There have been a few books that have totally clicked with me in the past 2-3 years. Books that I’ve read and reread and reread again, and also books that have really directed the kind of stories I want to be writing. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han, (which I completely fangirl all over in this review) was one of those books for me. It’s one that, both as a reader and as a writer, I keep coming back to. So you can imagine my asdfghjkl!!!! levels of excitement when I finally got P.S. I Still Love You in my hands on Tuesday. So excited that I read the book in one sitting, laughing, swooning, and even sobbing at one point as I worked my way through the rest of Lara Jean’s love letter journey. ***Before I continue, I just want to point out that while I won’t have any spoilers for this book, as a sequel it’s impossible to discuss it without spoiling some things about its predecessor, so proceed with caution***
The gist of the set up for this follow up, is that Lara Jean has realized her “pretend” relationship with Peter was a lot more real than she imagined, and wants to get him back after the ski trip/hot tub/Christmas cookie debacle. But then another boy (from another letter) re-enters her life and stirs up other feelings and memories. Conflict and emotions ensue!
Lara Jean is one of my all time favorite YA characters, because she is shy and awkward and (yes, Peter) even quirky … but that isn’t something that necessarily holds her back from achieving what she wants. It isn’t something she has to get over. Watching her grow in confidence and become more self reliant, without losing these qualities, was my favorite part of the sequel. Although all the smooching was probably a close second (for people who’ve read the book, does the word treehouse ring any bells?)
I adored that the sister relationship stayed very central to the story. The hilarious Kitty scenes were delightful to read, especially because Kitty had some very forceful opinions on who Lara Jean should be with. I’m also just in awe of how Jenny Han writes male characters, because she flawlessly captures how these flawed teenage boys seem so perfect to the main character. How does she let the reader know both sides at once? Definitely something I need to study in her writing.
It’s always funny with sequels, because I assume people don’t really need or want my recommendation on them. If you liked the first book, you keep reading. If you didn’t, you don’t. So I’ll just say, I had Mount Everest high expectations for this book that were definitely met if not exceeded, and I’m sure this will be another book that I read over and over again trying to hang on to the magic. In fact, I might pick the book back up now and reread a particularly swoon-worthy tree house scene right now!