Jenny Han: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before a P.S. I Still Love You

Bibliography: Han, Jenny. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. 2014. Simon & Schuster. ISBN-13: 9781442426719

Bibliography: Han, Jenny. P.S. I Still Love You. 2015. Simon & Schuster. ISBN-13: 9781442426740

Plots:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Lara Jean has been in love five times in her 16 years of han1life. Each time she is ready to move on from her love, she writes a goodbye love letter to the boy and keeps it hidden in a hatbox her mother gave her. Only, one day she finds that her letters were sent. What follows turns Lara Jean’s life upside down, and she is forced to confront these boys that once meant so much to her. In addition to dealing with her lost loves, Lara Jean must deal with assuming the mothering role to her youngest sister as her older sister Margot leaves for Scotland to attend college. In dealing with her heart and her responsibilities, Lara Jean adjusts her perception of her relationships and must reevaluate her own desires.  

han2P.S. I Still Love You: Lara Jean thought she had things figured out, but her heart doesn’t seem to agree with her head. In the sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara jean finds herself in love with two boys: one, the boy of her dreams and the other, the boy of her reality. Lara Jean discovers that falling in love is easy, but maintaining  relationships is hard and requires sacrifice. With the help of her family and friends, Lara Jean navigates a Junior year filled with love, jealousy, gossip, and confrontation.

Critical Analysis:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before does a great job emphasizing the importance of, and conflict within, one’s family. When Lara Jean is dealing with the consequences of her letters being sent, she is also trying to assume a motherly role for her younger sister Kitty. With her mother deceased and her level-headed, mature older sister Margot in Scotland, Lara Jean tries to be the figure her sister needs while struggling with her own life. Jenny Han does a great job getting into the mind of a young girl who feels the conflict of love and family duties.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before includes snippets of Lara Jean’s letters. This allows the reader to see where she is coming from when she wrote these letters in her early middle school years. By showing the transition of Lara Jean from middle school to high school and the changes in her relationships, the reader gains a sense of loyalty and sympathy toward Lara Jean.

P.S. I Still Love You introduces the effects of gossip and cyber bullying in high school. When a video of Lara Jean is posted on a school gossip Instagram page, her relationships are what give her strength. P.S. I Still Love You brings back the relationships Lara Jean has with the characters from the first book and again shows how a support system is vital.

These two books highlight the importance of family, familial conflict, navigating social roles as you grow, cyber bullying, and growing up.

About the Author:han3

Jenny Han is a former children’s bookseller and children’s librarian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Shug, The Summer I Turned Pretty series, and the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy.

Reviews:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

“An ultimately compelling exploration of teenage growth and young love.” Kirkus

“Lara Jean’s personality—goofy, awkward, prone to strong emotions, and entirely naïve when it comes to boys—give this touching story an individuality and charm all its own. Han creates a realistically flawed cast, especially half-Korean Lara Jean and her sisters, who work hard to be good to one another after their mother’s death (even when they’re at one another’s throats).” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A wonderful choice for fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins.” (Booklist)

P.S. I Still Love You

“The sparkling dialogue, heartwarming sister relationships, and honest talk make this a must-have title for teen collections.” (School Library Journal)

“A sweet and charming sequel that is sure to be devoured by fans of the first book.” (Booklist)

Similar Reads:

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Review by Rachel H.