P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
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?
No second-book-slump here! P.S. I Still Love You had all of the things that made To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before so great, and then some! Including, inexplicably, ANOTHER love square. How can Lara Jean be in love with two boys at once twice in one year? She doesn’t even know, poor baby.
The slut-shaming issue gets taken to the next level in this book when Lara Jean and Peter’s hot-tub make-out gets put on Instagram as a “sex-tape”. There are just so many amazing things about this. Honestly, if I taught High School English I would push to get this as required reading for sophomores, though the hand full of f-bombs would probably get it nixed. There’s just so much about Me-Too, toxic masculinity, bullying and cyber-bullying, and it’s all so relevant to our kids. This series needs to be read by ALL American teens and their parents. Period.
It was nice to see Lara Jean’s relationships with her sisters back to a healthy place, and this book explored more about her dad, which I loved. So many parents are absent in YA, and certainly her dad isn’t around much. But he’s there, and he loves Lara Jean and it really shows. Lara Jean also has a great friendship with an elderly lady named Stormy. My first job was at a retirement home too, so this sub-plot really resonated with me. Stormy is a riot, and I loved reading about all the ridiculous things she did.
Peter came into his own in this book too. He had some quality character development, especially near the end of the book. You really start to get a feel for what it is about him that Lara Jean admires, which makes it even more frustrating that he allows his ex-girlfriend to manipulate him.
Honestly, it’s been a breath of fresh air to read about such an imperfect teen relationship. Both Lara Jean and Peter are insecure about themselves, each other, and their feelings. They don’t know what they’re doing, and that’s okay. That’s what high school relationships are supposed to be like. The bizarre fake-dating from book one aside, their relationship is incredibly realistic. I love that Lara Jean acknowledges that this is her first love, maybe not her forever love. When you’re a teenager love feels like forever, but often it isn’t, and I think it’s important to present teenagers with a romance that reflects that.
All those slices of life that I loved so much about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before were still there. Bake sales, doing homework at Starbucks, what Dad made for dinner. The details are what makes this series feel so real.
This series is just so enchanting. I’ve read two books in three days, and I am loving every second of it. I highly recommend this series!