I did it: I actually continued on with a series! It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually followed through with a series, mostly because I just didn’t have the time because of all my coursework. But the summer was the best time to catch up on all of my reading, and I ended up being able to listen to this trilogy on audiobook.
For the most part, I really liked this second installment in Lara Jean’s story—perhaps even more than the first book. In P.S. I Still Love You we get to see a new side of Lara Jean where she isn’t afraid to stand up to the boy she thinks she loves when she feels like she isn’t valued and shown the same love in return. I really liked the scene where she puts her foot down with Peter and tells him how his ongoing friendship with Genevieve makes her feel. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read much Young Adult fiction in a while, but you don’t tend to see intense breakups like that in books like these.
I loved that so many friends from Lara Jean’s past come back into play, especially John. John might be my new favorite character in this series, although Kitty is a hard one to beat. He’s such a caring, thoughtful guy and genuinely wants what is best for Lara Jean. The scene with the time capsule in the treehouse was adorable, albeit tense because of the Lara Jean-Genevieve dynamic. Jenny Han does a great job capturing what it feels like to reminisce with old friends, to experience the ebbs and flows of friendship over the years. Sometimes the pull is strong and sometimes outside circumstances (different schools, different jobs, different locations, different schedules) make it harder for friends to see each other. And, most importantly, friendships change. Throughout this book, Lara Jean’s feelings towards Genevieve are a clear reminder of that fact. I love reading about family dynamics, but I’m starting to realize that I might even love reading about friendships even more.
And don’t get me started on the assisted living home scenes—they were the best. Not only did we get to see Lara Jean outside of the context of her family and friends, but Stormy and her elderly pals added thought-provoking depth and perspective to this story that you don’t often find in Young Adult fiction. It’s easy to get swept up in the drama and minutiae of Lara Jean’s high school problems. While they are obviously important in the moment and their significance should not be undermined, Stormy reminds Lara Jean that someday she may look back on this time in her life as a story, and obstacle she overcame and that taught her enough to view it fondly in her memory. And I love the thought of that.
What I did not love was the ending of this book. To be honest, Peter looks like a complete @$$hole in this book and the fact that Lara Jean makes the decision she does at the very end was incredibly frustrating. Can’t she see that her other option is so much better? Then again, haven’t we all gone back to what is familiar and known at some point in our lives, even against our better judgement? It’s understandable but frustrating that Lara Jean makes this decision. But I can’t say it also isn’t one that I haven’t made myself.
Overall, I enjoyed P.S. I Still Love You more than I thought I would (up until the ending…) and am really looking forward to seeing where Jenny Han goes with the third book. So much could happen! If you’ve read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and are wondering whether or not to continue on with the rest of the series, I would highly recommend it.
What are your thoughts on this book and series in general? Have you seen the movie adaptation? Let me know in the comments section below!