P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – the sequel to the New York Times Bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – continues the story of Lara Jean Song and Peter Kavinsky’s…uhmm…pretend relationship/crush/break-up/real relationship, and as you can probably tell, it’s complicated. Not only does Lara Jean have to deal with Peter’s clingy ex, but when a boy from her past comes barreling into her life (and her heart!—Yes, I’m that cheesy.) she is forced to reevaluate everything.
First things first, this book is too cute. I read the entire thing in one day—although I did technically have to stay up until 2 AM to finish the job—and it charmed my socks right off! Lara Jean and Peter’s little fights are so sweet. However, I should add that it probably isn’t healthy to bribe your significant other with lemon cookies, regardless of how effective it is. Their romance doesn’t feel forced the way a lot of teen romances can feel, where the guy has perfectly tousled hair in the middle of a hurricane and always knows exactly what to say to make a girl melt. While I’m on the subject of melting, I love that Lara Jean doesn’t melt every time Peter (or anyone else) tries to sweet talk her. She is strong and seems capable to handle things on her own, which is something I admire about her. However, when it comes to admiration, Kitty has earned all of mine! I’d like to adopt her as my own little sister. She’s smart as a whip, she named her dog Jamie Fox-Pickle (hilarious!), and she knows how to get what she wants, whether it’s a dog or a ride in her sister’s boyfriend’s car. So many of the characters felt vibrant and real to me, especially Stormy Sinclair from the retirement community!
Now, as charming and all around heartwarming as PSISLY is, there are still a few problems for me. The biggest issue was an overall lack of tension. Even during the intense parts of the story, like when Lara Jean was being cyber bullied, I felt bad for her, but I didn’t pick up on the tension because it wasn’t clear to me what she stood to lose with the video going viral. Sure, her dad found out about it, but they had a brief conversation and everything was fine again. I like that Han didn’t get preachy and make her book into an after school special on cyber bullying or the dangers of teenage sex, but I did want to see some actual consequences for Lara Jean and Peter. I also needed to see more consequences for Lara Jean depending on which guy from her love triangle she decided to choose.
Overall, it was adorable and there was a general lack of consequences leading to a general lack of tension.
But, if you like romancey-funny-cutesy books, then give it a read!