P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | Rating: ★★★★★
“So much of love is chance. There's something scary and wonderful about that.”
It’s no surprise that I’ve been anticipating P.S. I Still Love You for the better part of this year. There’s something undeniably sweet and warm to the way Jenny Han tells the story of Lara Jean and her family, friends and romantic life. I’ve been in wait for the continuation of her character and it did not disappoint me in any way, shape or form.
Unless you count me being upset to say goodbye to Lara Jean and Peter; wanting so desperately for Jenny Han to bring out another installment. Although logic says this was a good ending, light hearted and satisfying for fans and truly an excellent end, part of me will always long for more because I’d become so attached to these characters so quickly. It was unexpected and that’s what makes it one of my favorite book duos of all time in the YA contemporary genre.
Lara Jean is a character that readers can connect to instantly because there are parts of her that are so leveled with who we all are. Yes, Lara Jean is just a joy to read about – the tone in which she thinks is so sweet and intriguing and overall a delight. Being able to see her grow, to see her life bloom more and more has been an exciting privilege for me. I absolutely adore her and can say that in all the contemporary young adult releases I’ve read recently, I do enjoy reading from Lara Jean’s point of view the most.
There’s an innocence to her, but it doesn’t define her. Lara Jean is sweet, she’s stylish, she’s funny and although she can be very naive at times I do think that she is spectacular in many ways that make her something of a friend to readers by the final pages. What we see in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was only the beginning of a beautiful romance, coming of age story and things change drastically in this final installment.
We were left with a bit of a cliffhanger in the last book, unsure what was in store for our favorite characters and whether or not Peter and Lara Jean could really patch things up. Jenny Han wastes no time in reconciliation between these two sweethearts and as usual she provides a tone to our story that keeps readers drawn in without any shame. Just as the previous installment, this addition is impossible to put down and gives you the warm and fuzzies.
What I liked most about this one is how everything progressed, how characters grew, how things went from one level to the next and lastly how each storyline was wrapped up. Jenny Han tackles the touchy topic of teenage love (doubts, jealousy included) and angst; she also taps down on the vein of the ever present invasion of privacy in cyber bullying and toxic pools of gossip.
Lara Jean and Peter have a steamy makeout session (hot tub from the last book, anyone?) filmed without their knowledge and posted to an Instagram feed that focuses solely on the gross gossip that teens are under the impression is okay. It isn’t. And Jenny Han doesn’t gloss over this topic, instead embracing it in a realistic way in her writing.
We see firsthand how this effects both characters, their relationship and what can be done with it. It’s a dangerous thing to be out there in this day and age and it could have catastrophic effects. We see the double standard between men and women which is present everywhere and even stronger at Lara Jean and Peter’s age.
Upon discovering who it was who filmed them and posted it, we see another plot unravel and the reasoning behind this cruelty that can only be described as teenagers holding grudges and drowning in their own stupidity, jealousy and angst. I can’t really stress how good the story is itself without spoiling it, so I’m going to leave it there.
In spite of it and how light and fluffy each chapter may seem, Jenny Han’s level of cheesiness doesn’t reach an unbearable level. It’s sweet, it’s quick and relatable and very easy to become attached to it. In no way does it seem grossly soap opera, after school special or over the top: it just seems real. And really, truly, is one of the funnest contemporary releases.
Fans of Jenny’s previous works will surely find themselves enjoying this one and I have to admit it’s at the top of my beach reads for the summertime. I can’t wait to reread this little gem at the beach with a nice, cool drink and a whole lot of sunshine.