Like everyone else on the internet these days I have been (somewhat) obsessed with Jenny Han's YA novel To All The Boys I've Loved Before.
Confession: when my daughter said she was watching the movie on Netflix I gave her a hard time. But then I decided to watch it on my phone one late night when I couldn't sleep and... I was hooked. I watched it again with my 16 & 13 year old girls and I Am In Love with this story.
I love the character of Lara Jean - I love her bedroom. I love the scrapbook paper on her walls. I love that when she cleans her room her dad stands in the doorway and knows that something is really really wrong. That is so me too.
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I love that the book was even better. Not in ever way. But in most of the ways that count. The book reminded me of Little Women, if the book had only covered one year when Laurie was feeling conflicted between Jo and Amy. I have always been someone who roots for the underdog - I've always wished that Bella ended up with Jacob, that Laurie ended up with Jo - maybe it is the part of me that thinks every love story should end like Anne of Green Gables and every Anne should end up with their Gilbert. I felt conflicted about Lara Jean's crushes on Peter and Josh. To be honet I was rooting for Josh. I liked Peter just not for Lara Jean. I felt Josh was under-represented in the movie, but in the book they are more evenly matched, which was highly satisfying to me.
I do want to say though that I thought the Netflix adaptation was really good. There were moments in the book that I'm glad weren't in the movie, and scenes from the movie that I missed in the book. I was also happy that I had the image of Kitty from the move (and Odd Squad!) in my head while I read the book.
I finished the book in just a couple of days, around the edges of my life, waiting for my grocery order, in car line and after the kids went to bed, during a week that was just rough for me. It was a nice escape from my own emotions and reminded me why I enjoy reading light fiction so much. I requested the next book in the trilogy from the library.
As a mom - I'd recommend this for high school age girls and up. There is some discussion of teen sex, parties & drinking. I thought it was very well done, but because of this content I wouldn't recommend it for middle school age readers.
If you read this - what did you think? If you liked this too, what similar titles would you recommend?