I revisited my teenage memory since the very first chapter of ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before“. I always love watching Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo and yas I am a Noah big fan!) on Netflix. I know it’s sweeter than reality, but isn’t a romantic movie supposed to be romantic?
Romantic is always the after-taste of the movie version of Jenny Han's work. But in the book, I found that girls might learn so much more than it is in the movie. So let’s break ’em down what I’ve learned from Lara Jean!
Lara Jean lives with Daddy, little sissi Katherine/Kitty and a boy next door, Josh Sanderson. She has been trying to make herself used to live without her eldest sister, Margot Song Covey because she studies abroad. She is a Korean-American.
Lara Jean loves her sisters so much; she tries to be a big sister for Kitty after Margot left their home. She cooks, she folds clothes, she does everything that is supposed to be done by her Mom or biggest sister. But the thing is, she hates driving a car and she loved Margot’s ex-boyfriend.
Things become complicated when her love letters, her most secret possessions, were sent out without her knowing. And of course, Josh got a letter too. She has to cover up, she needs to make sure that Josh won't say anything about the letter because she still wants Josh to make up with Margot. She believes her sister still loves Josh and thus she dates Peter Kanvinsky instead.
‘What on Earth makes her sacrifice love if it is not for sisterhood!’ Most probably, that’s what Lara Jean is thinking when she ignores Josh. But the funny thing is, she also avoids telling her sister what happened between her and Josh. She remembers her late Mom telling her that sisters should be there for each other, but she begrudgingly keeps secrets from her sisters and Dad.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the sisterhood of Margot-Lara Jean-Kitty is enough portrayed in the movie.
Another complex situation rises up when Lara Jean starts dating Peter Kavinsky. Peter is her old friend’s ex-boyfriend, Genevieve. Lara and Gen stopped being friends ages ago because Gen thought Lara kissed the boy she loved, Peter. And Gen still considers Peter hers even though she dates another guy.
But thankfully, our nerd Lara Jean who hates making new friends or explore new thing has a good friend namely Christine. She is fierce and indifferent; she doesn’t really care when people call her slut or whatever. Christine always has problems but she cares about her friend, maybe her only friend Lara Jean.
Lara Jean doesn’t really believe what people say about Christine. She said they both have a mutual understanding. They both share suggestions and secrets like girls always do. And that what I miss the most from being a teenager. Now I rarely share stories with my girlfriends cause I got a fiance that I see every day, and met them quite rarely. You know, when you are older things got really tangled and fast. Sometimes, it’s hard keeping track even with even my own conscience, so sharing things my small circle is O.K. but bigger and older circle of friends are quite impossible.
Sadly, I also do not really get this friendship between Gen, Chris and Lara Jean in the movie.
Love is bittersweet for Lara Jean. She is afraid of loving someone so dearly that she can hurt herself when that someone’s gone. That is exactly what I felt when I was younger. I never lost someone that traumatized me whatsoever, but I know losing someone really is a big deal. It drove me into great loneliness and despair. Those feelings might also what Lara Jean has undergone when she lost her Mom.
We gotta have a gut to love someone new after losing someone we loved. But the same way Lara Jean found Peter who can make her feel special and comfortable, I also found a love that worth a risk. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me to be more open, giving, and sincere. It taught me to be a better human.
This part of the book, I learned it both in the movie and book. It’s like one of the themes of the story so they have to put it in.
This book is suitable for readers who love teen lit and romantic story, not only girls but human beings in general. Jenny Han wrote it decently so beginner in English reading novels can also immensely catch up.
The reason why I keep reading the book is that everyone -who have read the book- said the storyline between the book and the movie is quite different. And it’s true. But I am not gonna spill the tea, so please enjoy it!
Pengeja Cerita is a pseudonym of Ayu, a soul who loves to wander around new things and write.