Published by Simon and Schuster on May 26, 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.
Sometimes, I get on this kick where I just want to read YA books that deal with high school romances, and things going awry, and awkward declarations of love. I just do. Today was one of those days, and I completely devoured Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You, a recent follow up to last years To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Now sure, Lara Jean’s story is often times campy and cliché and everything you’d expect this book to be. But it’s also an incredibly fierce story of a girl growing up and falling in love for the first time. And navigating those scary waters with Lara Jean is an incredibly powerful journey, if only because it’s so easy to remember the first time you as a reader fell in love, and how scary and awkward and sometimes silly the whole thing was.
And yet it mattered. And that’s what makes P.S. I Still Love You so good. Because her relationship with Peter, how her life is changed because of her relationship with Peter, and everything that comes along with growing up matters so much to Lara Jean that you sympathize and empathize and do every other kind of “-izing” that you could possible have with this character. Han knows how to make you feel what Lara Jean is feeling, and that’s just something you can’t look past.
But beyond Lara Jean’s story of teenage love and growth, Han does an excellent job of drawing you into the lives of all the character’s surrounding Lara Jean. Kitty goes through her own transformation of sorts, and even as a 10-year-old kid reader’s are exposed to her growth and maturity during situations, even if she still shows that growth as any 10 year old would. My personal favorite exploration of a side character, however, comes in the form of Stormy, the old woman with a wild side in the nursing home where Lara Jean works. Sneaking over to another resident’s apartment in a red kimono in the middle of the night? Singing cabaret on top of a piano? She just sounds really, really awesome. And I want to be her when I’m old and gray. Seriously.
But anyway, from the new beginnings of Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship to the inevitable breakdown and ultimate conclusion of the book, there’s not a single thing that I can say I didn’t like about P.S. I Still Love You. I guess, in the end, we all like to be reminded of our first love.