Written By: Andrea Marks-Joseph
Exciting news for fans of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys series and its delightful film adaptations: Netflix has greenlit a new TV series in the To All the Boys world! This time Lara Jean’s little sister, Kitty, is the star of the show.
“I bet you thought the story was over. That there wouldn’t be any more letters…” Netflix shared in a video announcement on Twitter, “But there’s one Covey sister —some might call her the favorite— whose love story is just beginning.” The video signs off: “Stay tuned! XO, Kitty”
While the To All the Boys movies are based on Jenny Han’s bestselling Young Adult novel trilogy, the upcoming spin-off series –titled XO, Kitty– is a whole new story. “Basically the stories that I would have written if I was going to continue with the books” Jenny Han told Business Insider.
Anna Cathcart, who portrayed Lara Jean’s charming, lovable younger sister Kitty in the Netflix film adaptions, will take on the show’s starring role. Kitty was around 11 years old when we first met her in the films; In XO, Kitty, she’ll be about the age that Lara Jean was when the To All the Boys trilogy began. The show will follow her adventures and misadventures in romance. Kitty thinks she knows everything about love, but that changes when she moves halfway across the world –from Portland to Seoul– to reunite with her long-distance boyfriend. She soon realizes that relationships are a lot more complicated when it’s your own heart on the line. Jenny Han shared that the show “will be about seeing her make a few stumbles and really grow into her own.”
Han is co-showrunner on XO, Kitty with Sascha Rothchild, who works on The Baby-Sitters Club Netflix adaptation. Han co-wrote the pilot episode of XO, Kitty with Siobhan Vivian, with whom she co-wrote the popular Burn for Burn books. There will be 10 half-hour long episodes available to stream on Netflix, though we don’t have an expected air date yet. Han has stated that she’s currently finishing work on the Amazon Studios adaptation of her The Summer I Turned Pretty series, and will then turn her full attention to XO, Kitty.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before was published in 2014. The story follows high school student Lara Jean Song Covey, whose life turns upside down when love letters that she wrote to five crushes in her past are sent to them without her knowledge. Han was inspired to write the book based on her own habit of writing love letters to boys she had crushes on as a teenager. To All the Boys spent 40 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and has since been published in 30 languages.
The book was optioned for a screen adaptation within weeks of its publication, which lead to the Netflix release of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in 2018. The film starred Lana Condor as Lara Jean Song Covey, and Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky. Jenny Han made a brief cameo appearance. The book’s sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, won the Young Adult 2015–2016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. The final novel in the trilogy, titled Always and Forever, Lara Jean, was released two years later. Netflix has released film adaptations of all three books, which were each received with adoration from romance fans and Young Adult readers globally.
As to whether Lana Condor and Noah Centineo —breakout stars of the wildly popular To All the Boys rom-com films— will make an appearance in the series: “That would be a dream to see them again,” says Jenny Han. “But we’ll have to wait and see.”
Andrea Marks-Joseph is a South African freelance writer and book reviewer. She can be found on Goodreads, Twitter @stargirlriots, and at stargirlriots.com.