With Leo DiCaprio as a fan, Jenny Han wrote a rom-com about her friends when she was fourteen years old
Through Han’s novels and their adaptations, a broader audience can experience the same butterflies and giddy feelings. In addition, there’s more to come: This coming-of-age trilogy adapted by Amazon Prime has already been approved for a second season, which is sure to complicate the love triangle between Belly, 16, and brothers Conrad and Jeremiah at the age of 16. In the video below, Han reflects on her 14-year-old self’s preferences for a brother, her struggles in math, and her regrettable choices in make-up.
As a teenager of 14, I’d like to revisit the year 1994 with you. What were your thoughts on your life at the time?
I had just begun high school at the time. Then I applied to a local magnet school after having a bad experience at my previous one and had an amazing time there. Because it was primarily comprised of nerds, I felt right at home in high school because I already knew a lot of the students. There were a lot of kids from my church who went to this Korean church, and my best friend was there as well. In 1994, I’d say my mood was upbeat.
Was There Anyone Else on Your List of Dream Girls Besides Leo?
A Different World’s Kadeem Hardison was the other big celebrity crush of the time. He had the role of Dwayne Wayne. My first love for him.
In Addition, Did You Send Him a Letter?
I was not. When Whitley and he were together, I became very attached to them both. On the show, they were like the show’s power couple.
The Most Important Things on Your Mind at The Time Were
Math was the most concerning issue for me at the time. Because it was a magnet program, everyone else in my class was much better at math than I was. Due to the lack of time, my anxiety was high that I was going to fall behind, which I did. Despite the fact that it was well-founded, there was still some concern. Concerns were well founded. What had I hoped for? I was just hoping against hope that I would succeed in math.
Girlhood Can Be a Difficult Time at The Age of 14. No, I Didn’t Think So.
Wasn’t it nice? My confidence was high as I prepared for my first year of college. At some point between the eighth and ninth grades, I went through an expansion phase and my hair was in a healthy state.
You couldn’t find anything to wear in middle school because the crotch was too low or you were in a moment where your body didn’t quite match up with the rest of your body… [At 14] I think I was starting to grasp the concept of personal grooming a little better.
Were There Certain Outfits that You Always Wore?
When I was growing up, blazers were all the rage. Wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans would be appropriate. Alternatively, you might wear a T-shirt and boxers. In addition, a babydoll dress has always been a personal favorite of mine. The way she stared at me was definitely a memorable one.
When it came to makeup, I had no idea where to begin. Brown lipstick was the only thing I applied. It was a mocha lip, and it wasn’t all that great. When the eyebrows were overplucked and the lips were brown, it was a period of time.
Lara Jean and Belly Were Both in Multiple Relationships with Your Main Characters. What Were Yours Like when You Were 14 Years Old?
As a freshman, I remember thinking, “You’re cute,” on the first day of class. Your cuteness has been noted. It was wonderful to have such a comprehensive list at my disposal. You’ve heard that having a crush on someone at work can make your day go more smoothly, right? Something to occupy your time and give you an excuse to brush your hair.
As a result, I had a crush on someone in every class. Block schedule meant we had eight classes each day. It was a gradual process as the year progressed. During the first year of college, I had a lot of people to keep an eye out for. It was a haphazard concoction. It was a mixed bag of acquaintances and friends.
If So, Did Any of Them Develop Further?
Flirting was all there was. Because we only had one phone line, my sister thought I was crazy for talking on the phone all day. My personal best was seven hours spent with a crush. He woke me up early one morning and kept me on the phone until five o’clock that afternoon. Our conversation lasted for hours on end.
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Who Would You Have Dated Among the To All the Boys Characters if You Were Just 14 Years Old?
I would have been interested in John Ambrose McClaren when I was 14. A more scholarly, nerdy vibe is what I had going on in Model UN.
What About Some of Your the Summer I Turned Pretty Boys?
Conrad, that’s what I’d say. Due to my previous experience with a jerk-like guy, I fear that Conrad might be the same way — somewhat withholding. In contrast to the mean guy I had a crush on, Conrad is a much nicer person.
No, I Didn’t Show My Writing to Anyone at That Age.
Those were the stories I was sharing with my classmates my freshman year, and I was also taking a creative writing course, so I was working on my own poems, plays, and short stories for that class.
There were notebooks full of stories that I had written. That one about two best friends who drift apart and one of whom gets pregnant in high school is hilarious because I used to give my short stories as Christmas gifts to all my closest pals back when that was still a thing. During my first year of college, I wrote a book that my friend Sarah generously donated to me when I published the first book. Incredibly, she sent it to me by mail! Occasionally, an essay for a school short story was left undone by her. As a result, I wrote her a special one. Because she got an A+ on it, she decided to keep it. That happened when I was in middle school.
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