Taking a break from YA fantasy I decided it was finally time to start reading some YA contemporary books. I was extremely excited to read the sequel to To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before and may have hyped it up for myself too much. At least I got my happy ending…sort of.
The first of this duology circled around Lara Jean and Peter agreeing to be in a fake relationship (a contract was drawn up and everything) after her secret love letters were sent out and Peter wanted to show that he was over his ex-girlfriend. The sequel picks up with a letter Lara Jean wrote to Peter about how she had developed genuine feelings for Peter. Then Lara Jean receives a letter back from one of the boys she had written to.
I loved the first one…well I remember loving the first one. I must have read the first book with rose-colored glasses because when I seriously thought about the first book, I didn’t like it as much as I did before. After reading the sequel, this shouldn’t have been a duology. I think it would have been more appealing as a single-standing novel instead. The events that occurred would have flowed better if it was all in one book.
I read somewhere online that Jenny Han imagines her stories as though they were Korean dramas. I was definitely getting the kdrama vibes but not always the good kind.
Lara Jean is kind of annoying (there, I said it). Probably because her personality reminds me so much how I was when I was sixteen. Hopeless romantic, naïve, always being told about how quiet she is, long hair, and reading too much into things too often. As I’ve stated in my other reviews, I’m a fan of character development and didn’t get much of it with P.S. I Still Love You. I wouldn’t say realizations about one’s feelings for a boy as character development.
On to the love interests of Lara Jean! From my experience of watching countless hours of kdramas, John Ambrose McClaren, unfortunately, is the PERFECT second-lead. I suffered second-lead syndrome as soon as the fair-haired and blue-eyed John Ambrose McClaren appeared upon the pages before me. John is such a sweetheart. He notices when Lara Jean is upset and is there for her in time of need. John was described as “…innocent and sweet-cheeked…[who] had the face of a boy who’d never been in trouble…”. This kid pulsates boy-next-door vibes. I thought he complimented Lara Jean much better than Peter and I was rooting for him the entire latter half of the book but knew the outcome was inevitable. John Ambrose McClaren is like the heartthrob that is Kim Shinhyuk played by the always wonderful Choi Siwon in MBC’s “She Was Pretty” (which you guys should watch when you get the chance. It’s a great drama).
Peter is the arrogant bad boy that everyone has liked at least once in their life. There is one point of the book that Lara Jean thanks Peter for bringing her out of her closed-off world. That is probably one of Peter’s more commendable attributes. Another would be keeping Genevieve’s big ol’ secret. Thumbs up to you, bro, for being upstanding in secrecy. As you can tell, I’m still hunpg up on John.
Genevieve was the typical botch with a sad backstory. The way how Genevieve’s hatred for Lara Jean began was dumb too. I actually highlighted that part and wrote a note saying “well that was stupid”. There was one moment with Genevieve that was supposed to be her one saving grace and I wished that was delved into more thoroughly. It would have given her more depth than just the rich girl with family issues.
I also don’t like the role of Lara Jean’s best friend, Chris. She showed up randomly didn’t have much of a lasting impression on me and I didn’t see the need for her. Girl was only there as a filler character.
My reaction to the ending of the book was that of someone unenthusiastically clapping at the end of an ensemble. I enjoyed the cute parts but wasn’t impressed overall. I stated earlier in my review how Jenny Han visualizes her books and kdramas. Sometimes that’s not the best idea since kdramas are even more repetitive than a lot of YA fantasy books. I loved the idea of Lara Jean’s secret love letters being sent without her consent and I was so curious as to how the story would ensue. I only ended up disappointed.
I do not own any of the photos I use unless stated otherwise. Credit to Goodreads for the book cover and book summary. I am not compensated or endorsed by anyone to write these reviews. These are simply for enjoyment.