It’s about time the YA genre got a little diversity! The latest novel-turned-movie To All the Boys I Love Before is starring three Asian stars, including Pretty Little Liars alum Janel Parrish!
Based on the trilogy of the same name, the movie will follow Lara Jena Song, a 16-year-old who writes letters to all of her crushes in an attempt to get over them. She never intends to send them of course, but someone they find their way into the hands of all the guys!
Janel will play Lara Jean’s older sis Margot, who just so happens to be dating Lara Jean’s crush, Josh. Uh, this sounds adorable! Other cast members include X-Men’s Lana Condor as Lara Jean and Descendants 2’s Ann Cathcart as younger sis Kitty.
The author of the novels Jenny Han couldn’t be more excited to have Janel on board. She told Seventeen,
“Janel was a fan favorite on Pretty Little Liars and I feel so lucky to have her — not only as an actress but as a person. She is definitely the big sis of the group and every time I saw her interact with Lana and Anna, she was so lovely and generous with her time and her experience as an Asian American woman in the film industry. It’s so important to have mentors, people who you can go to for advice, who know how to navigate the waters. I can already tell that Janel will be that for Lana and Anna.”
This is one of the first YA films starring young Asian women, and certainly the first in a long time. As Jenny pointed out,
“It’s so rare to see Asian Americans on screen, and for me as the author, that was my number one priority. The last time I saw Asian American women centered in a movie was Joy Luck Club. That was 25 years ago! I didn’t want Asian American girls to have to wait another 25 years to see themselves as the star of a movie.”
The film debuts on Netflix on August 17th.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.