*WARNING: There will be spoilers for both the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before book and the movie. Proceed with caution!*
Happy PS I Still Love You release week! I don’t know about you guys but I am so excited for the next movie in this series to come out on Wednesday. The first one was such a hit for me, and it actually is what encouraged me to read the books. And in the midst of all this excited anticipation for the newest release, I went back and reread To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Since I hadn’t read the book before seeing the movie the first time around, I didn’t have a chance to truly compare the two. So to keep myself in the spirit, now was the perfect time for a book vs movie review. This is something I’ve always been interested in doing because I’m not a diehard fan in either direction. Sometimes, I prefer the movie version, sometimes I prefer the book – It’s very situational for me. And with a series, it will be interesting to see if I preferred the movies or the books. Maybe it’ll be a mix. Maybe I’ll prefer the first movie, but the second and third books. Maybe I’ll only love all three movies over the books. We’ll delve into the possibilities in this mini-series of blog posts.
Ok, so now onto the review!
First up, let’s start with the obvious – what are the major differences between the book and the movie? For the most part, I believe the movie followed along pretty well with the plotline from the books. There were a few scenes omitted (which is to be expected) and a few that still occurred, but at different times in different settings. And of course, there are the usual small discrepancies, like Kitty’s age or their location being in Oregon, instead of Virginia. But overall, I think the movie did a fantastic job at adapting the plot of the book. The only major difference is obviously the ending. The book leaves on more of a cliffhanger, where the movie has a happy ending.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE?
In the book, there is a more definitive love triangle between Peter, Josh and Lara Jean. But in the movie, after he receives his letter, Josh pretty much falls to the wayside. Lara Jean rarely references her feelings for him, unless her and Peter are discussing why they’re in a fake relationship. Her and Josh have one conversation, and then they both seemingly get over it. I wish the movie had dove more into that side of the relationship, because I think it was more interesting than Peter still being hung up on Gen.
Another issue I had was I found that Peter and Lara Jean’s characters in the book fell a little flat for me. I will admit that the second time around reading the book, Peter’s character came across as more likeable than the first time, but I still prefer both of their movie counterparts. Maybe it’s because I watched the movie first and saw how much life Noah Centineo and Lana Condor brought to the characters, but there’s just something about movie Peter and Lara Jean that catches my attention more.
With that being said, I found the connection between the two fell flat a little as well. In the movie, it seemed like the two had a better basis of a friendship and better banter with each other, than in the book. Even when calling each other out, there’s a level of humor and lightness to it. Whereas in the book, it seems like they’re genuinely annoyed with and don’t understand each other when disagreeing. I also loved how the movie had them bond over missing a parent. It was small moments like that in Peter’s kitchen that really showed how deep their “fake” relationship was becoming. The only similar occurrence I can think of in the book was when Peter invites Lara Jean to the estate sale. And even that stayed pretty surface level, in terms of romantic connection.
I think what really throws me off is in the beginning it seems like Lara Jean isn’t into Peter at all, and there’s way more emphasis put on her feelings for Josh. And throughout the book, when characters like John Ambrose were brought up, Lara Jean started fantasizing about him. I know that was to set up conflict for the second book, but it made her seem flighty and immature to me. Like she only had feelings for Peter because he was right in front of her.
WHAT I DID LIKE?
I briefly mentioned about Lana and Noah, but they are one of my favorite parts about the movie. Lana brought so much lightness and humor to Lara Jean, while Noah brought charm and sensitivity to Peter. I think they were perfectly casted not as their characters, but for their chemistry with each other as well. They really brought the story alive, in my opinion. I also loved in the movie that Lara Jean and Kitty are much closer than in the book. It was sweet to see Kitty send the letters out of concern, rather than spite. I do, however, enjoy seeing their relationship evolve in the book.
One minor detail I enjoyed that was included in the book, but not the movie, was that when Peter and Lara Jean kissed in 7th grade, it wasn’t because of a game. Peter kissed her only because he wanted to. I think it sets up a sweeter first kiss story for the two, and gives them a better backstory.
SO WHICH DID I PREFER?
In this case, I’m definitely going to have to go with the movie. It really jumped off the screen and connected with me, in a way that the book didn’t. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book at all. It was interesting to see the different way the plot unfolded in the book, and I genuinely enjoy the concept of a fake relationship turning real. In the end, you can’t go wrong with either option. The book is a great read, and the movie was extremely well done. I’m very much looking forward to checking out PS I Still Love You and seeing how it holds up to the book!
Are you guys excited for the new movie? Leave me a comment below! And let me know if you preferred the first movie or the first book!
CURRENTLY READING: PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han. Definitely trying to squeeze this one in before Wednesday! Can’t wait to do a book vs movie review for it.
*ANY LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS!*