book review: p.s. i still love you



After more than a year of waiting for the sequel to To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han to come out, i've finally read P.S. I Still Love You! I had to order it online because most shops aren't selling them yet, and i know a lot of my friends are dying inside because they don't have their copy yet. GUYS I HOPE YOU GET YOUR COPY SOON!

I'm going to skip the synopsis part for this review, because i don't want to spoil anything for those who have not read the first book. If you haven't read To All The Boys I've Loved Before, go do that first before reading this. You can check out my review for it before/after you read it. I really, really enjoyed the sequel, and my personal rating for P.S. I Still Love You is 4.7 out of 5.

Non-Spoiler section

I finished reading the book within approximately a day, and it really was a page turner! I did not want to stop reading after each chapter ended. The author dealt with quite a few important societal issues, which kind of impressed me because i was expecting it to be a lighter read than it is, discussing mostly only about romance. Among the issues were about double standards in gender, friendship, parenthood and obviously, relationships. Perhaps it's because i haven't read a good contemporary book in a while, but having these elements well-discussed in the book was really great and i think i actually learnt quite a few lessons from it.

Surprisingly, it was not too hard to straightaway dive into the story, despite the fact that i haven't read the first book in over a year. I really liked how Jenny Han included a few traditional Korean elements here and there, because it adds value to how unique this contemporary duology is compared to other reads. There's a bit more culture that isn't too little to not be significant, and not too much to drive away readers' interest. It's nice to see some Asian culture being included in the YA genre, and even more interesting when it's mixed into the Western culture.

A general downside of my reading experience for this book would be that I was a little bothered with the style of writing at first. It seemed a little flat, and sometimes the dialogues sounded unnatural for a sixteen-year-old teenager. I'm not sure if i noticed this in the first book or not, but Lara Jean seems to talk not-so-casually sometimes. She uses some words that teenagers don't usually use, and i guess i thought it was a little out of character at first. It's not really a bad thing though, because i did appreciate a wider use of vocabulary. I guess Jenny Han safeguarded this when Kitty, Lara Jean's little sister, asks Lara Jean what a word she had used meant, so i guess it's not that big of a deal.

Other than that, i think Jenny Han was a little inconsistent with the first book when she suddenly includes a lot of mention of social media sites like Instagram and YouTube. I can't remember these ever being mentioned in the first book(or maybe they were mentioned but i didn't notice), and because the sequel is supposed to be the story from a few days after the first book ended, it just seemed a bit weird that suddenly we get the idea that it's being set so close to reality. I know that's what contemporaries are supposed to do but it just seemed a bit out of place and inconsistent.

The main reason why i rated this book (quite) high is because of the lovely emotional ride i went through with all the bubbly feels and semi-heartbreaks. I actually laughed OUT LOUD and giggled a few times! The romantic parts were so cute. The character development from the first to the second book is quite superb, i was impressed with how much Lara Jean had grown as a character. She's still a little immature which was absolutely fine considering her age, but she also had quite a lot of interesting thoughts that i was able to relate to. I found myself wanting to mark or quote some paragraphs for future reference. The reason why i didn't rate it a 5 or 4.9 is because i think the ending could have stretched out a little longer. It seemed a little rushed. I wasn't happy about the ending, but i accepted it so i'm not letting that affect my rating.

A warning for younger readers; the book contains mild swearing(the use of the F word), and there will be discussion about sex. Other than that it's genuinely innocent and i loved it. While reading it, i just knew i would want to read it again someday. And i RARELY want to reread books.

****SPOILER SECTION***
OKAY GUYS.

I am in love with John Ambrose McClaren.

Don't get me wrong, i was totally in love with Peter K the entire TATBILB and begged Jenny Han on Twitter and Instagram to not break our hearts by not making Lara Jean end up with Peter. Oh God, i got my wish, didn't I? BUT I CHANGED MY MIND. I commented on Instagram once that Jenny Han would have to make John Ambrose McClaren REALLY likeable, like more likeable and attractive than Peter Kavinsky because i'm already so in love with him.

AND SHE DID. She made John Ambrose McClaren so perfect, and she did it so strategically, building up his attractiveness slowly. The fact that he actually did like Lara Jean when she liked him in 8th grade was just SOOO cute and heartbreaking. I was so happy when it seemed like she was going to pick him when he gave her the snowglobe and drove away with him from Peter. I was SO sure that was how it was going to end. And then when John asked "Did i even have a shot?" my whole world flipped 180 degrees and my heart was racing to read Lara Jean's answer. My immediate reaction upon finishing the book was constant swearing(with immediate repenting) because JENNY HAN PLAYED WITH MY EMOTIONS. I was SO sure Peter didn't stand a chance anymore after how he treated Lara Jean.

I was confused about his feelings for Genevieve, i thought that he still had them. But turns out(after discussing with my friends Kim and Suraya) he cared so much about her because they had a connection and he understood her so well that he still wanted to be there as a friend. I actually felt sorry for Genevieve by the end of the book.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the childhood reminiscence of the tree house and the group of friends Lara Jean used to hang out with. I LOVED THAT PART SO MUCH. And when they reunited for the time capsule event i was so absorbed into it. Those chapters had so much feels. And the assassin game thing is SO COOL. I absolutely loved the concept of it and Lara Jean's childhood and so these were among my favourite chapters.

I love the relationship advice given by Margot and Stormy. Stormy not so much, but there was this one part with Margot that i found so useful and relatable:



I love all the discussion about relationships, because now that she's in a real relationship you can start seeing what people really sign up for when they start being in one. The talks about sex between Lara Jean and Margot and Lara Jean with Peter were just hilarious, and i loved the fact that she did not want to rush into it and wanted to take charge of it. And thumbs up for Peter for respecting that about her. Ahh and the part about her friendship with Genevieve was just devastating. It was so realistic though, and that's the saddest part, realising how friendships you thought would last forever, sometimes don't. It was refreshing to finally be able to understand things from Genevieve's point of view too, of why she hated Lara Jean so much.

I think i have other thoughts too but i can't remember them right now so i'll probably edit them in if i end up remembering them.
One last thing, i appreciated so much that Jenny Han made the ending a little open-ended, creating a possibility for Lara Jean to be with John if things don't work out with Peter again. That last part from John, about time not being right for them in the past and in the present, but could be right in the future. Ahhhh that was my final string being pulled before my heart completely reached out to him. Dammit, he was so, so close. Oh well, let Lara Jean have Kavinsky. McClaren is mine <3 p="">
****END OF SPOILER SECTION***

All in all, i really loved this book and i would recommend it to everyone who read the first book, and also to everyone who wants to read a nice contemporary teen romance that isn't too typical. I know some people don't really like the books and some didn't agree with how PSISLY ended, but personally i'm fine with it all. I thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience. I hope there won't be a movie for it though, because it is so nice that i don't want a movie to ruin its perfection. But IF there was a movie, i would not accept anyone to be John Ambrose McClaren if that person is not Austin Butler. His character appearance from The Carrie Diaries is JUST PERFECT. He is my John. I haven't decided who i want for Peter yet, but the Lara Jean on the book covers is who i would love Lara Jean to be played by because she's so pretty and i imagined her as Lara Jean as i read along anyway. Okay enough ranting. GO READ IT.

2 comments:

  1. John Ambrose McClaren IS PERFECT .

    I was seriously hung up on the ending. T_T

    Still, I would have liked it if peter was not too close to Genevieve. I mean, she does have other friends. Peter doesn't need to be there all the time. Who was his priority? Gen or LJ? That was what bothered me the most, though I LOVED Peter in the first book. Since John only liked Lara Jean, i guess that's what made me like him more.And the moment John arrived in that red Mustang in full uniform, I swear I could imagine it perfectly. Oh john...

    Thanks for reviewing this book ^^


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree with everything you just said!! i'm team john but i wouldnt mind him for myself honestly HAHA. thanks so much for reading my review! :)

      Delete

 

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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