Before I get into my thoughts on the book, I’d like to discuss Fiction Fridays on Curtsy To The Queen! Fiction Fridays will be Fridays dedicated to discussing books. They won’t always be book reviews (because I know that I will not be able to read one book a week…Let’s try for quality and not quantity!) There will be a variety of bookish topics. For example, what I plan on reading that weekend, my opinions on hyped-up books, and so on. I’m very excited for this installment to my blog and I hope everyone else enjoys this addition to their Fridays. On to the review!
The first part of the review will contain a non-spoiler-y summary of the first and second book. The second part will delve into a spoiler-y review/discussion of the second book! You’ve been warned.
For those who don’t know, P.S I Still Love You is a sequel to Jenny Han’s novel To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. If you haven’t read the first book in the duology and enjoy YA contemporary reads, you should definitely give it a go.
The first book, TATBILB (What an acronym), is the story of sixteen year-old Lara Jean. She has had a few crushes in her life but has never openly admitted it to them. Instead she writes each boy a love letter, seals it, addresses it and hides it in a hat box in her room. Then one day Lara Jean realizes that not only are her letters missing; they have been mailed out. Drama ensues.
Oh, and those who haven’t read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before should go because the plot of the sequel spoils the first book. So skedaddle and come back later!
Seriously, leave because the next paragraph will have spoilers for TATBILB!
P.S I Still Love You picks up where the last book left off. I’m simply going to type verbatim a bit of the blurb from the inside flap of the hardcover. Ahem. “Lara Jean didn’t really expect to fall for Peter. They were just pretending. Until they weren’t. And now Lara Jean Has to learn what it’s like to be in a real relationship and not just a make-believe one.”
Non-spoiler-y Review: 4/5 stars
I really enjoyed this sequel! It wasn’t perfect but it was really good. Jenny Han is growing on me. I love how she can make things sweet, fluffy and innocent but balances it out with realistic drama. I think the characterizations are great and create a fun and beautiful story.
Ok, that’s the end of the non-spoiler-y section! This next part will be going in depth on characters and plot. You should only stick around if you’ve read P.S. ISLY (maybe these acronyms should stop…)
Where do I start… Characters maybe? Sounds good to me. Let’s talk about Lara Jean. I really like Lara Jean and her innocence. I can see why naiveness can drive a lot of readers mad. I have read many comments on goodreads saying how Lara Jean is too naive or acts too young for her age, etc. I personally like reading from that perspective because it’s kind of completely opposite to the way I think. I’ve always been mature for my age, and so are many other people, but there are also a lot of people in the world who are like Lara Jean. I also believe she has grown up a bit since the first book even though not much time has passed.
I also enjoyed seeing Kitty in this book and viewing her from the eyes of a big sister. It was sweet that Lara Jean wanted to teach Kitty and answer questions about friendship troubles and boys. I’m the baby of my family and I don’t have an older sister so I’ve never really had anyone to talk to about that kind of thing. Obviously there’s my mom, but its a very different relationship because Kitty and Lara Jean have no mother so in some ways they are more open but also more guarded. I would tell my sister about crushes but not my mom, at least not right away, but I’d tell my mom if I was feeling depressed but not necessarily my sister. That’s something that’s different for every family though.
John Ambrose McClaren. Oh John Ambrose McClaren, you absolute dream boat. My favorite part of having John in this book was how sweet he was but in a “It’s too good to be true” way. He doesn’t interact with Lara Jean enough for us, or LJ, to see what his flaws are. He just seems like this perfect boy who’s going to sweep Lara Jean off her feet and into his dad’s car and never look back. But he’s human. He has faults we just don’t know what they are, so in comparison Peter seems like your average macho teenage boy.
That being said, I love Peter as well because he tries. He want’s to impress LJ so he gives her a poem and when she thinks he wrote it he can’t help but say yes because she just loves it so much and he can’t help himself. He doesn’t want to disappoint her. Doesn’t that just melt your heart? He’s stupid at times; a la, the cake walk incident in which this encounter happens:
“Let’s go,” Owen says to Peter. He’s got my caramel cake.
Peter glances down at him and then back at me, his eyes hard. “I don’t want that one.”
“That’s the one you told me to get!”
“Well, I don’t want it anymore. Put it back and get the Funfetti down there at the end.”
Like Peter you big baby! Just take the cake. His macho stupidity is an accurate depiction of some teenage boys. It would be ridiculous for every boy in the book to be dreamy and “perfect” like John but it would be equally as ridiculous for every boy to be all “Manly man” and jealous like Peter. Peter is realistic. He makes mistakes and he gets mad but he loves Lara Jean and he want’s to have a real relationship with her. He wants to do it right.
“Let’s do it fucking for real, Lara Jean. Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want with it.”
This brings me to what I didn’t like about the book. I needed more interaction between Lara Jean and Gen. I needed more than some flash backs and the few moments between LJ and Gen. One measly confrontation in the ladies room does not equal resolution. Maybe Lara Jean is fine, but Gen is still angry and bitter. I understand that Jenny Han may be trying to say that it is important that Lara Jean moves on with her life but it doesn’t mean Gen will. I get it. Real people hold grudges and Lara Jean doesn’t live in a perfect world. I’m not asking for them to be friends again, I just want them to butt heads more. Gen wouldn’t just leave Lara Jean alone, there would be more drama. Maybe Gen tries to get under Lara Jean’s skin one last time and LJ simply walks away. I don’t know but if there was just another chapter or two, I could get a real feel of how Gen is going to treat Lara Jean and Peter and vice versa.
In my opinion, Lara Jean and Peter should have talked more at the end about their standing with Gen. I can appreciate the relationship between Gen and Peter because when you’re with someone that long you get used to depending on each other. You never really let them go completely. But Gen’s been treating Lara Jean like dirt since seventh grade! If you’re ex-girl friend is being awful to you’re current girlfriend, how much space should the ex occupy in your heart. Peter and Gen are still attached and it wouldn’t be right for him to abandon her in her time of need. I just don’t know how much of Peter Lara Jean gets to have if he’s constantly comforting Gen.
Alright that about sums it up. Let me know your thoughts on the book, characters relationships and all that stuff in the comments!
– Queen Celine