Sunday, June 14, 2015

p.s. I still love you

Jenny Han is a genius at writing character: Shug is one of the best middle-grade books I've read, and To All the Boys I've Loved Before was simply darling. I didn't mind the "cliff-hanger" ending some people objected to--to me it was less cliff-hanger and more real-world messy. But I loved Lara Jean's sweetness (and yes, naivety. Some girls are naive at sixteen. I was one of them).
P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)
Luckily, there is a sequel that picks up Lara Jean and Peter Kravinsky's relationship almost exactly where book one ended. Of course, there are complications--namely, the fact that Peter keeps being seen with his ex-girlfriend Gen, who he claims is going through hard times (though Lara Jean has seen nothing to prove that). And the not-insignificant fact that the only boy who didn't return her letter from book one starts writing back to her--and they might have more of a connection than Lara Jean realized.

I know love triangles get a bad rap (and sometimes deservedly so), but I think there's a place for them. I remember that feeling of having multiple possibilities, of not being quite sure where my heart really belonged. And both of the boys here are charming for very different reasons--they're not just in the story to increase the drama.

Another thing I really appreciated about the book was it's take on sex: so many YA books seem to either not really address it, or the main characters are all over it. Which, I get: some teens are like that. But there are a lot of teenagers who aren't sure, or even ready for sex. And I loved that Han addressed that openly in Lara Jean's own conflicted feelings (dating someone who's much more experienced while still realizing she may not be ready yet). 

I also loved the perfectly evoked bitter-sweet feel of childhood relationships evolving.

1 comment:

  1. I need to read these. I am always on the outlook for good contemporary stories. On love triangles. I love them. I don't understand the bad rap they get unless it's Twilight fallout. For young people love triangles of the kind you see in most YA fiction, and well, even in adult, is perfectly natural. Being young, as you said so aptly, is messy. I was a very naive girl at sixteen and had about half a dozen crushes and never could make a commitment. Laughing.