To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy- Warning contains spoilers!
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before- Book 1
The first in the trilogy and this one had me hooked! I had heard of this book around and seen it in bookshelves but something about it always seemed a little immature and perhaps too sweet and girly for me. But I was wrong, I finally decided to give this a go after seeing an advert for the recent Netflix film (all hail the power of Netflix) and my Beautiful Book Break partner in crime Becca told me she had watched the film and she thought that I would like it. So I finally bought the first book, and then it stayed on the bookcase for a while until I was feeling poorly and wanted something sweet to read.
For those who have not heard of this book the basic premise is Lara Jean Song writes a letter to a boy when she has a crush on him but she never sends the letter, instead she puts it in a hat box and there the letters stay – until one day they get sent out into the world.
What I thought would be a rather sugary sweet book actually turned out to be a wonderful masterpiece that I ended up binge reading and finishing in less than a day. Lara comes across as a wonderful teen heroine, and tbh all the teen stereotypes are present (the wild BFF, the Gay BF, the mean girl, the popular jock, the boy next door and of course the bratty younger sister) and the amount of times food and baking is mentioned in this book was making me crave food and I even ended up attempting to make snickerdoodles when I had finished this series, I say attempted, they tasted fab but the presentation left a lot to be desired. Props to Kitty, the bratty younger sister, for actually being the main instigator of our series, as in a very ‘Little Women’ move she sends the letters out when she in angry at Lara and sets the whole thing in motion.
The whole time I was reading this book I was very much team Peter, and I loved his development as a character and how Lara and Peter’s pretend relationship progressed into something else, tbh Josh never really stood a chance! I loved the highs and lows of this book and all the drama – I especially loved the cliff hanger at the end as I finished the book and then had to text Becca to ask who Lara ends up with at the end of the movie as I needed to know.
Despite being on a book ban I think I lasted a week before I ordered the other two books in the trilogy.
PS I Still Love You- Book Two
Ah just when I thought the coast was clear for my fav love birds with the absence of Josh, we get another contender for Lara’s heart in the form of John McLaren who was also supposed to get a letter in book 1 and made a very brief appearance. But due to a trick by the universe John has only just received his letter from Lara and wastes no time getting in touch. Of course while John and Lara are writing sweet nothings to each other , Genève is still making a play for Peter and oh it’s so much addictive teenage drama!
If the MVP for the first book goes to Kitty, then in this one its goes to Stormy, a resident at the retirement community that Lara Jean volunteers at, oh and she just so happens to be McLarens Aunt/Grandma. Stormy seems absolutely fabulous, encouraging Lara Jean and engineering meetings between her and John.
Of course we all know that John is nothing compared to her and Peter, but hey it’s nice to feel that in this strange world – the bookish baking girl actually has all the guys fighting over her.
Always And Forever, Lara Jean- Book Three
Ok, so we’ve already had two love triangles, what’s next? Um… senior year which means Prom, a group trip to the beach and, uh oh, Colleges!
What happens when one of you already has a scholarship to college and the other one doesn’t get into the same college?? That’s right – this book. After all the drama of the first two books you hope that by this one these two get to live happily ever after but of course fate- and the author- has other ideas. Peter already has a Lacrosse scholarship to the local college which just so happens to be the one that Lara has always wanted to go to, but then she doesn’t get in which inevitably sends Lara into a bit of a spiral of discovery which tests hers and Peter’s relationship.
Along with this, Lara’s dad and Ms Rothschild are getting married which disrupts the status quo in the Song household.
As a series finale I loved this book as I felt it rounded out the series wonderfully and came to a satisfying and happy conclusion. If there ever is a fourth book I really want it to includes recipes or actually just be a ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Cookbook as there are so many mentions of home baking and food during the series that it just made me want to bake all the time.
Thoughts on the movie – okay, I think it’s safe to say I loved and hated the movie in equal measures.
I loved that it was based on the book and that Lara Jean was very much how I thought she would be – except from the very messy room as I definitely had her down as a neat freak. I also loved the scene near the beginning where Gen is trying to knock Lara’s boots and then the camera pans to Gen to show how ‘basic’ she looks – I made a mental note right there to never wear anything like that again.
What I wasn’t so keen on is of course all the bits that get missed off – did Kitty get her puppy? Why was Lara not baking?? Why was the retirement community never mentioned? And what about Ms Rothschild from across the road??? Most importantly, it felt like their Mum was barely mentioned despite her being a very key topic in the books. Also, hello where was Peter’s Audi?? I know he had a nice Jeep in the film but I just found it funny that a 16/17 year old was driving a two seater Audi to school every day?
Also, did anyone else have trouble with Margo being played by Mona from Pretty Little Liars??? I just kept going ‘No it’s A, don’t trust her’ (full disclosure – I can’t remember if Mona was good or bad, or A, B or even C by the end of PLL, life’s too short to keep going round in that crazy circle, one day I will watch the end just not yet).
Even with all these niggling little thoughts, I did love the movie. Becca had already watched it and while she wasn’t a fan, she did tell me that it was my kind of movie and she was right, as she normally is. And I can not wait for the second movie – even the announcement video of it was so adorable, I wonder who they will get to play John McClaren???
Have you read the books or seen the movie? If so, what did you think?