of this in the film. It would've just enriched the onscreen relationships he has with both Lara Jean and Margo.

So! book or film, which do you prefer?! Let me know your thoughts!
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2 comments

  1. I've not actually read the book - a friend recommended me the film as I was looking to watch films with lead characters who aren't white and the entire film isn't about their race! It was a really cute watch and I bet I'd have loved the book back in the day :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. SUCH a cute film. And honestly the books are even cuter. Definitely feel good, guilty pleasure reading!

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