Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary > Romance
Synopsis: 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?
Final Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Check out my review for the first book in the series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
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I’m not one of those people who had to wait a long time for this book. I read the first in the series last month, so I only had to wait a couple of weeks. Either way, my excitement levels were very high. I really enjoyed the first book; I thought it was light, sweet and just a fun ride, so I expected the same with the second one. I don’t want to say that this book was a let-down, because I know a lot of people absolutely loved it. But I was disappointed, but perhaps that’s my own fault because I didn’t read the synopsis.
Now, from the synopsis, it’s pretty obvious that there’s going to be a love triangle in this one. I went into this installment completely blind, so I wasn’t expecting to be hit in the face with a love triangle. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I hate love triangles. The only negative about the first book was that the protagonist made some pretty bad decisions because she was juggling two guys at the same time. So imagine my surprise when I sat down, expecting relationship development and cutesy moments between Lara Jean and Kavinksy and my dreams being crushed as a second, random guy comes between the two.
The beginning of the book was fantastic. I was hooked. It was exactly what I wanted/needed it to be. There were cute moments with Lara Jean and her family. I got to see more of her Korean culture in the beginning, and Lara Jean was in a tough place with regards to Kavinsky and the ‘scandal’ that arose in the first book. When Kavinsky and Lara Jean do get together, I thought it was done very nicely. The beginning of their relationship was adorable, and I had zero problems.
But then John shows up. Remember? That guy she handed a note to at the Model United Nations event in the last book? Yes, he shows up and everything went downhill from there (at least for me.) His introduction into the storyline was absolutely unnecessary. There was so much drama that was not needed with Lara Jean and Kavinsky, and Lara Jean and Genevieve, and Lara Jean and John. There was way too much angst, and keep in mind that this novel is pretty short, so it felt like it was a little all over the place.
The resolution of the several conflicts was done in, like, eight pages. By the end, everything felt rushed and the ending was a little too abrupt. It kind of felt like Jenny Han wrote an ending, and then at the last moment, she decided that she wasn’t happy with it so she tacked on the last seven or eight pages.
I will say that a lot of people are saying that Peter Kavinsky’s character was a lot more dickish in this book, but I would disagree. He’s seventeen years old, and he’s done nothing wrong, but he’s constantly being bombarded with drama from all sides of his life. If anything, Lara Jean was the jerk in this novel, and though I liked her in the first book, she just annoyed the living daylights out of me in this one.
Overall, I wanted a lot more from this book. Unfortunately, I will go about my life pretending like the first one was a stand-alone, and I’m going to pretend like this book never happened.