Okay, since I tend to have Wednesdays off, I’m thinking of adding a little more to my blog besides just book reviews and the occassional rant about pet peeves. Today, I will be discussing screen adaptations of books.
In other news I just watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netlfix and it was so friggin cute that I can’t not gush about it.
I don’t often read contemporary YA books, because I’m a die-hard fantasy lover and most of them don’t actually interest me. But once in a while I need my cutee fluffy romance or general story about being a human being dealing with real life crap because sometimes those fantasies can get a little dark and heavy. I’ve had TATBILB on my Kindle for a couple of years now, but never found the right mood for it. Cue Netflix making it into a movie. Cue watching the trailer. Cue the cuteness overload of all the gifs and posts about it. Cue me caving in and reading it.
I don’t know if I would say it was my all-time favorite YA Romance I’ve ever read. But it was definitely very relatable and cute and funny. I liked that it had a bit of an open-ended ending, leaving room for more in the next book, and not making anything finite. But I think I still liked the ending of the movie more. Peter’s scrunchy face was so cute! And I really liked that Lucas became more of a character in the movie. I loved his friendship with Lara Jean.
Actually I think I felt more connected with Lara Jean in the movie than I even felt in the book for some reason. Just watching her loneliness on the screen struck me more than when I was reading it. I cried far too often during the movie because I just kept seeing a bit of me on the screen. I cried when she had no one to sit with at lunch, when Kitty told her she cancelled plans to stay at home with LJ on a Saturday night, when her dad told her how happy he was to see her opening up and being happy with Peter Kavinsky. It just reminded me so much of myself.
I also absolutely loved how they took the metaphor of driving and really made it a strong point in the movie. The book touched on it lightly, but with the movie, it made so much more sense. It wasn’t just about LJ learning to be responsible and independent, it was about how much she compared it to being scared of real life and exploring love and relationships with others. About letting herself open up to others even in the face of the fear that they might leave her one day and not look back (see: Margot).
Then on top of it all the production design team was top notch. The sets and the costumes and the photography were all so perfect. It was like a soft homage to John Hughes movies but with the right touch that made it feel modern and today. AND THE CAST. I loved Kitty in the book and I loved her even more in the movie. She was cute and feisty and absolutely perfect. And I liked the reason for her sending out the letters in the movie better than her reason for it in the book. It felt more sisterly. Like, Lara Jean is the one who is supposed to be taking care of her, but she isn’t afraid to do what it necessary to take care of Lara Jean.
It was just….it was perfect. It was cute, it was funny, it hit home in all the right ways. I’m so glad it was turned into a movie because if it meant this much to me, I can’t imagine what others feel like watching it as well.