Title: P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Series
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Dear fellow Babblers,
I love this series. Okay. There. I’ve said it, happy? Any reader out there who has a heart, soul, and ability to cry agrees with me, it has to be a given. I’ve never been a fan of reading series because I always feel compelled to continue through them even if I don’t like the way it’s going. But this? To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a magnificent series and I wasn’t expecting the second to be so charming. It wasn’t as humorous and downright adorable as the first, but it was nonetheless a delight to read and therefore, despite it being released over two years ago, I will still review it. I just really have to commend all the characters, humorous happenings, and fun dialogue that goes on in this book. Everyone needs to know that it is worth the hype and the corny compliments.
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?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
Now that Lara Jean is versed in the game of love she knows how fragile and delicate her heart is. However, this does not keep her from giving it to the boy who broke it first. And this time, for real. Lara Jean and Peter are exclusive now, giving each other the love, attention, and smiles that they could only do half heartedly in the first book. The couple’s relationship continues to grow and blossom until Lara Jean receives a letter from a boy she loved in middle school, John Ambrose McClaren. This part of the plot continues from the first book when Lara Jean’s five love letters are sent out without her knowing. Lara Jean never knows what happens to the letter sent to John as it took so long for a response. Enough time has passed for Lara Jean to let that embarrassing period of her teenage life behind her. Or so she thought. One day she receives a letter in the mail from John in which he responds to Lara Jeans supposedly secret letter…
…And this is how the love triangle is created. Lara Jean Song Covey. Peter Kavinsky. John Ambrose McClaren. John is all that Peter is not: thoughtful, academically smart, un-intimidating. He attends a different school than Lara Jean and Peter which makes his entrance into the plot all the more intriguing. Lara Jean and John quickly become pen pals which is kind of cute, taking the fact that we are in the twenty-first century and they could just text if they want to. But I guess theres just something about letters that create something thrilling and sacred. So all seems harmless until Lara Jean discovers that the elderly couple moving in next door plans on destroying the tree house in the backyard. This is a big deal for Lara Jean because it’s the house that keeps her memories of middle school. Not only that, she and her “clique” including the all too devious Genevieve that we remember all too well from the first book, buried their important belongs promising each other that they would return upon high school graduation to retrieve them. So as not to let this go forgotten Lara Jean creates a sort of playdate inviting all those involved such as Peter, her best friend Chris, and even John to the treehouse to dig the items out. Peter brings along Genevieve which of course angers Lara Jean beyond all possible measures. But what is most important about this part of the story is the automatic chemistry between John and Lara Jean that does not go unnoticed by anyone in the cramped tree house. The group gets it into their head to play one last round of assasins creed (that’s what the game was right?) and from there the drama, yes more drama unravels.
This “game” as the group calls it is more than just a game for Lara Jean. It’s her way to prove to herself, Peter, Genevieve; even John that she is not the same goody goody that she was back in middle school. Lara Jean is intent on winning the game and will go to all measures to do so, even if it means letting go of Peter, at least for a time.
The characters in P.S. I Still Love You are amazing. I love how Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship continues to grow and become stronger, despite all the events which attempt to pull them apart. The introduction of John into the story was flawless. It really shows how no matter what logic tell us, in the end, our heart is what dictates our choices, as is the case with Lara Jean. John’s grandmother, Stormy was a wonderful addition to the plot as it added unique dimension of humor and long-lasting compassion that even Kitty’s character could never achieved. I loved the dynamic between Lara Jean and her work at the retirement home which only knotted her in closer with John, at least for a time.
The writing style was, as the first book, fun and playful. This is a quick read and does not require a lot of energy to get through. Before writing this post, I read quite a few reviews that criticized Han’s writing as childish and immature. But, I mean, this isn’t a historical memoir from Soviet Russia people. This is supposed to be a lighthearted coming-of-age love story with a quirky and lackadaisical protagonist. If Han was to write in a flowery, overly descriptive tone, the mood and overall effect of the book. This is supposed to be (at least I think…) your everyday teenage life narrative taken to the extreme. We’ve all had teenage crushes, loves, relationships; whatever. I mean, I doubt any of us have been as romantically entranced to go as far as writing five love letters and getting them unknowingly sent off, but that’s the point. Han creates an evocative feeling of nostalgia here that is impossible to miss. I was reminded of my own high school problems, whether they be academic, romantic, or personal. I loved how this book, though mainly being a love story, takes every part of the teenage experience into account and gives us a birds eye view into high school from a new and fresh perspective.
It’s rare for me to not recommend books that I review and even though I’m giving this one 4.5 stars I’m going to say this series is not for everyone. This series asks for readers to be open and willing to take in all the clichés and ever so usual high school drama. There is very little brain power required. This is just a series to be consumed and enjoyed, just like a yummy batch of Lara Jean’s famous chocolate chip cookies.
The last review, Always and Forever, Lara Jean will be posted in the coming days so if you have not yet read the first or second (and if not, you probably shouldn’t even be reading this review), please do so soon. I hope you love it oodles and noodles, just as I did!