Sequel to Jenny Han’s internationally best-selling story about Lara Jean, this book (and the Netflix film) is likely to be snapped up by fans.
Sixteen year old Lara Jean has her first serious boyfriend. It’s hard to get used to because, until recently, she and Peter were only pretending to be in love. It’s also very difficult to manage when their relationship suddenly becomes the focus of everyone’s attention: a film of them in the hot-tub goes viral and most people presume they were doing far more than kissing. Lara Jean struggles to make sense of the changes in her life and this confusion only intensifies when another boy from her past unexpectedly writes to her.
This is the sequel to Jenny Han’s previous book about Lara Jean – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This placed me at a slight disadvantage from the outset: I haven’t read the first book so didn’t know either the history or the characters. While it’s certainly not necessary to have read the previous book to enjoy this one, I suspect it would’ve been helpful and might have changed my perception of the story.
I did like this book which is an easy, if not gripping, read. However, I suspect that fans of the internationally best-selling book one are likely to LOVE this book and will be keen to watch the Netflix adaption.
The story is told in first person so it’s easy to empathise and identify with Lara Jean. (On a very personal level it’s impossible not to warm to a character who knows the words to The Sound of Music by heart and who is able to debate the relative merits of the characters in this classic musical). However, although Lara Jean is a well realised character, for me it was the supporting characters that really stood out. I particularly liked Lara Jean’s younger sister, Kitty, and enjoyed reading about her ongoing crusade to forge a match between their dad and their neighbour, Ms Rothschild. The residents at the nursing home where Lara Jean works also jump off the page, most especially the over-the-top Stormy.
Interestingly, I think I am supposed to like Lara Jean’s boyfriend, Peter, but on this count I totally failed. I found him irritating and arrogant and was desperate for Lara Jean to ditch him in favour of the much more appealing John Ambrose McClaren. I wonder, maybe, whether my view would be different if I’d read the first book. If you’ve read it, do message me and tell me!
Publication Date: February 2020
Author’s website: Jenny Han