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Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny HanP.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 26th 2015
Pages: 352

Given the way love turned her heart in the New York Times bestselling To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which SLJ called a “lovely, lighthearted romance,” it’s no surprise that Lara Jean still has letters to write.
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 makes it so amazing.

Lara Jean is more confused than ever about how she feels. What started out as pretending turned into something real and now she might lose the boy she’s grown to love. Complicating matters further is another boy from her past turning up. Can she figure out what her heart wants before it’s too late?

Honestly, I was nervous about this book coming out because I felt like we could have wrapped up To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before quite nicely and had a strong, cute standalone. I wish that was what happened. Instead we got a sequel that felt largely unnecessary, full of drama instead of heart. I had no issues with the writing itself though it definitely caters to a younger audience (this was something I noticed in the first book as well). But where the first book captured the pains of first love and growing into yourself in a cute, realistic, and relatable manner, P.S. I Still Love You misses the mark. Instead we a lot of drama and miscommunication that goes on for the entire plot. It could be that Lara Jean is just too young for me as a protagonist, but I felt she was really childish and immature and I didn’t like the way she was characterized in this book. Peter was equally frustrating with his inability to fully explain situations and communicate, but Lara was downright petty, jealous, and wishy washy, not even trying to work out her relationships. The two bright characters in the story were Kitty Song and John Ambrose McClaren (who definitely got the short end of a really crappy stick).

Unfortunately, I feel like the story itself lacked the magic its first installment had. Instead, there was another love triangle and lots of silly drama that negatively impacted my enjoyment of the novel. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lara Jean and Peter for the first part of the book though, when they were actively communicating and trying to figure out what they felt for one another. They seemed to really care about each other and wanted to make sure there were no more misunderstandings, but somehow near the middle of the book, that all fell apart and all sorts of ridiculous events came into play to complicate their relationship which had barely begun to form. I feel like this would have been a better book if Han had focused on a complicated love story between two young people afraid of the connection they had, but instead we got a love story made difficult by ex-girlfriends and potential new love interests and contrived plot devices.

The one thing this book does get right is family relationships. The Song sisters are very much on each other’s team and even though they’re all different and have different ways of thinking, they definitely always have each other’s backs. Kitty was particularly delightful and I almost wish we’d get a book from her perspective. Family is an important theme in these novels and I’m glad Han decided to continue to showcase it here. Lara Jean and Peter are an interesting blend as it is and even though I felt their relationship faced unnecessary obstacles, I loved their interactions in the beginning and end of the novel. They come from different backgrounds and approaches of life which makes for interesting enough reading on its own. I also enjoyed John Ambrose McClaren as a character and he added some warmth and humor to an otherwise painfully messy narrative. I’m sad to say that I didn’t really enjoy this novel, despite some of the cute and funny moments. If you liked To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, it could go either way for you so you might want to see for yourself. But if you don’t like love triangles and miscommunication tropes, steer clear as that’s pretty much exactly what you’re getting here.

2 Stars
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