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The sequel to Jenny Han’s hit novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is P.S. I Still Love You, which continues the cute theme of love letters. In this sequel, Lara Jean experiences her first “real” love story with Peter Kavinsky, but it is not everything she’s imagined it to be as she finds herself struggling with his ever-strong relationship with ex, Genevieve, and the return of her own former “flame,” John Ambrose McClaren. Will these two challenge and even break the bond she’s formed with Peter?
The book is written in the charming style of Jenny Han that fans have grown to love, especially with the first installment. Everything is written simply and innocently, flowing nicely and giving off a cozy vibe. Overall, the book had the same sweet vibe as its predecessor, but there were more negatives, in my opinion.
One thing different about this book is the decreased focus on her family and the members’ chemistry with one another, which was one of the strongest advantages in the last one. In its place, we are introduced more to the friend group that Lara Jean belonged to in middle school, which includes Chris, Peter, Gen, John, and more. While this touch of nostalgia for their childhood days was nice, it was not better than the family dynamic I so thoroughly enjoyed in the last one.
This leads to the next thing I did not like quite as much: the characters in this novel were neither likable nor lovable. If you recall my review of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I pointed out that while they were unlikable for their flaws, they were still lovable despite their flaws. In this book, I found more frustration in the behaviors of each character and their lack of communication. Kitty was better here than in the last one, but I still found her voice to be a bit jolting and unnatural.
The last problem I had with this novel was the pacing. This was my second time (maybe third… I think second, though) reading the novel and I had a hard time getting through it. It took me substantially longer to reread P.S. I Still Love You than To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which I have already read more times. There wasn’t as much of an emotional investment. As I said before, the second best thing about the first novel was Peter Kavinsky, but, as with the Covey family, the spotlight was taken away from him, so it seems like the two main charms were a bit shirked here, which hurt the book more than helped.
Now that I’m done with the cons, it was still a decent and enjoyable book, definitely not a disappointing sequel. I loved Lara Jean’s life outside of the family and her love life, as we see her volunteering with great characters at the Belleview Retirement Home. There is definite development in her life as she learns to defend herself, grow up, think about her sexuality, and face the facts that she could never really go back to the innocent days of childhood.
The ending was a bit rushed and short, so I am glad Jenny Han wrote a third book to give us a better conclusion to Lara Jean’s life and love story, even though I remember not liking it all that much. I’m not sure if I will purchase and revisit the third one, Always and Forever, but if I do, I will of course write a review.
Did you think P.S. I Still Love You lived up to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? If you read the first one, I do think the sequel is worth visiting, so purchase your copy here*. Do you think I should give the third one another try?