1.) To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ★★★★
“Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want with it.”
Fun, charming, and heart-felt, P.S. I Still Love You takes place right after the events of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with Lara Jean trying to clean up the mess she’s made with Peter and attempt the relationship for real. I flew through this book almost as quickly as I did To All the Boys, and I wish I could also say I was just as entranced, but unfortunately, this book had a lot of problems.
Lara Jean’s immaturity lacked the same true-to-life feel it had in the first book, and I frequently found myself upset with both her and Peter. They both told lies of omission and said/did things that honestly made me uncomfortable. There was some resolution in the end, but not enough to ease my discomfort heading into Always and Forever, Lara Jean.
I was also very upset with the inclusion of the love triangle. It honestly wasn’t needed, and it felt as though this character only served as a foil to Peter as opposed to adding to Lara Jean’s story. I didn’t like how perfect this character was made to be, especially because his good qualities only served to highlight Peter’s flaws. A good love triangle is meant to be dynamic and compelling on all sides, but this triangle fell flat and felt very forced by the author.
“I don’t think it was our time then. I guess it isn’t now, either. But one day maybe it will be.”
Honestly, my favorite part of this story was the family dynamics. In my review of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I talked about how nice it was to see the inclusion of the family in a YA novel, and those dynamics were only explored more deeply in this book. I loved Kitty and Lara Jean’s relationship and how much they act how real sisters do, and I really appreciated how much more fleshed out Lara Jean and Margot’s relationship was with them behaving more as equals as opposed to Lara Jean a child and Margot her surrogate mother. Daniel Covey is such a great father and I was really pleased to see him, his personal life, and his relationships with the girls play a more prominent role in this book!
One thing I do really want to talk about is how much the conversation about and attitude towards sex changed in this book. One of my biggest complaints with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was the sex-negative undertones, but I was SO happy to see sex talked about in a positive way in this book. P.S. I Still Love You has a lot of conversations about sex between Lara Jean and various people in her life, and thankfully it was handled in a much more mature and open way than it was in To All the Boys. I think Jenny Han did a fantastic job of creating a sex-positive dialogue that is still age appropriate for the younger YA readers.
“In memory, everything seems to happen to music.”
Overall I did enjoy P.S. I Still Love You, and it was as un-put-downable as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but it was just lacking that same magic I found in the first book. I’m definitely going to read Always and Forever, Lara Jean, and I hope the aspects I found troubling about the relationship will be fully resolved in the third book!
“You have to let yourself be fully present in every moment. Just be awake for it, do you know what I mean? Go all in and wring every last drop out of the experience.”