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When Netflix released this movie I, and most of its viewers, was ecstatic. Lucky for me I'd just bought this book trilogy a few weeks prior and had yet to get around to them. As of now the movie is being said to be one of the best teen love stories of this generation, and will probably hold a spot along with movies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.
Now my take on the movie is it's great. I loved it! In fact, I watched it twice just yesterday before I read the book, that way it was fresh in my mind, and let's face it, it's an amazing movie. If you haven't watched it yet I suggest you do.
The first major difference between the movie and book is Kathrine, or Kitty. In the book she is nine and quite often fighting with Lara Jean. In fact, when she sends out Lara Jean's love letters it is in revenge over a fight they had. In the book, she is also a lot more childish, and kind of crude. She can definitely hold a grudge. In the movie she is aged go 11. Her and Lara Jean's relationship is a lot better other than a few minor jabs that are more playful than mean they get along great. Kitty sending out the letters in the movie is done out of love, not revenge. When it comes to making up for the letters, however, I love the way the book did it more than the movie. While in the movie Lara Jean wants to kill Kitty and Margot stops it, defusing the situation, in the book Lara Jean and Kitty work through it themselves, proving how much Lara Jean has grown into the big sister role.
The second major difference is Peter and Josh's relationships with Lara Jean. Peter in the books is kind of a tool—in the beginning, and off and on throughout the whole book. While he's real sweet, and you do see his growing interest in Lara Jean, it's short-lived until he does something that just makes you want to scream and throw the book. In the movie Peter is a lot nicer with Lara Jean and doesn't screw up every 10 minutes by being crude—which I'm glad about. I feel like if they had kept Peter that way in the movie, there would be a lot of uproar over it. Plus I don't think anyone would have liked lovable Noah Centineo in that role if it was the case.
Josh... in the movie: I kind of like his role as well. It was pretty obvious that he didn't really like the whole Peter and Lara Jean thing that was going on, however, in the book he made it a bit more clear of his hatred for Peter. What I was not expecting in the book after watching the movie so many times was the kiss that took place between Josh and Lara. It came out of left field as they where in a pretty heated argument. I was expecting him to say something like, "It's always been you, not Margot" or something along those lines—not kissing her to prove he wasn't so predictable. FYI: Lara was NOT happy about the kiss. This kiss actually leads up to the third major difference between book and movie: Margot.
Margot and Lara Jean's relationship in book and movie is pretty much identical. They are close and get along great, a lot better than me and my sister. But when Margot finds out about Lara Jean and Josh, she holds on to her anger a lot longer. While in the book Margot has a kiss she has to deal with it and in the movie it's just those intense feelings, it still is a huge difference. Especially in the book when Margot tells their father that Lara Jean is having sex and instills false disappointment in her dad toward Lara Jean. This leads to a blow out between the to girls resulting in them making up which is weird to me, my sister and I get into a blow out like that it would probably take weeks to get us talking again. Just saying.
The last major difference would be the "sex in the hot tub issue" while in the book Peter and Lara Jean having sex in the hot tub is just a rumor going around school. In the movie there is a compromising video going around. I have a love hate relationship with this change from the book. While on one hand it shows just how connected and public things are on social media which I think is a great thing for younger viewers who still don't get that concept that what is put on social media can be seen by everyone, I also kind of hate the video. It makes what was already a pretty cruel situation in the book that much worse. Rumors are hard enough to kill without video proof that something went down. Even though the video is just of Peter and Lara Jean kissing you cant really blame the other students from looking more into it.
Those are the major differences between book and movie. Now there are quite a few minor ones but I think you should read the book and watch the movie to catch them yourself. So I left them out, that way there was still some things you didn't see coming when you got to reading them. Know I haven't read the second book yet so I don't know how much of that Netflix put into the movie as I put off reading it until I did this post so I could compare strictly the movie and the first book. I do know that lots of movies that are based on series usually put a bit of the following movie into it to give you a little sneak at the next one or to just round it out. However, even if that's not the case I still suggest you watch the movie and read the books. I think it's going to be a great story.