I know I said I probably would not be writing a review of these two as Mina has already done that BUT I feel that I haveto.
I picked these up needing a nice light-hearted pick-me-up; and that is exactly what I got. Mina had mentioned to me that she did not like the second novel as much as the first, but I love them so much together (maybe that’s the difference). I literally finished the first and picked up the second to see what happens next. I did cry several times in both novels, as would anyone in this lovely story of first loves and how to handle them.
The story follows a 16 year old Lara Jean as her sister leaves for college abroad and Lara Jean is forced to make decisions on her own. The most unusual and interesting decisions are, of course, in her romantic life. Without giving too much away, I will tell you that perhaps Lara Jean is in love with a boy she shouldn’t be. Which really becomes a problem when someone sent out her love letters to “all the boys she’s loved before.” (Don’t worry, we do find out who did it eventually) And as the boys begin to receive these letters her life starts to turn upside down.
Lara Jean writes these letters in to get closure from boys she has loved, but can now see it won’t go anywhere. She seals them up and puts them in a hatbox. Eventually to distract from one boy, Lara Jean begins fake dating another. Surprise surprise, they fall in love for real. The end of the first novel is so heart wrenching, and a fabulous cliffhanger, that having the second handy was the only way I got any sleep the night I read it. (Yes, i read these in essentially 24 hours) Lara Jean and Peter are stuck trying to figure out how their fake relationship turned into real love, and what to do about it from there.
There are so many great teenage lessons that Lara Jean learns along the way, and the whole story is told so warmly you can’t help but fall in love with it. She’s forced to decide between a love and her sister. She learns what it’s like to come out of the shadows of being a loner. She struggles with relationships and what they mean to someone that has never had one or wanted one. She learns that sometimes it not the other person’s insecurities, but your own that are muddying up the waters. All as she struggles through how to be a big sister, and a little sister. How to be the center of attention, how to cope with bullying and growing into herself as everyone watches.
I would have hated to have ended the first book and not had the next to pick up to find out what happens next, I am so glad I experienced them together. As much as I love both of these novels, I really hope there is not a third coming because right now the story is perfect.