Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You  by Jenny Han  cover

Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You
by Jenny Han
Goodreads | Amazon
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2
Published: May 26th 2015
Rating: DRAMATIC but still adorable

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han is the sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before.  The book begins almost immediately where the first book left off.  Lara Jean and Peter are officially together, but old flames crop up to complicate their relationship. If you haven't read the first book 1) get on that 2) don't bother with this one yet.  It doesn't work as a stand alone.  

 I love that there is an entire subplot involving a nursing home which Lara Jean helps out at just for fun (later as a job).  That this is both completely in character for Lara Jean and realistically portrayed behavior of a seventeen-year-old is a testament to Han's writings. Lara Jean should be a Mary Sue of the highest order.  Pretty, good grades, close to her family, quirky, and dressed by woodland creatures in the morning. She is not.  She is also pretty innocent and naive.  That leads her to make a BIG DEAL about certain parts of being in a relationship and being completely clueless about others.  I found it realistic.  Isn't that what being in love at sixteen is like? I can, however, see how it might grate on some readers.  Your mileage may vary.  Lara Jean works for me as a character, for sure.  

Once again, I loved the interaction between Lara Jean and her sisters. I  also wouldn't mind a Kitty spin-off.  A middle-level book set at the same time as P.S. I Still Love You, but we get to know what is going on in Kitty's life and head instead of Lara Jean's.  

I know now that I don’t want to love or be loved in half measures. I want it all, and to have it all, you have to risk it all.

Lara Jean character development isn't that dramatic in this book.  She gains some confidence and begins to recognize that she doesn't need approval from others.  But for the most part, ends the book as the same person that she started the book as. 

The biggest weakness of this book was the overreliance on drama to drive the plot. I guess it was needed to shake things up?  It just seemed that the drama was a bit artificial.  All of it came from situations and people outside of Lara Jean and Peter.  Honestly, Peter could have avoided an entire book worth of drama if he has just trusted Lara Jean and talked to her like she asked him to. Also, he spends a significant portion of the book defending and being shady with someone who has intentionally and irreparably harmed Lara Jean.  Gen is a horrible person. That's not how you boyfriend, Peter. It is a good thing you are cute.  Now shut up and do what your girlfriend asks you to do. All this drama gave the book more of a plot happening to characters feelings rather than characters happening to the plot, which is my preference. I still really enjoyed this book, but it was 100% because of the characters and the adorable/relatable moments and details.

P.S. I Still Love You didn't stand up to the first book in the series.  It does have excellent writing, much to relate to, and one of my favorite YA characters in the last five years.  I am looking forward to the third book, Love Always Lara Jean.

From Goodreads:

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 Timesbestseller 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.