How ‘The Kissing Booth’ went from a teenager’s passion project to a Netflix sensation

From The Washington Post

The popularity of the “Twilight” saga set off a trend in teen fiction. By 2011, the only books 15-year-old Beth Reekles heard her peers discussing involved vampires, werewolves and other mystical beasts.

She’d had enough.

“I wanted to read regular high school romance, without the paranormal stuff,” says the Welsh writer, now 23. Nothing Reekles could find spoke to her, so she wrote her own book called “The Kissing Booth” and uploaded chapters to Wattpad, an online platform for amateur writers to share their work. It soon became one of the most popular titles on the website, amassing more than 19 million reads.

“The Kissing Booth” leaped from Wattpad to Random House Children’s U.K. to the Netflix Originals library over the next seven years — a miraculous feat for any self-published novel, much less a teenager’s passion project. It’s also a surprisingly successful get for the streaming platform. Just last month, Netflix’s programming chief, Ted Sarandos, called the May release “one of the most-watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world.”

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Joel Courtney