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The Boys Next Door: Little Women & To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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(Spoilers)

Who hasn’t fallen in love with the boy next door? It’s a timeless story that never gets old. Even Taylor Swift wrote a song about it (You Belong With Me- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuNIsY6JdUw)

jw_smith_pix_bookcoverLouisa May Alcott published Little Women in 1886. The March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy have to deal with the Civil War and the absence of their father. Next door, a boy named Laurie moves in with his grandfather. Laurie and the March girls become close friends, with Jo especially. Time passes, the war ends, and they all grow up. After Laurie finishes school, he returns home and asks Jo to marry him. Jo, being an independent woman, turns him down. He leaves for Europe, where he runs into Amy, Jo’s youngest sister. They fall in love and return married. In the end, Jo is happy for them, and she finds love with a German professor. They all live happily ever after.

 

Jenny Hanboysiveloved published To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in 2014. Just like Little Women, it’s an iconic story about sisters and their relationship with the boy next door. The Song sisters, Margot, Lara Jean, and Kitty, live with their widowed father. The boy next door, Josh, is best friends with the family. He is dating the oldest sister, Margot. When Lara Jean was younger she had a crush on Josh, and, in order to get over him for her sister’s sake, she wrote a love letter that was for her eyes only. (A habit she has anytime she likes a boy.) In a fit of anger, her younger sister sends the letters to all of the boys. Needless to say, Lara Jean’s life gets very complicated.

The similarities between the books are self-evident. Both Jo and Lara Jean are writers. Jo writes stories, and Lara Jean writes love letters. They both have a strong friendship with the boy next door, and both boys end up falling in love with them.

What I love about Jenny Han’s book is that she brings a modern twist to Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale. They are both worth a read.

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