When I first delved into the book lovers’ community back in January, TATBILB kept popping up on my radar, but I continued putting it aside, feeling overwhelmed by my already extensive TBR. A couple months later we got news that there would be a film adaptation for the novel, all the more reason to read it, but still, it remained at the bottom of my TBR; there was still time to devour it before the movie was released. Fast forward to the film’s release weekend, and everyone was already raving about this crazy good chick flick; I just had to read it to join in on all the hype. However, the movie sparked its sudden popularity; I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was all checked out from libraries, sold out in stores, out of stock online, with no one to borrow from. I finally resorted to a book subscription service and paid $10 just to read this god forsaken book. And was it worth it? Oh heck yes it was.
While I have so many things to say concerning the similarities and differences between the book and movie, I’m going to try my best to focus solely on the novel. I gave this book a 4.5/5 stars.
Jenny Han is considerably skilled in writing fluffy, light contemporaries that require little contemplation. There’s nothing wrong with a book that allows you to just sit back and relax; without them literature would be too uptight. However, most fluffy contemporary novels seem to follow a similar formula, and that’s where my small issue falls with this title. There were a couple points in the plot that read quite predictably, and of course there was a classic conflict that temporarily separated the love interests before they (technically) reunited in the end.
I wonder where Jenny got her inspiration for this novel. It reminded me of the classic rom-com “Can’t Buy Me Love”. While I felt like I’d heard this story before, Jenny completely adapted it as her own, bringing her own story to the table.
A deeper side of this light and fluffy contemporary that I thoroughly enjoyed was the sister dynamics exhibited constantly throughout the novel. Jenny brings these sisterly relationships to life with typical bickering and arguments while balancing it out with deep roots that bond these girls together. We discover pretty early on that the Covey sisters’ mother passed away when they were young. Being left with a single father, their sisterly relationships develop more of a mother-daughter dynamic. I appreciate the realism behind those dynamics as well as the girls’ highly relatable relationships. Anyone who has had a close sibling leave for college (like myself) can relate to Lara Jean’s feeling of isolation when Margot leaves for Scotland. That alone is reason enough to pick this book up.
This contemporary didn’t make it on my top favorites list, but I still enjoyed the story and how the romance developed. Don’t break rule #1 of reading etiquette and watch the movie before reading the book. To read or not to read: READ READ READ!!
(P.S. if you did watch the movie first no worries, but I would definitely recommend reading the whole Lara Jean trilogy. If you ship Peter and Lara Jean as much as I do, you’ll love the extra scenes you get with them in the novels.)