Book vs Movie: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Image result for always and forever lara jean

Welcome to a new feature on our blog where we compare the YA book with its movie adaptation. It’s hard to find a movie adaption that can compare to the book. Still, some are much better than others. Do you have a favorite book to movie (or TV show) adaption? Let us know in the comments. 

Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t read or watched Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All The Boys #3).

1. UVA vs Stanford

In To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean and her family live in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s Lara Jean’s dream to go to the University of Virginia (UVA). 

The movie changes the location to Portland, Oregon and Lara Jean dreams about going to Stanford. We wish the movie followed the book because so many movies are already set on the West coast. Not many are sent in Virginia. 

2. UNC vs NYU

Another major difference was where Lara Jean chose to go to school after she was rejected from her first choice. In the book Lara Jean visits the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill with her friend Chris and chooses the school over William and Mary.

The movie has Lara Jean deciding to go to NYC. While the senior trip is to NYC in the book as well, Lara Jean had no interest in living there. We did like that the movie adaption followed the same theme of Lara Jean branching out and choosing the school that most made her feel at home and out of her comfort zone. Like NYU, in the books Lara Jean was immediately drawn to UNC and fell in love with the atmosphere. 

Since Stanford and NYU are 3,000 miles away, it was a lot more dramatic than the four hour drive between UVA and UNC.

3. The Trip to South Korea

In the book we never got to see Lara Jean travel. Her trip was planned after graduation over the summer with her sisters.

The movie begins in Seoul, South Korea with Lara Jean and her entire family exploring during spring break. We actually liked this change because we got to see a change in scenery. 

4. The College Party

The college party was less dramatic in the books. Chris and Lara Jean attend a small event at UNC. In the movie Gen takes them to an NYU rooftop party, which was way nicer than real college parties.  We can see why the location was chosen, but it didn’t feel realistic.

5. Beach Week

After graduating, Lara Jean and her friends spend a week at the beach. This portion of the book was completely cut in the movie. Cutting the scene made sense for the movie’s timeline.

6. The Wedding

We were sad that a lot of the wedding planning, including the bachelor and Bachelorette party were cut from the movie. Peter even attends Dr. Covey’s party! 

Also Margot was a lot nicer in the movie. In the books she was so mean to Trina, so we did enjoy that change. But the movie also erased her college boyfriend who we wish would’ve made an appearance in the movie. It would’ve humanized Margot a bit more. 

7. John Ambrose

John had a small presence in the books. However, the third movie completely cut him out. While we obviously ship Peter and Lara Jean, we wish we got the updates on his life. His role in the books may be small, but he had a larger impact than what we saw in the movies. 

Image result for always and forever lara jean

Overall Opinion

This is one of our favorite YA contemporary series. Even though the movie missed a few things and changed too many locations, we still found ourselves swooning. The acting and casting are great. The ending left us emotional. We hope Peter and Lara Jean have the best time in college and stay close.

While not perfect, if you loved the book, still give the movie a chance.

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

30 thoughts on “Book vs Movie: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

  1. It’s always a worry when they make an adaptation, isn’t it? But despite the differences, it sounds like they carried this one off well, and some of the variations made sense for the film such as keeping to the timeline? Great post – I look forward to seeing which others you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adored these adaptations so much, and I think the last one might be my favourite. Possible the least faithful, but I think both versions did their own really wonderful thing – which is probably the highest compliment for an adaptation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We agree, especially since the movies didn’t change Lara Jean’s personality. We actually think the second movie was the least faithful. It changed John Ambrose’s personality and his ties to Stormy. Plus, a lot of our favorite book scenes were cut.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great idea! Although I haven’t read or watched any of your suggestions, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always wondered what are the major differences between the book and the movie! I’ve read the first two books and have yet to read the last one, so reading your comparison makes me more intrigued to finally read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These were one of my favorite series that I read in recent years, and they have a place of honor on my bookshelves. (I actually got these books the day that they came out) I do agree with some of your points. I wished that they had kept the location to Virginia, and had Lara Jean go to UNC. I do like where the movie went with it all, but I still wished that they kept the locations the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review! I loved reading what you liked/didn’t like and what was changed. I wasn’t a big fan of the books, but I did love the first movie, guess I will have to watch this one and the other one soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I watched this movie last night, but I haven’t read the book yet so it was fun seeing how they’re different.
    I did like the movie & I’ll definitely be reading the book because there are more scenes!

    Liked by 1 person

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