October 1, 2015

Review: P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han
Publication date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Summary: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? (greads.com)





My thoughts
P.S. I Still Love You is a book that sparked a lot of conversation for me. Mostly via group text messages with friends as we debated the characters, relationships and how we felt about them. Some of which we all agreed on and other things we were definitely split across the middle. It’s a testament to Jenny Han’s writing that she can evoke such emotion in her readers. Whether I’m looking back on The Summer I Felt Pretty series or her most recent book, I can pinpoint specific moments in each where she actually made my heart physically ache for her beautifully flawed heroines. No matter the outcome or even the journey of their stories, I absolutely respect and appreciate that much.

So, here’s the truth. I have a lot of conflicting emotions about P.S. I Still Love You.

On one hand, I still love Lara Jean. Her optimism, the way she tries to see the best in others, her belief in love (albeit it’s naive at times but that’s part of her charm!) and the importance of family to her are just a few of her shining qualities. We see her grow and tackle more mature decisions like what her relationship with Peter is about, what does she want and what are her boundaries. All of Lara Jean’s innermost thoughts and questions rang so true to this moment in her life where she’s having a serious boyfriend for the first time. Where the book lost me was in its treatment of the “love triangle” and what ended up being the main conflict between the characters.

When Peter appears, it took all of two seconds for me to start swooning. I was reminded immediately of why I loved his relationship with Lara Jean. But then, he makes some more poor decisions in how he treats her. And to a certain extent, I do get it. They’re both young, we all make mistakes, so on and so forth. But, he keeps making the exact same frustrating mistake over and over again and it just got to a point where I didn’t want him to be her choice anymore. Then the other half of the love triangle comes sweeping in with all his perfection (too good to be true?) and the gap between Lara Jean and Peter felt too large. And the reason why she’s faced with this question of who to choose, Peter or the new guy (or I’d like to throw in the option of choosing herself), is all brought on by a single point of conflict. And the conflict was a bit of letdown in the end after all the build-up towards it. I mean, granted it’s high school. Conflicts are often fairly trivial back then but I admittedly expected a lot more after everything Lara Jean goes through.

Do I recommend?
I love Jenny Han’s writing but To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before remains my favorite in the duology BY FAR.

2 comments:

  1. As I was one of the friends you happened to discuss this with, you already know how I felt about PS I STILL LOVE YOU! As always, Jenny's writing game is so strong, and Lara Jean is amazing. When it comes to the romance, however, I think we can agree to disagree on our feels ;)

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  2. I have been Team JAM since book 1 so I admit the endgame here was a little disappointing for me. But I have to admit it also gave me the chance to work out a complex "head-canon" ending for the book that is much more satisfying. I loved both books in the duet but I think I might actually have loved the second just a bit more because it had so many characters I loved and I enjoyed the plot that little bit more. (And I got to start a JAM fan club!)

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