Last night, I devoured To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Read it in one sitting with a huge smile on my face. So today I picked up P.S. I Still Love You. Finished it in two sittings, with a somewhat confused expression on my face. There was no smile to be found.
Lara Jean is still there. Kitty is still awesome. But what happened to Peter?
Peter was the best part of TATBILB and he is just… someone else here. He spends all of his free time with Genevieve because “she’s going through some stuff.” He doesn’t understand why Lara Jean feels insecure about him running to comfort his ex every time she calls. At one point, Lara Jean plans a whole thing for him and he doesn’t even show up because Gen was crying and needed him.
I can’t blame Lara Jean for feeling betrayed.
And then, randomly, conveniently, another of the guys Lara Jean wrote a letter to shows up. Because, hey, if you were worried that there would be no action without a love triangle, stop right there. We have some kind of love shape (square? diamond? trapezoid?) what with Peter and Genevieve and Lara Jean and John. Who even knows what’s going on. Aren’t Peter and Lara Jean supposed to be together?
And the worst part of it, the absolute worst, is that I was rooting for John. He is an infinitely better guy than this sorry version of Peter. He’s there for Lara Jean when she needs him. His interests fall much more in line with hers. He’s generally just a stand up guy while Peter is sneaking off to be with Genevieve. And I can’t for the life of me figure out how this is even a question for Lara Jean.
We’ve also got a weird side plot, which actually takes up a good chunk of the book, in which someone releases a sexy video of Lara Jean and Peter, and Lara Jean is promptly chastised by everyone from her classmates to her guidance counselor to her father. (But, let me mention, not John.) I appreciated that this allowed the opportunity for discussion of sexism and double standards (of course, Peter doesn’t hear a single negative word about it), but it dragged on for so long that it felt like another purposeful roadblock in an already rocky relationship.
Mostly, I felt really conflicted through this whole book. I loved Lara Jean and Peter so much in the last book. Their perfect, adorable relationship is gone. Peter’s sneaking around with Gen. Lara Jean is sneaking around with John. Neither of them want to explain to each other what is going on, and everything just implodes. I guess, if nothing else, this seems pretty accurate for a high school relationship.
I don’t think that this sequel was necessary. It contributed nothing to the relationship between Lara Jean and Peter. It made me wish that she and Peter had never gotten together. It made me root for the other guy in the triangle, and that never happens.
I wish that I loved this book as much as I loved TATBILB, but I didn’t.
Final rating: ★★★☆☆