Thursday, August 20, 2015

PS I Still Love You - Review

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 2)

By: Jenny Han

Published: April 21st 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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Goodreads description--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.

I wasn’t expecting To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to end in a cliffhanger or to have a sequel. I thought it would be a standalone book. So when I got to the end, I was desperate to know what happens next. And I’m so glad that PS I Still Love You was released for me to find out. I was really liking the Peter/Lara Jean dynamic of transferring from a pretend relationship into something real. And so that cliffhanger ending mixed with the description of PS I Still Love You, which indicates a love triangle, I was a little nervous about starting this book.

One thing is for sure, PS I Still Love You took me on a roller coaster with my emotions. I believe I went through every feeling possible in this book. Love, hate, fear, jealousy, insecurity, confidence, frustration, sympathy, betrayal, regret, heartbreak…I’m sure there’s more. Lara Jean is so real. She’s a young sixteen/seventeen year old. She’s very inexperienced with boys. While she’s had crushes, all of them until now have been unrequited. And Peter’s a lot more experienced than she is. This leaves her feeling insecure. Sometimes her immaturity (for lack of a better word) wasn’t always easy to read. Yet at other times, I completely, 100% remember feeling the exact same way that Lara Jean felt. I could bounce from being frustrated with her to completely supportive in very little time.

Lara Jean’s not just insecure about Peter’s experience, but she also has a really hard time getting over his past relationship with Genevieve. Granted, Genevieve makes this almost impossible for her. On the one hand, Genevieve is going through some family drama that she really does need a friend to help her through—she picks Peter as that friend. On the other hand, you can easily see that Genevieve is manipulative and downright mean to Lara Jean. This is compounded by the fact that Lara Jean and Genevieve used to be friends. But I’ve been in this situation before. I’ve dated the guy who can’t stop being friends with the manipulative ex-girlfriend. I’ve felt like her needs where more important than my own. I could totally relate to Lara Jean. While I didn’t find myself as angry with Peter as I might have 5 years or so ago, I still struggled with his decisions in this area.

Despite my frustrations with how Peter handled Genevieve, I was still rooting for Lara Jean to choose him. I wanted those two to work things out so bad. When John Ambrose McLaren shows back up on the scene and begins his pursuit of Lara Jean’s affections, I was not happy at all. I could just see this turning into one of those stories about the girl who falls in love but realizes that first loves usually don’t last and moves on to a second, more suitable love. While I usually am a fan of these stories, I just wasn’t rooting for that to be that case in this instance. John Ambrose was nice enough, and he probably would have been a decent boyfriend for Lara Jean, but my heart was still with Peter. I won’t tell you how this plays out. I will say that around the 70% mark I had no idea how this book could end in a way that I would be the least bit satisfied with, but by the time everything wrapped up I was satisfied.

One of my favorite aspects of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was the sister relationships that are explored. Lara Jean is the middle child so we see both an older sibling and younger sibling relationship. While the sister-love was present in PS I Still Love You, the dynamics weren’t as complex as Lara Jean is no longer in love with her older sister’s ex-boyfriend and Kitty is not acting out against Lara Jean. Things were much more simple for the trio. We don’t get to see Margot very much, but I think that’s essential for Lara Jean’s growth and progression. Kitty is just as adorable as before. She’s spunky. She loves her sister, but she is completely her own person. And I really enjoyed the two of them. While things might not have been as complex as the previous book, Kitty did complicate matters by being extremely close to Peter and thereby truly affected by the ups and downs of his and Lara Jean’s relationship. This reminded me of myself as well as I tended to get attached to my older sister’s boyfriends growing up as well.

Favorite quotes:

-What I really want to say is Peter will always pick Lara Jean over Genevieve.

-People say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I think they’re wrong: Proximity makes the heart grow fonder.

-Is a boy’s ego really such a fragile, breakable thing? It must be so.

-He doesn’t get it. Girls understand each other in a way boys never will.

-“I deserve better than that, you know? I deserve…I deserve to be someone’s number one girl.”

-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.

PS I Still Love You was a book that had me hooked. I wanted to know what was going to happen and how it was going to end. But boy did it send me on a roller coaster. I think I felt every emotion possible while reading this book. The entire gambit. In the end, I was happy with what happened, the lessons that needed to be learned, and the end result. Yet, I feel like PS I Still Love is a better book to reflect upon than it was to read. Does that even make sense? I definitely enjoyed it, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. PS I Still Love You gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read PS I Still Love You? What did you think? Let me know!

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