Sunday, 14 June 2015

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny HanP.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

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?

Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
From Goodreads.

I was really excited for P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han as I loved To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and was looking forward to seeing where Lara Jean's story would head next. While it was a really enjoyable read, I did find myself a little disappointed.

Lara Jean and Peter have just healed the rift between them that started when rumours were spread about what happened between them in the hot tub. And now there's a video – one where it seems like they're doing a whole lot more than just kissing – to put more strain on their relationship. Lara Jean is sure the video was taken by Genevieve, Peter's ex, but he's sure it isn't... always seems to be hanging around her. Lara Jean has also heard back from John, one of the boy's who was sent a letter, and he makes it clear he's interested in more than just friendship. Who will Lara Jean end up choosing?

The first quarter to third of the book is focused on the video that it put on Instagram by an anonymous poster. Because of the angle, it really looks like Lara Jean and Peter are having sex, and Lara Jean gets a lot of flack about it at school. The book takes a look at slut-shaming and sexism surrounding sex in a really awesome way, really showing the way things are in society, and how awful it is. It's quite a feminist beginning, with some added positive discussion about girls and their sexuality, despite the crap Lara Jean is getting.
'Margot says, "Society is far too caught up in shaming a woman for enjoying sex and applauding a man. I mean, all of the comments about how Lara Jean's a slut, but nobody's saying anything about Peter, and he's right there with her. It's a ridiculous double standard."' (p50)
'Stormy leans in close and says, "Lara Jean, just remember, the girl must always be the one to control how for things go. Boys think with their you-know-whats. It's up to you to keep your head and protect what's yours."
"I don't know, Stormy. Isn't that kind of sexist?"
"Life is sexist. If you were to get pregnant, you're the one whose life changes. Nothing significant happens for the boy. You're the one people whisper about..."
...
"I'm saying be careful. As careful as life and death, because that's what it is." She gives me a meaningful look. "And never trust the boy to bring the condom. A lady always brings her own."
I cough.
"Your body is yours to protect and enjoy." She raises both eyebrows at me meaningfully. "Whoever you should choose to partake in that enjoyment, that is your choice, and choose wisely. Every man who ever got to touch me was afforded an honour. A privilege." Stormy waves her hand over me. "All this? It's a privilege to worship at this temple, do you understand my meaning? Not just any young fool can approach the throne. Remember my words, Lara Jean. You decide who, how far and how often, if ever."' (p131-132)

It might sound there that Stormy is telling Lara Jean that whoever she has sex with should be someone important, but within the context of the story, she's saying it's about Lara Jean's choice. She gets to choose, and it's up to her - whether it's with someone she's in a relationship with or otherwise. Always by her own choice, because she wants to, and for no other reason.

After the video drama dies down, not a huge amount happens. Nothing all that substantial. There are obstacles to Lara Jean and Peter's relationship, and things get rocky, and then there's the fact that John is back on the scene, but he doesn't become a "problem" until the last quarter or so of the book. But Lara Jean and her life are just so interesting, and her naivety is endearing if frustrating at times, that even though there's a lot of internalising, I was still really hooked.

However, the last quarter made me feel like this would be continued in a third book. The John problem was only introduced in any real way quite late on in the book. So there's this other option, and what's Lara Jean doing to do? And then she discovers a few things, and then the story is resolved quite quickly - in a matter of pages, and then the book ends. It doesn't look like there will be a third book. That's it, finished. It just felt way too quick for me, which is such a shame, because I was really enjoying it! I don't like rushed endings, I really don't.

But I do love Han's writing. And this book had some really beautiful things to say on love. I really like being in Lara Jean's head, and I just love her younger sister, Kitty. So I'd still say read it. I just don't like being disappointed. This might just be how Han does things, because not a huge amount happening until the last quarter was part of my problem with We'll Always Have Summer, the last book in the Summer series.

A great book with awesome characters, some feminism, quotable thoughts of love, and Han's writing... a pretty awesome read, despite the ending.

Thank you to Scholastic UK for the review copy.

Add to Goodreads

Buy from:
Foyles



Published: 26th May 2015
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Jenny Han's Website

My other reviews from the series:
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before Book 1)

2 comments:

  1. Great review! I've been seeing some mixed reviews for this one. I just got my copy from the library. I like Lara Jean and her family but I'm not sure I'll like how the story goes in this sequel. Maybe there should be a third book!

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    1. I wish there was a third book; I do think the ending was rushed and could have been developed a lot more. But there are so many other thing I like about this book! I hope you enjoy/ed it!

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