Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Kissing Booth 3.
Now that The Kissing Booth 3 is finally out on Netflix, we can lay The Kissing Booth series to rest. But there’s actually one piece left of the trilogy — the third book. That’s right, the third book is coming out after the movie is released, so fans of the movie series are wondering if it’s worth diving into the book series.
Not only that, but for fans of series like Harry Potter and Twilight, we (unfortunately) know how challenging it can be to adapt a book series to film. So, how did The Kissing Booth do in comparison to the book series it’s based on?
‘The Kissing Booth’ movies are based on Beth Reekles' books.
We love a story of young forbidden love, and nothing does it better than The Kissing Booth (well, except for maybe Titanic). Regardless, we can’t help but enjoy watching Elle and Noah deal with the ups and downs — and all the drama —of their forbidden, secret relationship throughout the series. Of course, they have their obstacles, but by the end of The Kissing Booth 3, they seem to work it out.
So does that match up with the book? Well, funnily enough, the third book in the series is actually based on the movie. The first book, The Kissing Booth, was published in 2012 by 26-year-old Beth Reekles, and when Netflix optioned it as a film in 2018, she was overjoyed.
On the heels of the first movie's success, Beth began working on a sequel, The Kissing Booth: Going the Distance, which was published in January 2020 ahead of the second movie.
But the third movie was on the road to production before the third book could be finished. Beth worked directly with Netflix on the plot and script for The Kissing Booth 3, which should correspond directly with the third book in the series, The Kissing Booth: One Last Time. The third movie was released on Netflix on Aug. 11 but the third book doesn’t come out until Aug. 17.
There are some differences between ‘The Kissing Booth’ books and movies.
Although Beth worked directly with Netflix on the third movie, she didn’t have much input on the first two. “I wouldn’t have been anywhere near qualified enough to be involved in creating [the movies],” she explained to USA Today. The Kissing Booth was her first book series, so it makes sense that she felt that way. But we disagree! It’s her series, so she has every qualification necessary.
Luckily, she did get some input. “With the films, I did have a call with Vince [Marcello, the films’ writer/director] and got to give feedback on the scripts,” she revealed. Regardless, there were still a lot of differences.
The first worth mentioning: In the books, there are no “rules” between Lee and Elle. Part of Lee’s frustration with Elle and Noah’s relationship is just the fact that she hides it from him in the first place.
In addition, there’s a bit more drama in the movies when it comes to characters taking advantage of Elle. In the movie, both Warren and Tuppen make unwanted advances on her, but in the books, that doesn't happen.
One of the best things about the books is the ability to more fully develop and define the characters and their growth. In the movies, we don’t have that luxury, so it’s much harder to get a sense of the characters’ development throughout the series. But one thing the movies do get right? The overall fun, flirty, and youthful vibe.
The movies still manage to convey the characters' personalities, even if they miss out on the subtlety behind some of their decisions.
Author Beth even said herself, “I knew there were a lot of differences from the book, but at the same time it still kept the characters and kind of the core of what was going on.” And that’s all we can ask for!
The entire The Kissing Booth trilogy is now available to stream on Netflix.