Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Title: PS I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2)
Author: Jenny Han
Published: May 26th, 2015 by Simon & Schuester
Read: June 6th to 8th, 2015
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

I decided to not write a review right away, but it probably wasn’t the brightest idea, because now I’m mainly just ... indifferent. PS I Still Love You was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I have screamed my love for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on all my social media accounts, direct conversations irl and online, text messages—basically everywhere possible. Unfortunately the strongly positive feelings have managed to vanish some after reading its sequel.

“There are two kinds of girls in this world. The kind who breaks hearts and the kind who gets her heart broken.”

Let’s start with the positives. I love the Covey family, Kitty especially. She is such an outstanding character—always speaking her mind and not afraid to have an opinion and express it. She’s the voice of reason which is extremely cute and refreshing seeing how young she is and with very little life experience. The relationship between Margot and Lara Jean was one of my favorite things too. It's so important to me that authors portray strong, great and loving sibling relationships, because there aren't always a lot of those kind of books out there, but the Song sisters are definitely one of my favorite examples in modern literature.

What I also appreciate about these novels is the cultural aspect, because the Covey family isn't POC by a passing remark; they’re a mix of old traditions smashed into modern western culture described in an excessive and beautiful way which is always quite intriguing and interesting to read about. Also, talks and curiosity about sex isn't shied away from, so major plus points for that!

To start off the negatives, I didn’t like how little we got of Peter. I know, I know that we got a lot of him in the first book, but most of the time when he was in a scene in PSISLY, the conversation always led to Genevieve which was, quite frankly, really annoying as the book progressed. I may have liked John a lot, but I couldn’t really tell, because I was too busy worrying over the fate of Peter and Lara Jean. I hated how everyone felt like they knew what was best for Lara Jean and tried to force their opinion on her and, from a shipper’s point of view, I especially didn’t appreciate how everyone in this book was trying to tell Lara Jean that first loves never succeed so she shouldn’t be too hopeful.

I also didn’t like the fact that some revelations completely butchered some of the amazingly awesome things that happened in TATBILB. *highlight to see spoilers* How can I ever look back at the basically iconic hot tub scene during the skiing trip and not feel like Lara Jean was a complete second choice for Peter in that moment? They have a fight over nothing and he goes to have a midnight hot tub session with his ex girlfriend whom he didn't know if he would have kissed or not? When he told Lara Jean that he'll take her inside because he doesn't want her to get in trouble, did he actually care about Lara Jean not getting in trouble or was he more afraid of Gen's wrath if she were to see them? I thought it was the cutest thing ever that he worried about her, but now that scene is completely ruined for me =/ Also, emergency or not, he always chose Genevieve in PSISLY. I don't think you have to cut ties with your exes because of a new love interest, but after he learned what she did? I'm not okay with that, because regarding Genevieve, I don’t care what you’re going through, doing something like this is not okay. And how come Gen always got away with everything? There were never any consequences to her actions. As for Peter, I know that he loves Lara Jean. That he was in love with her by the end of TATBILB. I know that. But some of the things that happened in this book made me look at other things from a different perspective and not necessarily from a good one.

I’m torn between whether or not I liked the ending, because in a way I did. I like the promise of it and I like the last couple of pages, but at the same time ... it feels like it’s lacking something, because the road to the last chapter was super rushed. I didn’t feel as though it was deserved and I definitely don’t feel as though it will last. Which is a point this book was obviously trying to get across: first loves don’t last ever. That ending felt like a total fan service, because he didn’t even fight for her. Seriously, he gives her the necklace and tells her “when I get you back”? That’s just it? That’s the big romantic gesture? No, thanks.  I am still, until the end of times, team Peter. Even if he screws up a lot like he did in this book. Lara Jean's biased opinion and statements of Peter being super vain aren't much help either. I should be glad that she ended up with Peter, because that's what I wanted (and do want!) but I can't help but feel like she picked the wrong guy. And that's the most disturbing part of it all, because I want to feel like she did the right decision by picking the guy I was rooting for. Ugh. I just wish so bad that there had been more cutesy stuff with Lara Jean and Peter and that he had grown as much as Lara Jean did, because, in my honest opinion, he didn't grow at all in this book :( *end of spoilers*

As a whole, this book did not meet my needs, hopes and ... dreams? If not for the fact that it made me reevaluate my thoughts about one of my favorite books I've ever read then for the fact that I was expecting this to be one of the best books of the year, alas it clearly wasn't meant to be that for me. It's a first when it comes to this that I’m not really confident with my rating. From an emotional standpoint after I had finished this book, it would have been a solid 2 stars and nothing more, but with a rational mind, a month after reading it, I’d give it 3 stars, because I enjoyed the first half of it, I love a lot of aspects of PSISLY and it wasn't a bad book, just ... eh. Ok then.

Overall rating: 3.2 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

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  1. The point you made about Peter not growing as much as Lara Jean did. I completely agree. The beginning was super cute, the Covey family was wonderful and Kitty will forever be Queen of my heart but Peter K was just meh by the end. Not going to lie, I would have been happy had she ended up with the other boy bc one chapter was definitely not enough to resolve their problem with a necklace imo. Like I had mentioned to Katie and Jessi once when talking about this book, Peter K seems to have made a better fake boyfriend which is so disheartening *sigh*. Great review, Siiri! :)

  2. OMG Jae I never even thought about that! You're so right that Peter made a better fake boyfriend. And honestly, if it wasn't the way he treated Kitty I think I would not like him at all anymore after this book. The revelations that you speak of, Siiri, I'm so glad to have you to talk about these things and I really really hate that I still feel so disappointed with this book, a month after reading it :( I'm so so sad. I feel your pain and it just hurts so much. Sometimes I wish I never read this book so it never would have tarnished every good thing I thought about the first book.

  3. I feel exactly the same about Peter! It's so disappointing to see how such a charming boy could fall so...flat in this book. I loved the beginning of the book but then the Genevieve thing just ruined a lot of the relationship moments between Lara Jean and him. And I agree about the doubts you had, because it felt like Jenny Han just built up the other relationship so much to the point that despite my convictions that they belong together, it could have easily swung the other way. Great review though! <3

  4. Oh man, this is so disappointing. I wasn't such a fan of Peter to begin with, but it sounds like he kind of goes downhill in this one. I do like the sound of Kitty though, she sounds really cute and entertaining! Lovely review dear <3

  5. I've been reading a whole bunch of reviews from people who have been disappointed. I've been putting it off because I loved the first book so much so I don't want to ruin it. >< Lovely review!

  6. I completely agree with you Sirri. I only read TATBILB a few month before this was coming out and I absolutely adored it. The letters, Lara Jean's character and the concept of it. In a way I wish she would have had a HEA on book 1 and made it a standalone. In this novel I was rooting for John quite a bit! It was disappointing wasn't it!? Lovely honest review! :)

  7. You seem to love reading contemporary romance so new follower via bloglovin :)

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG
    Most recent post: ARC Review: Magonia by Maria Headley

  8. I can totally relate with you on some of the issues that you had Siiri, this was one of my highly anticipated reads of the year and at points I was disappointed with the behaviour of one of my all time favourite characters, like why did you have to go and ruin everything for? And then I also wanted a lot more of him, I was sort of gutted that we didn't get some of the cute scenes between Peter and Lara Jean from the first book. I And then I was totally torn when John came along as he was such an amazing character, I wanted everyone to get their happy endings. *shakes fist* lovely review as always!

  9. Aw! I am so disappointed for you, Siiri, more so, because I have seen you anticipate the book all over social media. I really wish the book were better. I do plan on reading this series sometime, which is why I did not read the spoiler. Well, you can always rely on a reread of some Addicted series book to get you out of the disappointment from this. Lovely review in any case, girl!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  10. It’s so disappointing when you are dying in anticipation and them the book doesn’t live up to your expectation. Great review, Siiri!