Spoilers are ahead. The Kissing Booth first debuted on Netflix back in May 2018 and made the world collectively feel like a teenager again. From secret crushes to lifelong friendships being put to the test, it was impossible not to immerse ourselves in some good old-fashioned high school drama. But these characters and storylines didn’t just come out of nowhere. The Kissing Booth is based on Beth Reekles' books series, which has served as a helpful guideline as to where Elle Evans’ journey will wind up at the end of all this.
However, like so many other adaptations that have come before it, The Kissing Booth movies have strayed from their book counterparts in significant ways. But now that the third instalment has hit Netflix, it's a bit harder to track the differences between The Kissing Booth 3 on screen and in the book — that is, unless you’ve got insider intel.
It’s rare, but Hollywood franchises sometimes surpass their source material — Game of Thrones, anyone? Such is the case for The Kissing Booth saga. Back in September 2020, Reekles confirmed via Instagram that a third novel, titled The Kissing Booth 3: One Last Time, was officially underway and would be released at the same time as the movie. However, the book’s publication date is set for August 17.
And in a reversal of roles, the final Kissing Booth book is actually based on the script for the third film. “TKB3: One Last Time is based on the script of the third movie and will be released in time with the movie next year!” she wrote on Instagram. “I was able to work closely with Netflix for TKB3 and though I can’t say anything yet on the storyline (sorry!) I will tell you... it’s gonna be totally awesome. I really hope you guys love it, too.”
At the end of The Kissing Booth 3, Elle decided not to go to Harvard or Berkeley. Instead, she enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) for video game design, allowing her to finally focus on her own desires and ambitions rather than trying to appease everyone else around her. And while Elle and Noah ended up breaking up in the process, a six-year time jump found them reconnecting at the school’s spring carnival — right in front of the kissing booth, no less. Few words were spoken and they both went their separate ways for the time being, though the spark was still there, indicating that a rekindled romance could very well be on the horizon.
Given that the book is based on the script, it would be very surprising if the novel didn’t come to the same conclusion, with the hope of a Noah and Elle reconciliation in the air. The journey to that point may look a little different — in the books, Elle never even applied to Harvard and simply got accepted to Berkeley — but the end will most likely arrive at the same place. It all started at a kissing booth, so it’s only fitting for that to be where Elle’s journey comes to a close.