A Letter and a Kiss

With 2021, Netflix brought two of its popular teen romcom trilogies to an end – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth.

Both the movies are in a way quite similar in their central theme – Protagonist has an unreciprocated crush on the unattainable and hot jock in high school. By the end of movie 1, the couple are together. Movie 2 introduces a “new guy” and toys with the practiced formula of a love triangle. In movie 3, both Lara Jean and Elle are trying to balance between saving their relationship and choosing a college.

And both movies are based on books!!

For Lara Jean it began with a letter and for Elle it began with a kiss.

Is one of the movies better than the other? Well, I kind of liked both!! Both the movies have some good moments.

Firstly, To All The Boys:

There is something cute and romantic about writing love letters to your crushes. And it was super scary (for LJ) but super fun for us when Kitty posted all her secret letters!!

The contract between Peter and Lara Jean and all that happened because of it made the first movie a great watch for me.

Movie 2 had some epic visual treats like,
The sky lanterns from Peter and Lara Jean’s first “real” date

John Ambrose and Lara Jean’s dance

I also liked the idea of the time capsule buried below a treehouse!

The scene between Gen and Lara Jean where they resolve their conflicts and Gen tells Lara Jean that Peter is crazy about her.

Watching Lara Jean fall in love with NYU

Peter’s letter to Lara Jean in their yearbook– complete with his memory of their meet-cute and it genuinely sounded like a sincere apology too.

The Kissing Booth:

Number 1: LISTS!!
For someone like me who loves lists, this was perfect.
I would have certainly liked to include these rules on my friendship rule list (if I had one):
Rule #6: If you can’t tell your best friend about something you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Rule #7: No matter how mad you are at your best friend, you have to forgive them if they give you ice cream.

And the Beach Bucket List!!

I mean, stuff like paragliding and swimming with sharks!!
Hell, I’ll be happy even with the small stuff like a sandcastle and a blanket fort.

Number 2: The Summer Montages
I loved the memory montages at the beginning of Movies 2 and 3 that show what Elle did over the summer.

Number 3: Lee and Elle’s Friendship

Oh Thank God that this wasn’t another one of those movies where the best friends fall for each other. I specifically liked the scene in the third movie when Lee leaves for Berkeley and Elle is waving him goodbye and the camera pans out and shows us all the Elles from their childhood till now saying goodbye and all the Lees from their childhood till now driving away sadly.

Number 4: The Dances!!
Each time Elle and Lee dance on the DDM machine

Elle and Marco’s winning performance at the DDM competition

The Flash mob to Shut up and Dance with me

Number 5: Mrs Flynn’s words of advice to Elle in each movie.

Number 6: The bike rides at the end of each movie.

Current Mood: YA

My reading has gone into a YA phase and I actually like reading them. Guess I never grew up enough, somehow, the teen life still appeals to me.

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna can’t wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy.

It is always so magical to read about Paris and I love books such as these that describe a city so beautifully you wish you could trade places with Anna as she explores Paris with St Clair.

This is a very breezy breezy novel. Anna pines for home, fumbles but makes new friends, falls for a boy who is taken, friendships and relationships break and the big question of the future looms ahead: What about after high school??

Hello, I love you

This novel is in the same vein as Anna and the French Kiss but the difference is of stronger emotions.

Grace leaves America behind and moves to South Korea for her senior year on a self imposed exile. She is in a “culture shock” and is trying to adjust and finds herself attracted to the guy she hated at first glance.

Grace is someone who doesn’t like being vulnerable. She doesn’t want anyone to see the side of her that is sloshed in guilt over the past. She puts on a brave face. She’s unwilling to let anyone get too close to her for fear that the thing she escaped home for will repeat itself again.

Will Grace ever learn to let go??

Grace, Jason and Yoon Jae’s sort of triangle romance reminded me of the Korean drama Boys over Flowers that I used to watch. Korean boys are really cute!!

Short pause: One thing niggling me about these high school dramas is that these teens always seem to find the forever love of thier lives right there in high school. That never happens does it?

Infact, people who actually wind up with the love of thier lives forever are very few and far.

Pushing the limits

Noah and Echo meet at the office of thier school counselor. Both of them have issues. Real issues.

I liked that Noah and Echo are teens not just dealing with high school pressures but actually have serious stuff going on in thier lives.

Echo was always one of the popular girls. Until one day, an incident happened with her maniac mother and changed her life forever. Echo has no memories of that night and the scars on her arms are a constant reminder of that black hole and the end of her self confidence.

Noah on the other hand is a womanizer and a stoner. But no one knows that Noah is struggling to make ends meet to get his brothers back from foster home.

Echo and Noah meet and intense sparks fly. But both are damaged goods. Will they help each other get through thier life or are they too damaged to be together???

This book is very intense on the emotions. One thing though this book made me realize is that the past is just that. The past. It can’t be undone. And we would be fooling ourselves trying to make our future look like how our past was.

Moving on is painful and this book understands that. It might be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship or giving up something you want for the sake of someone else’s happiness. U can’t just move on magically.

Reading YA is kind of lite on my soul right now. Maybe I’ll soak myself in them a lil bit more before diving into my mystery diet once more.