Monday, December 21, 2015
P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han
A cluttered, less focused, and weaker follow-up to one of my favorite Jenny Han books. In general, Han does a wonderful job exploring not only themes of romance but also of friendship and of familial ties. All that is present here, but it so much more awkwardly assembled. She's put in a whole bunch of subplots (cyberbullying, an elder sister's absence, a party for the nursing home residents, getting Dad to start dating again, etc.) and little of it fits together. The writing, usually so brilliant, is sloppy (and sloppily edited) (howlers include a metal box which "has eroded from the rain and snow and dirt" that the protagonist "wash[es] in the sink so it gleams again"). The ending is even more annoying, doing a last minute flip that contradicts much of the rest of the story -- the worst sort of surprise ending. All of this is shocking given Han's excellent prior track record and even the strong start of this novel.