The Kissing Booth follows Elle Evans, who, up to her junior year, has never kissed a boy. Ever since she was born, she's been best friends with Lee Flynn, they're practically twins. The issue is that she's always had a crush on Lee's bad boy older brother, Noah, and she can never act on that crush because a. it's her best friend's brother and b. he only sees her as his little brother's best friend-- or does he? When Elle and Lee come up with the idea of hosting a Kissing Booth for their school fair, little do they know that very same booth will change their lives.
Okay, yeah, that was a little dramatic. Let's just say that drama ensures after the kissing booth.
My usual policy is READ THE BOOK FIRST. Why? Because it's a universally known fact among readers that the book is better than the movie.
Unfortunately, I did not follow my usual policy for this movie. I was bored, and in the mood for a cute rom-com movie. Plus, I was working on a very, very long project for school and therefore didn't have time to read a book, just needed something in the background. (And I also didn't have the book.)
I'm not sure if the movie impacted my view of the book, perhaps it set forth a few expectations from me, but for the most part, I think my view of the book was fairly unimpacted. And to just get these words out of the way, I was not a huge fan of the book. I would give it 5/10 stars. There were parts of the book that yes, I enjoyed, but the biggest part of the book-- the romance, was something I just could not get behind.
The relationship between Elle and Noah in the book was not healthy. Whenever they got into an argument, it was never resolved. Noah would just kiss her and BOOM everything was okay, even when yes, what they were arguing about was perfectly legit and really needed to be discussed. I don't want to be overly "extra" when saying their relationship made me uncomfortable, but, well, their relationship made me uncomfortable. I was waiting for something to be redeeming about it, but I couldn't find anything. Noah is possessive, and while I guess that could seem romantic... It's really not, especially not the lengths he'll go to to protect what's "his." Seriously (slight spoiler here) there's a moment in the book where he may have broken someone's rib. And does he feel regret? None. Why? Because he was "protecting" Elle. (spoiler over.)
There are plenty of examples of how violent Noah is throughout the book. I guess that also is supposed to make Noah seem dreamy due to his manliness, but really it makes him less attractive in my eyes. He gets rather frightening when angry and is very, very violent. It's discussed in the book that Noah realizes this and thinks he's messed up, but that still doesn't make his actions okay.
The movie actually toned Noah's violence and anger down, but still, in the movie there are some very clear signs of the relationship being unhealthy. It's really romanticizing violence, and possessiveness. I'm glad they were able to tone it down in the movie, though, because the sad fact of life is that more people will always see the movie as opposed to reading the book.
When comparing the two, it would appear that the story is out of the ordinary in terms of the movie is better than the book. The book just ran all over the place, while the movie (tried to) cut out the extra moments and keep the plot straight. The book's plot is like a roller coaster, just going up and down, up and down. There's so much extra stuff in it that feels unneeded, it felt too long. There's just too much extra stuff in there to add more drama to the story instead of just telling a good story. I think the whole "list" kept the movie more structured, while the book desperately needed some structure.
Between the book and the movie, I actually think the movie was able to improve most aspects of the book. I think the plot was better constructed, and Noah was definitely better in the movie than in the book. Elle's character remained about the same between both. The only thing that was definitely better in the book was Lee's character.
In the move I found Lee's character to be annoying, and quite frankly, a very, very bad friend. (spoiler for the movie) For instance, he allows Elle to strip on the table. Instead of getting her down, he just looks away, wincing. That's a bad friend move. And then the way he reacts upon finding out about Elle and Noah? Horrible. In the book, he handles it better-- the way you'd expect a good friend would. (spoiler over).
Book Lee is a much better character in terms of his friendship with Elle in the book.
My overall thoughts about the movie, it was okay. Good for if you're bored and in the mood for a rom-com. If you don't think about it too much, the movie was enjoyable. But when you think about it, you'd probably realize that the movie is not spaced out well. It's very little build up to the romance, so that it can leave a large chunk of time for drama, and then no time for the resolution so its ending feels rushed. I'd give the movie 6/10 stars, it wasn't great, but it was good for the mood that I was in while watching (or listening) to it.
Anyway, the Kissing Booth is definitely not my strongest recommendation for a cute romance book. If you're looking for an adorable romance, I would recommend Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins or To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (Which is also being made into a Netflix movie!!!!).
Never the less, here's the synopsis:
Meet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular--and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile--and a total player. And also Elle's best friend's older brother...
When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer--this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak.
But will Elle get her happily ever after?
OKAY SO LIKE, ELLE LYING TO LEE WHEN SHE GOES TO PROM WITH NOAH PISSED ME OFF SO MUCH. LIKE DID YOU NOT FEEL ENOUGH PAIN FROM THE FIRST TIME YOU LIED? AND LEE FORGAVE YOU! she didn't learn her lesson and UGH. Don't lie to your friends.
Anyway, thanks for reading,