Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"P.S. I Still Love You"

My rating: ★★★★☆

Author: Jenny Han

Series: Book #2 ("To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series)

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Page Count: 352 (Hardcover)

Release Date: May 26th, 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Places to order:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo


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.

My review:

This first half of my review will be *SPOILER FREE*, then the other half will contain spoilers (i'll notify when that will happen)

I have to admit, the first half of this book was slow, but I enjoyed how Jenny introduced the readers more to the Korean side of Lara Jean and the rest of the Song sisters as well as getting to meet other family relatives. Since I am Korean myself, I felt more connected to the story and the characters because Jenny talks about Korean New Year's and the traditions that take place (i.e. clothing, meaning, food). I also think this is really important for the readers to read about different cultures (for example, Korean culture in this series) because it shows that this book/series is considered "Diverse YA" and that's something that the YA community needs more of and I'm so so glad that Jenny was able to contribute to this new trend that we want to keep evolving and growing.

Another aspect of this book that I felt was important (-ish) to have was the world around Lara Jean and how she's growing up which means that she has to think about college, internships/jobs, and finishing high school, but Jenny wrote the story in a way that didn't make all of those outside factors feel overwhelming and make it feel like the central part of the story.

This book has new characters that play important roles in Lara Jean's life and old ones that are still involved in the story but not as much like in the first book (Margot and Josh), which is something I like in sequels or continuations. We get to see more Kitty (Margot and Lara Jean's youngest, feistiest sister) and meet a new character named Stormy, who lives in a retirement home that Lara Jean will meet and grow close to.

Onto Lara Jean.

Lara Jean Song Covey is the same as ever: super awkward, asks a lot of questions, extreme baker  and hopeless romantic. She finally decides that she wants to be with Peter and not Josh (her next door neighbor that she was in love with in the first book) at the end of "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" (at least from what I remember) and now, she's ready to dive into a relationship with Peter Kavinsky--aka total heartthrob and the boy she pretended to be dating in the first book. Well, maybe she's ready....

There were multiple times when I rooted for Lara Jean, but then with of the other times, I felt that she was acting childish and stubborn and defensive. But to be fair, those characteristics revolve around Lara Jean being extremely careful with her heart since she's never really dated anyone before and that she's terrified of getting her heart broken. One of the things I was a little disappointed about was how Lara Jean didn't really grow as a character; through most of the book, she had really bad trust issues with Peter (about certain things I won't say because spoilers) and kept making assumptions without getting all the facts/listening to him. But you still love her awkwardness and inability to think sanely when she's with Peter.

Now Peter Kavinsky.

He's still as charming and hot as ever, but this time, he's giving LJ a run for her money. He and LJ get serious in this book, since they're no longer pretending to be in a relationship, but what he doesn't really understand is the fact that LJ is going doubt or look for the worst possible things/outcomes of their relationship since she 1) doesn't want her heart broken and 2) has never been in a real relationship before, which scares the hell out of (because she doesn't want to lose him/feel inexperienced or lower to Genevieve since she was with him before LJ).

Hellooo John Ambrose McClaren.

John ("Johnny") appeared in the first book for a short hot second when LJ was at the Model UN event and saw him there (but didn't go up and say hi to him or anything). After that, John finally gets her love letter in the mail and now, LJ is all he's thinking about. He was Peter's best friend in middle school before he moved and was the kid that was "second" to Peter. He's sweet and awkward (not as much as LJ) and kind to LJ when he comes back, but then figures out that she and Peter were together. I liked how when he wasn't blatantly trying to get with LJ; he was polite and stuck by her side as a friend and never tried to make a move on her (which was very gentleman-like if I do say so myself). He's a great character to have in this story and because he was very different from Peter, I liked how LJ was when she was with him.

And finally we have KITTY.

God, I loved Kitty in this book. As the reader, you get to see more of her in this book and how she has grown as a character (unlike LJ) and how she's grown-up a little since TATBILB. Again, she is sneaky and very straightforward and strong headed, but she still has a soft side, and I also think it's good for her to watch how Margot and LJ handle their lives as teenagers so that she could learn from them (especially about love) when she grows older. Her role in this book has definitely increased and becomes a more involved character (unlike the first book where I feel like Margot was more involved).



Okay, let's get to the specifics.

When the end revealed how Genevieve's father was cheating on his wife/her mom with an 18-year old, I honestly felt bad for her; I knew that she was going through something really bad and but I was getting a little annoyed that LJ was so freakin' oblivious and didn't catch on that something was OBVIOUSLY wrong or upsetting her, and she should have trusted Peter a little bit more when he said he couldn't tell her what Genevieve's secret was (and it was a huge, personal secret)--granted, he should have told LJ the second he figured out that it was Genevieve who sent that hot tub video to "Anonybitch" since they made the contract saying that they wouldn't lie to each other--but LJ should have trusted him when it came to Genevieve...

I loved John because when I read the part where he confessed to LJ that he was planning to ask her to the dance in 8th grade, I almost fell out of my chair from feels. HE LIKED HER at the same time when SHE LIKED HIM. I was actually hoping that the end would have LJ with John and Genevieve with Peter because LJ could have easily been happy with John and he would, for damn sure, have tried to make her the happiest girl in the world. The part when he gave her the snow globe made my heart burst. *sighs* Also, I only say that I would have approved of Peter and Genevieve because he does know a lot about her family enough for Genevieve to turn to him since she couldn't talk to anyone else. But I guess I'm glad that LJ and Peter got together in the end, but I feel so SAD for John since he truly loved LJ. *cue deep sigh*

About the ending, I don't like how it ended so abruptly; when John came to see LJ at her school to give her her birthday gift, I was like, "YASSS I'm ready to ship LJ and John together." But then Peter comes out of NOWHERE and is like, "Oh, here, you can have the necklace back even though I was a total ass for taking it back. Now let's get back together." UGH that part didn't work for me at all... and then two pages later, LJ tells John that she wants to get back together with Peter and then *BOOM* they're back together and the book ends....

Like, wait... she IMMEDIATELY takes back Peter even though LJ is clearly leading John on and he even showed/proved to her that he wanted to really be with her. AND he doesn't have any baggage (*cough cough* ex-girlfriends *cough cough* Genevieve) and has been nothing but honest and helpful and supportive to her.

Yes, I totally agree that Peter is charming and caring and sexy and all, but he lied to her about knowing that Genevieve sent the video and that he couldn't have been more honest with LJ about Genevieve (i.e. telling LJ AHEAD OF TIME that he would be seeing Genevieve because she was suffering or alone). LJ probably wouldn't have liked the idea of that either, but at least she trust Peter more since he would have been more honest with her (if you catch my drift).

Also, I love Stormy in this book! She was a great add-in character who's connected with LJ (because she needed a job so she works at the retirement home) and John since she's his great-grandmother (by the way, I TOTALLY CALLED IT in the beginning when Stormy was trying to set LJ up with her grandson hehehe). She's a sassy, old woman who gives LJ advice about boys since Stormy has had her share of boyfriends when she was young and is a different adult figure that LJ looks up to and enjoys talking with her.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book and I think Jenny's writing, plot, and feels for these two boys make up for the things that I didn't really like and it breaks my heart that there won't be a third book since this was a duology, but I'm satisfied (-ish) with LJ's story ending here. 

That's it for this review and I hope you all enjoyed it! I would love to hear your thoughts on "P.S. I Still Love You" and if you either felt the same or differently than I did! :)

~Whitney Lauren

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