Firstly, I read the book first and I wrote my reaction to the movie first because I know the movie was getting so much hype. Believe me, the hype wasn’t fake, the movie was pretty accurate to the book. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book, I’ll warn you if I’m about to give a spoiler. Let’s get into this review!
I found the plot to be very engaging and although it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. I can say I loved the story since it featured all Asian characters with different backgrounds. I love that the author also showed the differences between Asians who are still residing in Asian countries compared to Asian Americans and how they’re always pitted against each other. For instance when you’re an Asian American living in the U.S. and you have relatives who live in other countries so they don’t understand cultural differences. My relatives have all these opinions made up without even trying to understand why American culture is the way it is. You would think they’d be interested in American culture, but it’s actually quite the opposite speaking for my family. They don’t understand our culture and aren’t interested in learning. I’m always butting heads with my mom’s side of the family for these reasons in particular because I try to explain my life to them, but they don’t try to understand.
Rachel seemed to be the only most relatable character who was supposed to be an “average girl” since every other character is rich. I would have liked more of a variety with characters in different financial situations, but this is only the first book there’s still two sequels where you learn of more characters and their upbringing. I found Nick Young to be very much like Asian characters in the soap operas (dramas) very likable yet, of course, having family conflicts. There weren’t that many male characters that made much of an impression to me to like as much as Nick, to be honest. The parents were SPOT ON to me, very much like my own mom and her family. They have such strong beliefs in how their children should live their lives. I also really liked Astrid’s struggle with trying to make her husband more comfortable when SPOILER he ended up being an asshole anyway. I liked that even though she was painted as the girl who had everything she was still struggling with her own marriage behind closed doors. I think having her deal with that conflict and being alone most of the time makes her relatable to readers.
The ending really wanted me to have the sequel right in my hand, alas I had to wait like everybody else. Thankfully now, I own all three books in the series. I did like how the book ended because I love when the author makes you want to know more since you love the characters so much. You’re just rooting for them the whole way only to find out you have to wait and build up all the excitement for the story again. Leading you to fall in love with the characters again. Anyways back to the ending, it wasn’t fully complete, but you did get some closure.
The movie was very accurate to the book. SPOILER the movie didn’t end the same way the first book ended. I don’t know if that’s because of time being an issue or the way they plan to shoot the second movie or if they didn’t think they were going to shoot a second movie??? Anyways the movie has done really well, and although it wasn’t super accurate. I would say it was about 90% accurate to the book which is really good. It’s just a pet peeve of mine for the book to be as accurate as possible since I get so invested in each book I read unless I genuinely didn’t like it because it just didn’t suit me.
That concludes my review I hoped you enjoyed learning a little more about the book. I highly recommend reading the book since it does shed light on a different culture and most Asian authors don’t get films made after their work. Support the change we need to see in the entertainment industry! Also, read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I read that book when it first came out as well, highly recommend!!! Or show your support by watching the movie on Netflix. 🙂
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